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Work with lubricants? Did you know storage is this important?


You are a sales representative and sell lubricants? Or maybe you are a maintenance worker and you are responsible for filling up or topping off systems with lubricants? In both scenarios it is important to know how to work with lubricants.

Just like bearings, gears or valves, lubricants must be considered as working components in mechanical systems. Rymax supplies high quality lubricant by choosing the right additives, top quality base oils and proper blending. We make sure we pack our Rymax products in clean drums or firm small packages. It is our responsibility to deliver the goods in perfect condition at their end destination.

What happens next is up to you, but let us give you some tips for good stock keeping.

To maintain a safety stock that accounts for emergency refills and delivery delays could be very useful, but this results in a couple of logistics questions. Do you keep all the used products on stock? How much storage facility do you have? Try to ensure that a first-in/first-out (FIFO) inventory and usage system can easily be accommodated within your space limitations. Next to this it is important to see if your storage facility has the right conditions.

Temperature fluctuations, extreme temperatures and humid environments have been proven to affect a lubricant’s storage life.

Temperature fluctuations may cause movement of air between the atmosphere and the head-space of the container. Although you might think that a drum and small package is sealed and does not leak lubricant through the bung, a rigid container still inhales air when the temperature drops and exhales as the temperature rises. This process may lead to degradation of the base stock and additives. Also, water might condense within the package, drop to the bottom and eventually end up in the machine.

Extreme hot or cold environments can lead to chemical degradation. Rust inhibitors may suffer significant performance losses after only six months of normal storage.

When lubricants get exposed to humid air, they naturally absorb airborne moisture. This means direct degrading of the additives package and accelerates oxidation of the lubricant’s base stock once it is put into service.

The best way of stocking is inside. Drums and small packages should be stored in a clean and dry space where the temperature is moderate at all times. Bungs must be kept tight and drum covers should be used whenever drums are stored in the upright position (bungs at 3 and 9 o'clock positions). Ideally, lubricants are stored in the horizontal position on proper storage racks allowing the containers to be rotated and used on a first-in, first-out basis.

If lubricants must be stored outdoors because storage inside is not possible, make sure you only keep products on stock based on lubricants consumption. Also ensure that a first-in/first-out inventory is used. The Rymax drums should not be stored in bright sun, in the rain or snow. Lay the drums on their sides with the bungs in horizontal positions, so the tabs are covered up with lubricants. By storing this way there is no risk of the seals drying out. Special storage racks are available in various heights and width. Drums can be conveniently put in and out of these kind of racks, but maybe the most import attribute for storage outside is a roof. This way the products are kept dry and out of the sun.

In conclusion: Keep in mind that your lubricants need protected storage to maintain the best quality. To ensure suitable storage of lubricants, containers should be stored indoors in a dry location where temperatures remain moderate at all times.

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