Today's discussion is a general overview of the fundamentals of industrial lubrication. You know that the world rotates on lubricants, not literally but figuratively.
They're used in transportation, manufacturing, industrial machinery even equipment around your house from yourvehicle to your air conditioner.Almost any type of machine that moves uses lubricants. So we want to talk a little about what the lubricants do. Most people think it's pretty straightforward, but lubricants have several jobs in a piece of machinery.
Out of all the types of lubricants, two main classes of lubricants are used in industrial machinery.
1) Lubricating oils
2) Lubricating greases
So, Oil is mostly mineral or synthetic-based liquids, and grease is oil that has been mixed with a chemical soap agent to thicken it and make it a semi-solid lubricant.
Whichever lubricants you employ, Lubrication can directly influence the reliability of your plant equipment. If you've got a well-planned plan for Lubrication, you'll enhance your plant's and equipment's availability and reliability.For each plant's machinery, there is a range of essential steps that, when taken, will improve the efficiency of the equipment. Here we have mentioned ten lubrication best practices that help industries achieve optimal maintenance costs compared to product reliability.
So one thing I'd like to talk about is the most critical points in Lubrication that we want to call the 10 C's of Best Lubrication practices you should implement now.
First and foremost, lubricants of different types, manufacturers' weights, additive packages and so on should not be mixed. It is crucial to know that even when two substances are chemically compatible, however, the physical properties of the mix could be affected. The basis of additive chemistry is an exact balance of ingredients. When mixing lubricants, this balance can be altered. The most popular kind of compatibility test is the test of appearance. In these tests, the mix is put through a series of cooling and heating cycles before being visually examined. If the image following these temperature cycles remains clear and bright, both substances are seen as compatible.So, before doing any kind of lubricant mixing, anyone should perform the compatibility test or avoid mixing different types of lubricants. That is one of the essential points of best lubrication practices.
Cleanliness is also one of the important factors in terms of best lubrication practices. The contamination of oil is the primary cause of wear on components and equipment failure. This is why it is essential to use only clean lubricants utilized in repairing equipment. Cleanliness control centres ensure that the lubricant is stored safely and clean and transferred in a non-contamination environment.
The best practices for controlling cleanliness include:
Containment should be on the focus list when discussing best lubrication practices. Putting a lubricant where it needs to be and putting no more lubricant where it is not required for its function and the sealing systems. Most of us in the industry know what a blown bearing seal or shield looks like. Once you blow that seal or shield, it can't do its job anymore. A seal's job is to keep the lubricant in and the dirt out. You know we have to contain the lubricant to where it needs to be and include things that don't need to be in. There such as water or grease or dirt or stuff like that we've got to keep them separated.
The fourth C of best lubrication practices is controlling. Controlling the amount of lubricant one should apply in any particular application. Also, you need to know when the oil or grease needs to be changed or should always keep in mind the re-lubrication interval. We usually recommend you to go by the manufacturers' recommendations on changing lubricants. You may want to talk to the machinery manufacturer about using synthetic lubricants or doing anything that can give a long application lifespan and is better for the environment.
Filtering is also a critical aspect, especially in oil systems on large ones. Filters need to be of the correct size. Filters that are too fine will strip the additive packages, and too coarse filters won't filter anything. Lubricant sampling and testing is something you hear a lot about, and many companies do that to check the lubricant's life and can be used further or not. You can extend the life of the lubricant if you know what kind of contaminants are getting into it.
In the past, no recognition was given to those who had a lubrication-related education independently. It's not the case anymore. Organisations like the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) have a new mission to honour the most valuable individuals. The certification program has become extremely well-known and highlights the information required by those who make everyday lubrication decision-making. Certification exams are open to anyone with a minimum few years of experience.Also, you can go through the basic lubrication quiz to check your lubrication knowledge.
Goals of Lubrication Certification:
1) Minimizing the bearing failure.
2) Minimizing the gear failure
3) Minimizing the lubricants and lubrication process costing.
4) Minimize machinery downtime related to lubrication.
Now a days industry peoples believe that certified peoples are more capable of resolving any lubrication-related issue to reduce the machinery maintenance cost and increase the machine reliability.
Practices for the lubrication process don't change very quickly; however, the latest version is likely to appear frequently. Technological developments are more frequent than the practices, and they should be accompanied by regular training. Every trainee should try to return to their jobs with at the very least one practical idea that can justify the expense. This is a straightforward target to reach the goal of best lubrication practices.
As an example, in the old school method, we usually use sight glasses or oil globes to know how much lubricant is required in any particular application. Nowadays, many ultrasonic tools from different manufacturers can tell when it is enough. These tools are excellent to use as lubrication tools; when you know that the bearing gets enough grease, you don't need to keep greasing anymore.
As new equipment is introduced into an industrial facility and lubricants purchased and used, similar products with distinct brand names could likely make their way into the inventory. If you encourage employees to consider specifications for performance rather than the brand name, you can facilitate the consolidation of lubricants. Fewer products mean less confusion, fewer mistakes, and the possibility of lowering expenses through more significant purchases.
So, lubrication certification and continuing education help to consolidate the lubricants properly. So, all the points are interrelated. To achieve the best lubrication practices, you should follow all the steps mentioned in the article.
Lubricant losses are a significant expense in many industries. Losses of lubricant from machinery may be due to not correctly maintaining the equipment or not using proper lubricants as per the manufacturer's recommendation. Lubricant losses should be recorded in hours worked and not per the production unit.
In the industrial lubricants market, two types of synthetic oil are available and widely used by different industries. These synthetic lubricants are PAG-based and PAO-based.
For example, if one wants to change mineral lubricant to synthetic lubricants, it is necessary to check the equipment's oil seal quality first. PAO-based synthetic oils are compatible with most the oil seal rubber, but PAG-based synthetic oil is not compatible with many oil seal rubber. If one uses PAG oil in any equipment where oil seals are not compatible, oil seals will be damaged soon, and it will be tough to maintain the lubricant losses.
Every lubricant used should contain a safety information sheet, and the product Technical data sheet be accessible from every office computer within the facility. The same should be true for the performance of all the lubricants. Documenting these specifications and making them accessible to everyone will help maintenance workers concentrate on the specifications and not the brands.
The best lubrication experts always keep their fingers crossed in anticipation of issues. Condition monitoring lets you accomplish this. The most common technologies used in this field comprise Infrared thermography and ultrasonics, oil analysis, vibration analysis, and Acoustic emission. Many companies can hire external contractors to carry out specific tests while having their employees perform other tests. The field is expanding in the lubrication field, and these topics are more important if one wants to process the best lubrication practices in their plant premises.
Atlas Lab is an industry-leading testing Inspection Company duly accredited by NABL and certified by ISO 17025. They help in the analysis and condition monitoring of used lubricating oil. Anyone can get the below-mentioned benefits by using ATLAS Lab used oil monitoring services.
1) Stop costly abrasion and wear.
2) Spot coolants leaks
3) Detect and measure fuel dilution
4) Verify warranty problems.
5) Spot operator abuse
6) Spot oil degradation
7) Monitor the air filtration system.
8) Determining the best oil change interval
9) Extend equipment life
10) Stop progressive damage and breakdowns anymore.
So, we have understood that the most important and best lubrication practices you should implement now to increase the equipment life as well as to do a sustainable growth in your business.
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