According to oil filtration specialists C C Jensen, 80% of oil related breakdowns and failures are caused by contaminated oil. That statistic alone highlights the importance of keeping your oil as clean as possible. While the storage and handling of products can have a significant impact on contamination, when your oil is in service, it picks up contamination as it circulates. It’s important that you have the correct oil filters in place, and that you change them regularly.

In a recent article in Machinery Lubrication Magazine, they claim that by increasing the cleanliness of your oil by just one ‘cleanliness code’ you can increase equipment life by 35%. The financial implications of that could be extensive depending on your equipment.

When selecting the right filter for your equipment, you have to take a number of things into consideration. Location of the filter, configuration of the system, pressure, flow rate and micron size all need to be thought about. The oil must be able to flow freely through the filter, and any additives should not be impacted by the filter. Some systems have a greater need for ‘clean’ lubricants, for example turbines or hydraulic systems, so a better quality filter should be considered for these applications. Oil analysis will give you a measure of the particles in your oil, and this will help you determine the size of filter required.

Regular oil condition monitoring will give you an indication of the contaminant level in your oil. By trending your analysis results, you should be able to predict when filters will need changed. If you see any spikes in contamination, you should check your filters. It’s also worth conducting regular visual inspections of your filters, as this is a very simple way to assess their continuing performance.

Keeping your lubricants clean prevents equipment wear, machine failures and improves efficiency. By properly applying filtration in your lubrication system, you can increase the efficiency of your equipment, improve health and safety on site and increase the profitability of your business.