Use of non-oem lubricant and replacement parts results in frequent downtime, increased maintenance costs, inefficient operation, compromised performance; puts equipment at risk for catastrophic failure.
The non-specified lubricant used by the customer featured inferior physical properties and thermal stability, which led to mechanical heat evacuation difficulties in the bearing/shaft clearances. The lubricant’s substandard mechanical load-carrying capacity resulted in oil film rupture and metal-to-metal contact,bearing and shaft surface damages, and ultimately total breakdown of the equipment. Unwanted chemical additive molecules being secreted from the fluid caused build-up of debris and bearing clearance reduction, as well as premature sealing damages. The non-OEM lubricant’s shorter service life resulted in more frequent downtime of the equipment and increased maintenance costs. The lesser-quality product also led to insufficient functioning of the lubricant in the bearing and shaft system, deterioration of performance due to increased friction, oil film rupture and the potential for catastrophic failure.
The third-party maintenance crew used non-stainless steel rivets on the outer sheets of the coolers. With the rivets in contact with the cooling water, corrosion developed, leading to rivet failure and the opening of the outer sheet joint surface. As a result, improper flow of the cooling water compromised heat exchanger performance, compressor stage inlet temperatures increased, and the overall compressor efficiency was negatively impacted.
The non-OEM specified sealing material between the gear casing face and cover face was incompatible with the lubricant causing the sealing material to dissolve, chemical erosion and hardening. The drastically reduced functionality of the sealing material led to fluid leaks, causing a decreased oil pressure in the oil gallery.
ELIMINATING RISKS WITH INGERSOLL RAND LUBRICANTS AND PARTS
An Ingersoll Rand service technician explained the importance of using OEM lubricants and parts to the customer. Lubricant design and selection is completely managed via Ingersoll Rand’s quality procedures and fully complies with a set of requirements imposed by the equipment. Co-designed with the lubricant manufacturer, the product quality has been validated through rigorous and extensive lab testing, as well as field endurance testing, under extreme conditions. No other commercially available lubricant has the same mechanical, chemical and thermal properties.
The original compressor design also offers an optimized clearance value between bearing pad and shaft surface, and in combination with the selection of the optimal OEM specific lubricant provides a well-engineered balance between load-carrying capacity and heat loss evacuation behavior. The OEM stainless steel rivets do not corrode, eliminating rivet failure and improper flow of cooling water, while improving heat exchanger performance and compressor efficiency
The breakdown caused by use of non-OEM parts and lack of expert knowledge resulted in downtime of approximately three months, while scheduled maintenance and service by an Ingersoll Rand expert would have resulted in total downtime of only three to four weeks. The customer has engaged in a thorough root cause analysis to evaluate its operational issues and is currently in discussions with Ingersoll Rand regarding implementation of a maintenance agreement.