OIL RECOVERY SYSTEM ENABLES “OIL AS A SERVICE”
An oil recovery system that continually removes contamination, including nano-sized particles, from lubrication oil is enabling “oil as a service” to landside industry, with marine applications mulled for the future.
SKF RecondOil’s Double Separation Technology (DST) allows for a circular use of the oil, over a longer period of time. The scalable mechanical and chemical filtration systems can be integrated into existing applications or used stand-alone to regenerate a variety of different oils.
A Swedish steel maker has installed the system in-line in one of their production lines and moved from a 12-week oil change cycle to not having replaced the oil for nine years. That means nearly 40 oil changes have been avoided and the same oil is still being regenerated. The company has seen a significant increase in productivity and a reduction in downtime as a result of the super-clean oil.
The technology has also been proven at two different SKF production sites in Italy. In Airasca, SKF introduced the DST system to increase stability in the production of housed bearing units for the automotive industry. At the Cassino plant, which makes deep groove ball bearings for food processing applications, ongoing tests show the technology increases bearing performance in terms of noise and vibration, critical parameters in these applications. SKF expects less machine wear and increased uptime at each facility.
SKF claims that it can purify oil to higher levels of cleanliness than completely new oil. This includes reducing particles of less than 0.2 microns by as much as 99%. In some cases, the technology enables higher performance than off-the-shelf oil, making the output of production processes higher and more stable.
While DST will not be sold directly to customers, SKF will offer oil regeneration as a service, under a fee- and performance-based agreement. Under the performance-based contracts, customers are charged on their operational performance measured against pre-determined Key Performance Indicators such as productivity, down time and energy use.
SKF foresees that the new service will benefit customers by cutting oil-related costs and simplifying oil management. At the same time, it will lower the environmental impact and increase the performance of applications. Early stage life-cycle assessments conducted by SKF estimate that every tonne of reused oil can reduce CO2 emissions by up to three tonnes.
SKF anticipates the use of DST technology in the marine industry – initially it is likely to be adapted for hydraulic fluids used in the offshore industry, for example by pipelay vessels.
SKF acquired RecondOil Sweden in 2019. The Swedish start-up initially developed the chemical filtration technology and rejuvenation process for industrial lubrication fluid and slop oil. SKF says getting rid of particles smaller than a micron has been nearly impossible using conventional methods.
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