Forestry and Building Products

In the lumber and wood industries, lubricants encounter abrasive and corrosive contaminants like fine sawdust and moisture. Additionally, the equipment faces hot and cold operating extremes, as well as exposure to acids and caustics. These conditions, combined with heavy loads and high-speed operation, impose significant demands on both the equipment and the lubricants designed to safeguard it.

Sawmill managers are constantly battling against downtime, which can incur costs of up to $500 per minute. A typical sawmill or OSB plant can have a substantial number of service points throughout the mill yard, sometimes reaching as high as 2,000, posing significant challenges.

The failure of the Debarker can halt chip production, potentially causing material shortages. The primary drive gearbox, being a critical component, requires protection and monitoring. To safeguard this application, it is essential to utilize desiccant breather, offline filtration, and oil analysis.
The chipper serves as the cornerstone of the wood handling process, significantly impacting the maximization of high-quality chips for digestion. As the primary breakdown of wood into wood chips occurs in the Chipper, the operation and its associated components are exposed to significant vibration and torque. The gearbox, as the main oil lubricated component, plays a pivotal role in this process.
In sawmills or chipping facilities, logs are fed into the machines by large overhead gantry cranes, capable of lifting 20 to 30 tons at a time, and operating continuously on rails that can extend up to a mile in length. The gearbox and the hydraulic system stand out as the two primary oil lubricated components in this setup.
Numerous critical gearboxes are linked with conveyors in the wood yard. The failure of any of these systems can restrict material flow. To safeguard these gearboxes from detrimental contamination, it is vital to employ proper oil handling and appropriate breathers. Regular sampling of these assets is also essential to assess fluid condition and provide early indications of potential failure.
Log Decks frequently contend with overloading, high impacts, and overhung loading, which can have adverse effects on gear drives, chains, and bearings.
The lubricants utilized in continuous wood-based panel presses operate under extreme conditions, including temperatures reaching up to 260°C, high mechanical loads, and a substantial presence of dirt particles.

Establishing an optimal lube room within every plant is essential for maintaining lubrication-related supplies and fostering a culture of meticulous oil handling standards. The lube room should be strategically located in an area with minimal particle and dirt presence, facilitating easy temperature control for optimal storage conditions.


Storage and Filtration of New Oil

The lube room serves as a central hub for storing new oil, housing storage drums and drum racks. Prior to use, new oil should undergo filtration, either through storage units equipped with built-in filtration or via the utilization of filter carts to cleanse oil in drums. Furthermore, the storage units should be equipped with desiccant breathers to mitigate moisture ingress.


Organization and Inventory

In addition to new oil storage, the lube room should accommodate transfer pumps, valves, filter carts, portable storage containers, and various lubrication-related supplies such as grease guns, oil cans, unused filters, cleaning materials, and spill absorbents. Careful organization of these supplies is pivotal for efficient inventory management and ease of access.


Cultivating a Culture of Excellence

Beyond being a storage space, the lube room serves as a platform for fostering a culture of effective and meticulous oil handling standards within the company. By implementing best practices and maintaining a well-organized lube room, companies can reinforce their commitment to optimal lubrication procedures and maintenance protocols.

In essence, the lube room plays a multifaceted role, not only as a storage and transfer space for oil-related assets but also as a cornerstone for promoting excellence in oil handling practices within the organization.


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