Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 38

LUBRICATION STRATEGIES

Symbol/color-based systems help ensure correct and consistent lubrication.

validating that correct lubricants are being used at fill
or change-out time (to eliminate cross-contamination).
We must also be aware that posted data could fail if
an operation changes its lube supplier and another
product is substituted for an original lubricant without
adequately updating the ID information. That type of
failure can lead to mistrust of all lubricant-identification
labels.

Lubricant-ID control systems
Lubricant-ID-control mechanisms have been used for
approximately 70 years. M.J. Harrison unveiled one of
the most popular in a 1950 article titled "Color Codes,"
published in the UK's Scientific Lubrication Journal.
In his article, Harrison, an engineer with C.C.
Wakefield & Co. (which later became Castrol), detailed
a symbol/color-based control-system methodology to
help unskilled workers perform "factory lubrication"
in a consistent manner, with scientific precision. His
approach was based on symbols to denote frequency of
application, and colors to signify lubricant type. He further
advocated the use of the colors on reservoirs and dedicated
transfer equipment to diminish the chance of crosscontamination. Sound familiar?
Harrison initially promoted the use of three primary
colors: red, blue, and yellow. Over time, as evidenced by
commercially available lubricant-identification systems,
we've become comfortable with the inclusion of green,
orange, and purple.
Table I shows the color and symbolism that's used in
today's "modernized" transfer and application of lubricants.
Figure 1, on p. 37, shows this type of color and symbolism
on a customized label that can be attached to equipment and
transfer containers.
Remember that, even with color-coding in place,
an ID-control system can still fail when a lubricant is
substituted and the specification on the machine and in the
O&M manual isn't updated to reflect, say, a yellow or red
lubricant change from an X-brand specification to Y- brand
specification product. Color-coded systems can also fail if
personnel are color-blind. Since that can be a possibility in
any plant, the lubricant ID should be accompanied by color
within a control symbol and spelled out alongside the color/
symbol on an ID nameplate, sticker, or tag located on the
reservoir or at the lube-control point, or on the lubricantID-control-system chart (Table I) that's given to all operators and maintainers and posted on or near the lubricated
equipment.

38 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

Table I. Lubricant-ID-Control-System Chart
Symbol

Color

Lubricant Description

RED

Oil, Gear, Mineral, ISO 220, XYZ
Company, Gearlube-2000

BLUE

Oil, Hydraulic, ISO 68, XYZ Company,
Hydroblue

GREEN

Grease, Lithium, EP2, XYZ Company,
Crasso 2

PURPLE

Grease, Lithium, EP1, XYZ, Crasso 1

This chart is an example of the color and symbolism
used in today's transfer and application of lubricants.

Implementing a lubricant-ID control system
The following steps are required in setting up and maintaining a simple lubricant-ID control system:
1. Work with your lubricant supplier to perform a
lubricant-consolidation program to determine the
minimum number of lubricants required for use on site.
2. Catalogue and document all lubricant points and
reservoirs by machine against the recommended
lubricant-consolidation list.
3. Develop a lubricant-ID control chart as depicted in
Table I, designating a symbol and color for each recommended lubricant on the consolidation list. For clarity,
use a noun/descriptor naming convention similar to the
format used in the lubricant-description field of Table I.
4. Print out individual lubricant ID nameplates, stickers, or
tags (these are often supplied by the lubricant supplier;
remove all old lube references from the machine; and
attach the new ID information to reservoirs or relevant
pump points.
5. Update all preventative-maintenance (PM) job tasks
with new lubricant descriptions.
6. Update all relevant lubricant specifications in the O&M
manual.
7. Update the inventory-control system to close out old
products and enter new lubricant product information.
8. Update all equipment bills of materials (BOMs) to
reflect only new lubricants.
9. Update any previous symbol/color-code references to
reflect the new ID control-system chart.
AUGUST 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology August 2017

Editorial
Uptime
On The Floor
Reliable Security, Reliable Operations
Highly Charged Reliability
Drowning in Data? Look to the 'Stars'
Reliable Pumping Supplement
SAP: Tips and Tricks
Steam-Trap Inspections
Saving Tribal Knowledge
Seats for Butterfly Valves
IIoT
ISO 55000
Understand Lube ID Systems
Tomato Processor Boosts Steam Output, Cuts Emissions
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Final Thought
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Editorial
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Uptime
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 7
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - On The Floor
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 9
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Reliable Security, Reliable Operations
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 11
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 12
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 13
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 14
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 15
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Highly Charged Reliability
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 17
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 18
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Drowning in Data? Look to the 'Stars'
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 20
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 21
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 22
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Reliable Pumping Supplement
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 24
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 25
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 26
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 27
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 28
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 29
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 30
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - SAP: Tips and Tricks
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Steam-Trap Inspections
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Saving Tribal Knowledge
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Seats for Butterfly Valves
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - IIoT
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - ISO 55000
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Understand Lube ID Systems
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 38
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 39
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Tomato Processor Boosts Steam Output, Cuts Emissions
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 41
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 42
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Products
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 44
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 45
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Ad Index
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Showcase
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Final Thought
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Cover3
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Cover4
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