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ISO 9001:14001


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03 تشرين2

تعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجوم

For food and beverage producers, pharmaceuticals manufacturers, and producers of containers used to package food-related products, there’s no more important lubrication issue than the use of what is typically referred to as “food-grade lubricants”.


In the United States, lubricants intended for use in food production are registered with the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) as either H1, H2, or H3, depending on the intended application and formulation. Registration is voluntary and simply requires a review of the product ingredients with a list of compounds known to be “safe” for incidental food contact at low levels.


Of the three, H1 is by far the most important classification and is typically referred to as a lubricant designated for “incidental food contact”. This relates to applications where it is possible for the lubricant to touch the product (food, beverage, pharmaceutical, etc.) in low concentrations due to leakage or over-lubrication.


Recently, a new terminology has entered the vernacular of food-grade lubricants: ISO 21469 certification. ISO 21469 is not a new standard; in fact, it came into effect in February 2006. Like many voluntary standards, it has taken a while for mainstream adoption.


However, a number of major suppliers of food-grade lubricants recently have been successful in obtaining ISO 21469 certification, which is why the timing for an article such as this is now appropriate.

What ISO 21469 Addresses

Like the pre-existing NSF H1, H2, and H3 designations, ISO 21469 is all about trying to ensure that consumers are protected from the deleterious effects of contaminating food and food-related products with the lubricant.


However, the first important distinction is that ISO 21469 only addresses products intended for “incidental contact” (so-called H1 products in the old terminology). It does not cover the NSF H3 category of lubricants where product contact is inevitable (e.g., a meat hook), nor does it address H2 lubricants.


Second, unlike the NSF H1 designation, which simply addresses the potential toxicological, carcinogenic, and mutagenic effects of the lubrication by comparing a list of the lubricant’s “ingredients” with a list of approved food-safe products (per 21.CFR 178.3570), ISO 21469 addresses the whole process of lubricant design, manufacturing, packaging, and transportation.


Key to achieving ISO 21469 certification is conducting a thorough “hygiene risk assessment” to address not just the chemical safety of the lubricant (non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, non-mutagenic) but also the potential for physical risk from the ingression of dirt, dust or metals, or biological risk due to the formation of pathogens or other biologically active agents from long-term storage, spoilage, etc.

Steps to Certification

Achieving ISO 21469 certification is a six-step process.

Step 1 is simply an administrative step whereby the manufacturer submits details such as product name, manufacturing locations, container size, shelf life, etc., along with the completed risk assessment documents.


Step 2 requires a review by the assessing body (e.g., NSF) of product details, including a list of ingredients (e.g., additives), their suppliers, and the acceptable range of those ingredients in the finished product. Products are classified based on related product families (e.g., anti-wear fluid, gear oil, etc.).


Grouping products into classes based on their chemical constituents helps to reduce the amount of compliance testing required as part of obtaining and maintaining ISO 21469 certification. Just like the H1 classification, ingredients must come from the list of known food-safe products according to an appropriate listing such as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation 21.CFR 178.3570.


Step 3 is an onsite audit of the lubricant manufacturing facility to look at recordkeeping, quality control policies and procedures, overall “good manufacturing processes” (GMP), and to allow for representative product samples to be collected. As part of the onsite audit, the manufacturer’s hygiene risk assessment protocol is reviewed and verified. The onsite audit is conducted by a qualified representative of the assessing body such as NSF.


Step 4 requires that a representative baseline be established using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis. Samples are taken from different manufacturing batches as well as any repackaged products to verify that the supplier has appropriate control over the manufacturing process.


Sample baselines are used to compare with future samples to ensure continued quality control compliance and formulation stability.

Step 5 allows for the issuance of accrediting certification. In the U.S., certification is provided through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) based on the findings of the assessing body such as NSF. A list of certified suppliers and products can be found online at http://www.nsf.org/Certified/iso_21469.

In order for a manufacturer to retain ISO 21469 certification, it is required to update its risk assessment policy. Each facility also is subjected to an annual unannounced audit, at which time product samples are collected that must match the product baselines established during the initial certification process (Step 6).

The Bottom Line Since ISO 21469 is a voluntary standard, it is not required that a manufacturer of food-grade lubricants goes through this process; in fact, many have yet to do so. NSF continues to provide the conventional H1, H2, and H3 designations for food-grade lubricants; and indeed, both ISO 21469 certification and H1 registration can be held by the same lubricant.


So, what’s the benefit of ISO 21469? Both the NSF H1 and ISO 21469 designations help to ensure that the ingredients in any lubricant are “safe” in the event of incidental food contact. But with ISO 21469, there’s an added layer of oversight that looks not just at the makeup of a given product but the manufacturing process and level of quality control applied to the formulation, manufacturing, distribution and storage of the lubricants.


Because of this, it’s likely that manufacturers of food-grade lubricants will continue to strive to attain ISO 21469 certification as an added measure of comfort to both the end-users of food-grade lubricants and, most importantly, to all of us as consumers!

13 تشرين1

تعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجوم

When comparing multiple products these days, you might read about the different ways in which they might affect the environment. Many companies are even highlighting through their advertisements that their products are green or eco-friendly. Terms such as Vegan certified, biodegradability, Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EAL), or Environmentally Friendly Lubricants (EFL) might be used to describe a lubricant’s effect on the environment. When reading about terms like these, you might wonder; are they all referring to the same thing, or do they each have their own meaning? Plainly, they are distinct, and each term has a specific definition. To get a better perspective on the meaning of the above-mentioned terms, we will examine the standards that must be met for lubricants in regards to aquatic environments . Since extreme care must be taken when using lubricants over water.

Vegan Society Trademark Standards


 For a lubricant to be Vegan certified, there has to be no animal derivatives, no genetically modified organisms involved in the manufacturing process, and no animal testing on products or ingredients. Besides, the vegan materials are to be prepared separately away from their counterpart non vegan products for food producers.

Vessel General Permit


The Vessel General Permit (VGP) is a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit that authorizes, on a nationwide basis, discharges incidental to the normal operation of non-military and non-recreational vessels greater than or equal to 79 feet in length. This permit covers 26 distinct types of discharges that could potentially pose a threat to the aquatic ecosystem. The VGP includes a set criterion that lubricants must meet to help reduce this threat. I don’t want to get too far into the weeds on this permit, but it does go into detail about describing the above-mentioned terms and how they relate to lubricants. 

Environmentally Acceptable lubricants & Environmentally Friendly lubricants


In the VGP, EALs are described as lubricants that have been shown to meet standards for biodegradability, toxicity, and bioaccumulation potential that minimize the adverse consequences they are likely to have on the aquatic environment compared to normal lubricants. While EFLs are often defined as lubricants that may be expected to have desirable environmental qualities, they have not been proven to meet these standards. In short, EALs are lubricants that have passed the test to establish that they meet certain defined requirements while EFLs are lubricants that might have some good environmental qualities but may or may not meet the standard. Now that we know the difference between EALs and EFLs, let’s examine some of the standards that must be met to qualify a lubricant as an EAL.


To lower the threat in an aquatic environment, the chemical compound the lubricant started out as must be able to be broken down. Biodegradability is the measure of this breakdown by microorganisms, and it plays a big part in EALs. There are two types of biodegradation: Primary and Ultimate. Primary biodegradation is breaking off a piece of the chemical compound’s make-up. When this happens, the chemical compound can no longer perform the function it was created to do. Ultimate biodegradation is the complete breakdown of a chemical compound into carbon dioxide, water, and mineral salts. Primary and Ultimate biodegradation together can be classified as the physical breakdown of the lubricant. The method in which the breakdown occurs is classified as Inherent biodegradation and is determined by the compound’s ability to break down in any number of biodegradability tests. In addition, a lubricant is said to be Readily biodegradable where a part of the compound is biodegradable within a specific time using a specific test method. To be classified as an EAL, a lubricant must contain a certain percentage of readily biodegradable material.


Due to the potential for harm to plants and wildlife in the water, an EAL must have low toxicity. There are a few distinct types of aquatic toxicity tests that can be performed, some are done to determine the lubricant’s toxicity to fish while others are used for plants. These tests range in length from 48 -96 hours Rather than a passing or failing grade, the results of the test are typically displayed as either high or low toxicity. If we were going to look at toxicity levels of different lubricating base oils from high to low it would be as follows; mineral oils, Polyalkylene Glycols (PAG), synthetic esters, and vegetable oils.

Bioaccumulation is the gradual accumulation of substances like a lubricant’s constituent chemicals in an organism. In EALs it is desirable to have an extremely low bioaccumulation potential, as this will enable the lubricant’s compounds to break down at a faster rate. Compounds like mineral oils that have a higher potential for bioaccumulation can cause more harm. Because they don’t readily break down, the compounds in these lubricants stack up over time and create a cumulative threat to the environment. Also, worth noting is that water solubility and bioaccumulation are inversely related; if the water solubility of a lubricant is high the rate of bioaccumulation will be low.


While the use of lubricants on vessels is unavoidable, the VGP helps reduce the negative effects that can be posed to the aquatic environment. By examining the chemical makeup of the allowable lubricants and identifying a set of standards that these lubricants must meet, their potential for harm has been lowered. The VGP was created to help govern vessels over water, but it also serves as a good reference point to learn more about EALs in general. 



02 أيلول

تعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجوم

One of the greatest opportunities our technical engineers have is the chance to walk through various plants around the country. They visited power plants, food-processing plants, refineries, manufacturing facilities and a long list of others.

During these trips and audits, they have discovered several recurring lubrication issues that seem to be widespread throughout the industry. The following is a list of the most common problems and how they should be resolved.

1. Lack of Procedures:

Great lubrication programs are only as good as the people who do the work. However, the retirement of technicians has been the problem of greatest concern.

As a lot of people are reaching retirement age and subsequently retiring, they are taking with them a great deal of personal experience and knowledge of how they do their jobs.

Documented procedures can lessen the blow and help new personnel understand the proper way a task should be performed.

You want to write a procedure not only for the application of lubricants (oil changes, re-greasing, etc.) but also for how lubricants are handled in storage, decontaminated upon arrival and even disposed of after use.

Procedures should be developed with best practices in mind. For example, new oil should be sampled upon delivery to confirm its properties and tested for contaminants. If necessary, the new oil should be decontaminated before being released for service or put into bulk storage containers. In other words, you must design procedures in a manner that enables the lubrication program to reach a world-class level.

2. Improper Sampling Points and Hardware:

If used correctly, oil analysis can be an extremely valuable tool. It allows you to monitor not only the health of the oil but also the health of the machine, as well as catch failures before they become catastrophic. In order to obtain all the benefits of oil analysis, you first must have the correct sample points and hardware.

All machines to be included in the oil analysis program should be evaluated for the proper sampling hardware. Splash-bathed components such as bearings and gearboxes can be equipped with minimized sampling valves with pilot tube extensions.

Circulating systems should be examined for the best possible sampling points as well. These systems typically require several points.

3. Over greasing

Most plants I visit do not recognize that grease guns are precision instruments. They also fail to see the problems that can be caused by the misuse of grease guns.

Just like many other people, I was taught to grease a bearing by simply attaching the grease gun and working the lever until grease was seen purging from somewhere.

While this may be effective for hinge pins and other applications where purging grease won’t cause damage, it shouldn’t be employed for all grease applications.

Over greasing is a very common problem and can result in higher operating temperatures, premature bearing failure and an increased risk of contaminant ingression.

Bearings require a set volume of grease to be properly lubricated. A popular formula used to determine the volume of grease needed is the outside diameter (in inches) multiplied by the width (in inches) multiplied by 0.114.

This will provide the volume of grease in ounces that the bearing requires. Make your life easier and use our handy calculator for determining bearing grease volume and frequency.

Once you have calculated the volume of grease for the bearing, you need to know how much grease the grease gun is dispelling per stroke. To do this, simply pump 10 shots of grease onto a plate and weigh it on a digital scale. Next, divide the weight of the grease by 10.

This will give you the amount per stroke of output. Remember, certain grease guns can produce pressures up to 15,000 psi and can cause numerous problems if not properly managed.

While calculating the re grease requirements for all bearings onsite and determining the output of grease guns are a great place to start, there are other concerns that must be addressed as well. For instance, the output of grease can vary between guns.

The best way to counteract this problem is to standardize with a single type of grease gun so the output will be similar for each one. Grease guns should also be dedicated to a single type of grease and checked at least once a year.

4. Lack of a Labeling System:

Labeling is a key part of any world-class lube program. Not only does it reduce the chance for cross-contamination by minimizing confusion as to which lubricants go where, it also allows individuals who may not be as familiar with the lube program to top-up with the correct oil or grease.

Of course, labels can be used for more than just identifying lubricants. On a recent project, the lube labels were barcoded to allow all assets in the plant to be integrated into the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) for automatic work-order generation.

The best label design incorporates a color/shape scheme for each lubricant used. This offers a quick visual reference as to which lubricant is inside the machine.

ROCOL has developed the Lubricant Identification System (LIS), which includes all basic information for a machine type such as base oil, application and viscosity. As mentioned previously, once a labeling system has been established, the labels should be applied to all lubricant storage containers and application devices.

5. Use of OEM Breathers and Dust Caps:

Most original equipment manufacturer (OEM) accessories like breathers do little to restrict the ingression of tiny particles into oil and critical spaces, which can damage machine surfaces. Some of these breathers are simply a cap filled with steel wool or a mesh screen that serves as a block for larger particles.

Considering the lubricant film in a journal bearing is approximately 5 to 10 microns, any particles of this size contaminating the oil will greatly increase the likelihood of wear and subsequent machine failure.

These tolerance-sized particles do the greatest damage and have the highest probability of causing machine wear.

Not only do many OEM breathers allow particles into the oil, they also do nothing to restrict moisture from entering the oil. Oil is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from the ambient air. In areas with high humidity or steam, moisture will pass through these types of breathers and be absorbed into the oil, causing rust, increased oxidation and hydrolysis rates, and a higher corrosive potential of acids formed by oxidation and hydrolysis.

OEM breathers should be replaced with higher quality versions to restrict particulate and moisture ingression. With several breather manufacturers on the market, the key is to get the breather that is right for your particular environment and operating conditions. In very dry environments, a spin-on particulate filter may work fine provided that ambient humidity is low. In more moist environments, a hybrid-style breather may be the best choice.

This type of breather employs a particulate filter to trap hard particles followed by a desiccating phase to strip moisture from the incoming air. All of these breathers can be threaded into the current breather port for quick and easy installation.

20 تشرين1

تعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجومتعطيل النجوم

When most people think about safety, they usually consider their personal responsibility for staying safe. At any plant I visit, safety typically is among the first topics discussed, and it’s almost always targeted toward what individual actions must be performed.

This includes which personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear, what areas to avoid, which sirens or alarms to be aware of, what the fire or severe weather plan is and other related items. Many sites even have employees and contractors wear a visible sticker or badge that shows a proper safety briefing has been completed.

However, when it comes to the specific tasks associated with a lubrication program, the general safety training and knowledge in most plants is insufficient. Safety should be the top priority on a jobsite, and the lubrication program’s design should be part of this safety prioritization.

When establishing a culture of safety around your lube program, there are six main elements to consider: general safety, training, storage, handling, worksite monitoring and disposal.

General Safety

Work within the existing safety programs at your site. Take advantage of the rules and regulations currently being enforced and decide how they apply to lubrication practices. Your company has already committed to employee safety and well-being, and determining how your actions fit into these existing practices will go a long way toward your success.

For example, many oil sampling or fill points can be in hard-to-reach locations. Guidelines likely are in place for how to properly gain access to those spots, such as fall protection for working aloft or how to position a ladder to reach over a run of piping. Incorporate the current safety framework at your jobsite, from PPE to cleanliness and anything else the health, safety and environment (HSE) team has set in place to ensure overall company safety.

You should also work with your HSE team to contribute lubrication knowledge to existing safety standards. Help them identify hazards and assess risks in specific lubrication matters.

Lubrication is used to help equipment move, and by definition, moving equipment is dangerous. Perform a comprehensive survey to examine hazards in the workplace, such as the work area layout, as well as activity hazards like the specific machinery being used and environmental hazards like combustible dust. Create written procedures for lubrication activities in the same way you would for other maintenance or HSE-related work.


Train on safety regularly. Along with incorporating current HSE practices into your lubrication program, you also should train all personnel in the particulars of lubrication safety. For many, this will just be general awareness training and can be added to the annual queue of refresher training that the HSE team rotates through, similar to confined space or hearing conservation. 

For those who are more actively involved in performing lubrication actions, a more robust safety training will be needed. Specific knowledge of the location and identification of lubricants using the safety data sheet (SDS) program will be vital. Consider including hands-on training sessions for sampling and drain/fill evolutions.

 Some good rules of thumb for when to provide training would be for first-hire employees (general safety and job specific as needed), when an employee is changing positions or responsibilities to include more lubrication, or when a change or implementation in processes is being made, such as a new lubrication type being added, a new piece of lubrication equipment being used, or some other hazard or condition being introduced. Refresher training should also be offered based on the company or group need or by regulation (at least annually).


As the old adage states, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Properly storing and containing oils and greases will go a long way toward making your lubrication program safe. There is no single right way to store lubricants safely, but there are many wrong practices for managing lubricant storage. Common factors that contribute to stored lubricants being unsafe are as simple as weather exposure or storing lubricants in high-traffic areas. Precipitation and direct sunlight can corrode barrels and other metal connections. Corrosion may result in leaks or escaping fumes from barrels or other storage totes.

Exposure to the environment can also damage the lubricants. Damaged oil being pumped through your systems can lead to earlier machine failure and possibly catastrophic failure, which is far more alarming for most workers than spotting a sheen of oil heading to the environmental drains.

Design your lubricant storage to help prevent spills or leaks by keeping lubricants inside and away from high-traffic areas or pipes that are known to leak or vent, such as steam traps. Store tools and smaller lubricants like greases in specially designed lockers to prevent fire or contamination. Additional ventilation or atmospheric monitoring may be needed to meet air-quality regulations.

Follow all guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concerning the storage of lubricants, including oil breaks, approved drains, stacking and positioning of containers, and fire suppression or ventilation systems. Work closely with your HSE team to ensure any changes to your lubrication program take these regulations into account.

In the illustration above, you can see many of these safe practices at work. The lights and electrical are rated as explosion-proof, a ventilation system has been installed in the ceiling, a fire-suppression system is employed, the floor is sealed to prevent seepage from leaks into the ground, and there’s a proper waste-disposal receptacle for rags and other rubbish.


While many lubricants are nontoxic, some may contain a trace mineral or ingredient that can cause a reaction or injury if mishandled. Read the SDS for the lubricant in question and keep copies readily available for workers who use the area.

Some common lubricant classification types are listed above with approximate toxicity concerns. Additionally, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has classified all lubricants into one of five groups with specific warnings. Group I lubricants have been identified as having sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity to humans.

The carcinogenetic component is called a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), also referred to as an aromatic. If your facility handles Group I lubricants, be sure to take extra precautions, such as large placards or other warning signs to keep unknowledgeable team members away.

Similarly, Group II lubricants have been identified as having possible carcinogenicity to animals. While not as dangerous as Group I, these lubricants require the same types of precautions and warnings. Group III and IV lubricants have been treated in such a way as to remove most aromatic compounds, but some components may still be of concern.

Lastly, Group V lubricants are chemically engineered esters, polyglycols and silicone based. In this group, attention should be paid to any phosphate esters, as these compounds have the most potential to harm humans. Allergic reactions are also common for triphenyl-​phosphate compounds.

Keep the appropriate PPE nearby, such as gloves, goggles, face shields or other safety gear. Practices that help to prevent spills, leaks or overuse should be employed, such as using a metered filter cart with quick disconnects for transferring or filling oils from storage. When sampling, use a pressure reducer if the oil is normally more than 100 pounds per square inch gauge (psig).

Greases have a few unique handling precautions as well. These lubricants tend to settle in the tube when stored at lower temperatures and may need to be warmed before applying. Grease shouldn’t be manually warmed above 75 degrees F and should never be warmed with any sort of flame. Also, never hold a grease gun coupler with your hand during application, and consider using grease guns with an installed pressure relief or avoiding pneumatic types for high-risk situations.

Worksite Monitoring

After any lubrication activity, such as draining, change outs or filling, always recheck the worksite and equipment. Look for leaks or spills. It’s possible a seal or cap wasn’t properly reinstalled. Dust or debris may have settled on a small spot that wasn’t noticeable during the maintenance task and now presents a potential hazard.

You may wish to schedule monitored lubrication evolutions. Observe how the lubrication activity is planned and carried out by the maintenance or operations personnel who deal with it each day. This allows for process improvement and helps shore up weak areas of safety training and practices.

Include the lubricant storage area as part of any group cleaning of the plant to encourage personnel to become familiar with the equipment as well as how tools and lubricants should be used and stored. This not only serves to keep the area safe because equipment is properly maintained, but also ensures safety for other concerns like slips and trips.


Used lubricants that are awaiting disposal are just as important to store properly as new oil, if not more so. Used oil may have contaminants or expired additives and present different chemical properties than new oil. Used lubricants often are mixed and may have different flash points than the base oil. Store used oil in a separate area from new oil and follow local HSE rules for combining different types of discarded oil or other products, such as oily rags.

For used filters, the best practice is to separate the metal portion for recycling, compress the media to remove the oil and dispose of the oil in a used-oil container. This reduces the fire risk from discarding the entire filter in the trash. Dispose of greasy or oily rags in proper disposal cans and don’t allow them to accumulate or become a hazard. When cleaning equipment, use approved solvents or soaps and ensure any runoff goes to an approved environmental drain.

In short, store your lubricants correctly, handle them well, dispose of them properly, double-check your jobsite, follow all site-specific safety guidelines, and train to the standard by which you want the program to live. In most companies and worksites, safety is priority one. Performing lubrication tasks should be no different. Deliberately adopt a safety-first mindset to plan, execute and evaluate all the lubrication efforts at your plant.

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