Correctly storing oil is the first step to ensuring that your lubricant is in good condition. When it comes to bulk lubricant storage, you need to take great care that you are getting the basics right so that your oil is not contaminated in any way. In order to ensure that your lubricant is in tip-top shape, there are a number of steps you should perform:
Work out the consumption rate
In order to ensure that you are storing the right amount of lubricant for your purpose – no more or no less – you will first need to work out your lubricant consumption rate. This will be different depending on your industry and the type of machinery you use, but by carefully monitoring usage over a period, you will be able to work out and order just the right amount of lubricant.
Once you have worked out your lubricant consumption rate you will need to work out how much storage capacity you will need. The right level of storage capacity is one that maximises shelf life while allowing for the storage of extra critical lubricants, which can be used in emergencies.
Supplier turnaround time
It is vital that you are aware of your suppliers’ business practices and know just how quickly they can get a new shipment of lubricant to you. If you have a supplier who can get lubricant to you very quickly, you will not need quite as much storage space for your bulk lubricants, but if you will be waiting for a long time between deliveries, you will need to ensure that you have a large amount of space onsite to meet your needs based on consumption and delivery times.
The size of storage containers you will need is directly dependent on your storage capacity and consumption rate. Choosing the right size of container based on these measurements will ensure that your oil is kept in best condition, as a drum that is too small or too large could lead to contamination.
For example, if you have a big consumption rate, you may find installing a large bulk storage tank beneficial, whereas if you consume lubricant at a slower rate, smaller drums or even a rack mounted storage system may serve you better.
In either case, we would suggest that you filter the oil to weed out any possible contaminants before you fill your tanks, drums, etc. with new oil, thus ensuring that they are clean and fit for purpose.