It’s not realistic to assume that someone can remove all contaminants from their oil. Every step cleaner requires a greater maintenance cost, either with better equipment or more time and labor. So, before you start working in one direction, you need to establish the required cleanliness level (RCL) to optimize those costs.
The RCL is derived from a calculation involving several factors, including the machine’s components, operating conditions, and environmental influences, among others. For those unfamiliar with the ISO 4406 cleanliness code, the three range numbers, such as 15/13/10, correspond to the number of contaminants greater than 4, 6 and 14 microns, respectively.
The calculated sum of contributing factors is known as the total weight. These 6 factors include:
- Working Pressure and Duty Cycle
- Component Contaminant Sensitivity
- System Life Expectancy
- Total Cost of Component Replacement
- Cost of Downtime
Check out this Machinery Lubrication article and learn how to determine the RCL of your hydraulic system.