Another important skill a data center maintenance worker needs is an understanding of the fundamentals of lubrication.
Although lubrication may seem simple, there is a good deal of skill behind knowing proper lubrication methods, quantities, and the difference between over and under lubrication.
And because under or over lubrication can cause serious problems such as bearing overheating, seal failure, introduction of contaminants into the bearing, motor overheating, and more, it’s essential to know the fundamentals of lubrication.
Also, it’s important to remember that sometimes you may think a problem is due to lubrication when it is actually due to an outside factor. This is why it is important to check for problems such as contamination, seal or shield failure, or bad bearings. Once you have eliminated these things, you can adjust your lubrication plan if needed.
Proper lubrication techniques can get lost in the busyness of the daily process of keeping the data center functioning. That is why we recommend utilizing any downtown you have to solidify (pun intended) your lubrication routine.
We are used to thinking of downtime as bad, and of course it does slow down productivity, but it can increase productivity in the long run if you know how to make the most of it, especially when it comes to lubrication.
Once you have done steps one through three, you may realize that the way you are currently carrying out a lubrication plan (or perhaps lack thereof) may need to be tweaked or scrapped altogether. Again, downtime is the optimal time to put your energy into solving this problem. Research the best lubrication methods and products and upgrade as needed. We highly recommend our Smart Machine Checker (SMC) to ensure proper lubrication of bearings. You can read more about how the SMC serves as a lubrication tool here.
Our next blog in this data center maintenance series will go over shaft alignment–we hope you’ll keep reading!
Photo courtesy: iStockphoto.com/Maria Teresa Tovar Romero