June 2011

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Consider closed–loop oil-mist lubrication

A growing trend is migrating to this new lubricating system for rotating equipment

Ehlert, D., Lubrication Systems Company

Oil-mist lubrication systems have been used for many years. Properly applied, they also represent a proven and environmentally clean technology for lubricating rotating equipment in the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI). Full-scale oil-mist lubrication for many pumps and motors in the HPI dates back to the mid-1960s. Several US refiners started installing large-scale plantwide oil-mist systems in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Two large US Gulf Coast refineries were among the first to adopt oil mist for their hundreds of pumps and motors; they continue to do so today, almost 50 years later. At present, there are an estimated 70,000 machines lubricated by oil mist. Only a small number

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