Maintenance Tips: Cleaning Equipment Components

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Companies tend to minimize the impact of basic cleanliness on equipment / components. Maintenance usually emphasize in condition monitoring programs such as vibration, temperature (motors, bearings….), on-the-run inspections and others.

Equipment condition monitoring results can depend upon cleanliness of equipment. High vibration can come from a loose hold-down bolt, which sometimes cannot be inspected due to debris build-up on top of it. Motor core temperatures reading may not be accurate due to the build-up around casing and cooling fins.  There is a high possibility of oil contamination checking dip sticks or adding oil when dust & debris build-up is around. A dirty coupling guard can obstruct the inspector of noticing a recent broken seal.

Equipment / component cleanliness efforts should be present in down-day or shutdown schedules. On-the run inspections should always include check for equipment cleanliness.

Responsibility of who should clean it is like the Chicken-egg dilemma, who came first? Should operators be responsible or it is a maintenance task?

How I see it, there should be a one-time effort to get the equipment in a stable and clean state. This should be led by a maintenance crew and scheduled during down-days or when the equipment can be down. After that, operators should include in their responsibilities keeping / maintaining that equipment clean. Maintenance crews can be part of keeping the equipment clean when performing a maintenance work order on that equipment. We can summarize this approach as:

If something is spilled over it – you clean it (Operators)

If you walk around it  – you clean it (Operators)

If you touch it – you clean it (Maintenance)

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Angel Custodio

Angel Custodio

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