Case Study: Reservoir Management – Filter Savings and Improved Oil Cleanliness Levels

Paul Dufresne, Reliability Playbook


In most plants when it comes to lubrication management one of the most forgotten pieces of equipment is the oil reservoir. The oil reservoir or “lube oil tank” primary function is to provide oil to rotating pieces of equipment such as roller element bearings, gearboxes, etc. Some secondary functions of the oil reservoir are to provide settling time to allow contaminants such as water, heat, metal catalysts to separate out and fall to the bottom of the reservoir before being pump back through the filtration system and ultimately back through the equipment. This case study will detail the actions taken to improve the overall health of centralized lubrication systems through a proactive approach.

Topics covered in the case study will be:
Reservoir management
Reconditioning of in-situ lubricants
The process of cleaning bulk oil storage tanks and lines
Improved filtration practices
Improvement results


Paul Dufresne is a Reliability Advisor and Coach for Reliability Playbook. Paul has over 25 years of experience in the military and various industries with a primary focus on improving operations, maintenance, and reliability functions. Paul serves as chairman of the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Best Practices Committee. He is a member of the Society of Tribologist and Lubrication Engineers and the Industry Council for Machinery Lubrication. He holds credentials through STLE as Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS); through SMRP as Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) and Technician (CMRT); through the Association for Facilities Engineering as Certified Plant Maintenance Manager (CPMM); and through the Association of Asset Management Professionals as Certified Reliability Leader (CRL). Paul is certified in predictive maintenance technologies such as vibration analysis and thermography. He has written several articles and technical white papers, and is a frequent presenter at industry conferences. Paul is a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Central Florida.