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Preserving Equipment in Storage

Reliable protection of equipment for long-term storage involves proper identification and usage of preservation lubricants. Below are steps to follow to keep machineries in their best possible condition while stored.

Identify type of seals in place

Machines using lip seals can be entirely filled with oil to cover all parts inside with a film. For equipment with labyrinth seals, only up to the bottom of the shaft should be filled with lubricant. This leaves a large volume of unsubmerged head space over the oil in some cases.
Ensure preservative fluid compatibility

There are several types of preservative fluids available in the market. In preserving equipment for long term storage, it is recommended to utilize the same lubricant the machine would use if it was operational. Even if the fluid will be drained from the machine before if operates again, incompatibility issues may arise between residual fluid and additives that may not have been completely flushed.
Flush machines after being stored for a duration of time

As best practice, all equipment stored for a period of time must be flushed. This process removes fluids and additives that may lead to incompatibility issues within the machine.
Ensure inclusion of a vapor-phase rust inhibitor

After deciding on the amount of oil the equipment must be stored with, a preservation additive known as a vapor-phase rust inhibitor must be secured and blended with the lubricant. As it evaporates, the rust inhibitor additives are enabled. These additives attach themselves to any equipment parts exposed above the oil level to protect the parts from rust in case moisture flow into the machine.
Rotate shafts and bearings once a month

Monthly rotating shafts can help circulate oil to all bearings and avoid corrosion as well as false brinelling. Visual inspection of an equipment’s insides during installation can also help in determining root causes of machine failure due to improper storage.
Use a mist system for constant purging of stored equipment

For critical machines, mist systems can be used for constant purging of the stored equipment. A mist system adds positive pressure to the machine, producing small oil droplets that essentially fog the unit’s inside components with additives, therefore keeping corrosion to a minimum. With the positive pressure, moisture and contaminants cannot enter the equipment through a breathing process.
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