Planning an Oil Delivery System

When you’re planning an oil delivery system you are looking for the ideal lubrication system for your workshop, there are a host of design challenges to take into account.


A comprehensive fit-out of a lubrication delivery system for a workshop will incorporate oil and grease transfer pumps and guns, hose reels, metered and non-metered control valves, fluid dispensing products, evacuation products, in-line meters, automatic lubrication systems and oil boys. It’s a lot to consider.


Opting for the best quality lubrication equipment is a given, but how do you ensure your system delivers best practice for workplace health and safety (WHS), efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and minimising wastage?


This comprehensive checklist is designed to help you not only understand the issues around workshop lubrication systems, but to meet and exceed them.


Plan from the start for your required capacity


When planning around your workshop’s capacity, the key is to work ‘backwards’ from your required end flow rate to ensure your system has sufficient capacity.

So, if you’re looking for say five litres/minute from three points simultaneously on a winter’s morning, you’ll need to ensure your planned layout and pumps can deliver this volume, at that rate, in those conditions.

You should also consider the different types of oil you’ll be distributing.

The different viscosities may require allowances in the equipment, hosing, piping, and piping route selections, to give you the correct flow rate at the oil gun available in Australia.


Minimise frictional loss in the system


Though you might think that, by its very nature, distributing oil will mean minimal friction issues, the truth is far more complex.

In fact, it’s a crucial design factor – especially when you’re dealing with heavier oils such as diff or transmission oil.

It’s essential that as well as considering the factors imposed by local authorities, Australian Standards, and oil companies, your new system’s dynamics and fluid mechanics should take into account:


  • Piping pressure rating;
  • Thermal protection;
  • Average temperatures;
  • Minimum temperatures;
  • Route length and total friction loss;
  • Volume and pressure at delivery point (note that excessive pressure is just as bad as too little fluid viscosity); and,
  • Typical dispensed volume for the reticulated fluid (certain fluids will typically be dispensed in much higher volumes than others, this is usually consistent across workshops).


Plan to meet a realistic load on the system


When you are thinking about flow rate, it’s important to not just take a single oil gun into account. During your busiest working hours, you’ll no doubt have two or four – or more – oil guns operating at once. So your lubrication system will need to deliver sufficient flow rate to cope with this demand.

The right engineering solution for a workshop can be determined by experienced workshop designers using a specialist calculator. They’ll determine the correct size pumps and pipes to deliver the required flow rate from each oil gun.

There are two key questions to answer for your business:

How many different oils are used?

What volume is dispensed at any one time?

For a dealership it’s a good idea to allow for a simultaneous dispense for 7 technicians off the same fluid.