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Guideline for Lubricating oil control for ships machinery


Lubricating oil refers to a high boiling point product of the crude oil refining process and is used to lubricate machinery. Lubrication is essentially a process of minimizing friction and wear between moving metal parts by the formation of an oil film between them.

Onboard any merchant ship lube oils are essential elements for various running machinery from Main and Auxiliary engines to steering gears and shaft bearings. It is, therefore, critical during a lube oil bunkering some careful attention be made to ensure proper quality and quantity. The following consideration should be taken into account to determine supply volume of Lub oil :
Items to be confirmed before supply

The Chief Engineer should confirm the followings before loading:
  1. Type and volume shall be confirmed by the receipt the oil supplier brings.
  2. The followings shall be confirmed by the engineer in charge: Communication means between the vessel and barge (Audio transmitting and receiving means, such as use of intrinsically safe transceivers), communication means in an emergency, and emergency shutdown procedures.
  3. If different types of LO are transferred through the same pipe line, the loading order shall be discussed and confirmed with the supplier. In this case, the following order shall have priority:

Matters that require attention during loading

The Chief Engineer should carry out the LO supply work with the following items kept in mind . (Caution to be given to Bunkering operation)
  1. The Chief Engineer should designate personnel who engage in the LO transfer work, and instruct a proper positioning of workers.
  2. The Chief Engineer shall prepare a diagram related to LO supply to put it during the work near the hose connection and to other places as required. Location of valves and vent pipes shall be shown in this diagram.
  3. Closure of deck scuppers and watchkeeping on deck shall be carried out without fail during the supply.

Supply Record: The Chief Engineer shall enter the time, type, and volume of the oil supply into the Engine Logbook after the completion of the work, and also make record in the Oil Record Book according to the Procedures for Oil Record Book Entry,

Miscellaneous oil (LO for auxiliary machinery, in pail or drum): The Chief Engineer shall order the supply of miscellaneous oils at the same opportunity with the bulk supply of LO or the loading of ships stores to save loading cost.

Report of receiving LO Supply: The Chief Engineer shall report to the Company without delay, when the supply of lubricants, including miscellaneous oil, is completed.

LO Control onboard the vessel: Analysis Standard of LO Sample

The Chief Engineer shall submit the sample according to the standard with the following matters kept in mind:
  1. The samples shall be put in an envelope or box used exclusively by the oil company and directly sent to the oil company. It shall not be delivered to the barge. If via the agent, immediate dispatch shall be requested (Postage shall be borne by the Company).
  2. The sample shall be collected at the same points every time (Select at the first time the best point where the sample representative of the condition of the LO can be collected), and let a considerable amount of sediment blow out to get the right sample.
  3. When a particular analysis or a special mention is required, the fact shall be stated not only on the LO Sample Particulars but also on the dispatch labels. Analysis intervals shall be whichever shorter of the running hours (hours of use of oil) and a calendar day. However, if anything abnormal is discovered, the sample shall be submitted at any time.
  4. An auxiliary machine that consumes little LO (50Lor under) shall be controlled by the vessel side. If an analysis is required, the LO Sample Particulars into which the reason has been entered for submittal. The Technical Superintendent of each ship shall notify without delay the results of the analysis sent to the Company by telex or facsimile by the oil company and his necessary comments, to the Chief Engineer of the vessel by e-mail or facsimile.

A process of blending and adding additives such as oxidation inhibitors, dispersants, and detergents is required in a lubricating oil plant.

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