Proper lubrication delivers results

Posted By Paul Boughton

Across all industries, day after day, countless large and small cogs and wheels can be seen spinning; innumerable gears, bearings and compressors work incessantly in assembly belts, baking lines, escalators, in cars, in trains, and on offshore rigs, resulting in a continuous flow of production, transport and assembly. This constant requirement to keep things moving around the clock requires effective lubrication.

Often overlooked as a non-essential cost, the selection of the right lubricant for the right application can have a major impact on improved performance, increased efficiencies, reduced maintenance and lower costs.

Right application, right amount, right time

Choosing the right lubricant can be an especially tricky task, not only because industrial lubricants come in many varieties and formulations, but because many industries also have their own regulations and standards. For this reason many end users rely on their OEMs to determine the best lubricant, so it is important for OEMs to value lubricants as a machine element, much in the same way that they value the hardness of the gears, bearing selection, materials, and geometry.

Klüber Lubrication develops and manufactures specialty lubricants tailored to the requirements of industrial applications, with tribologists looking at the materials used in the components and the ambient working conditions such as very high or very low temperatures, pressure, rotational speed or moisture.

All of these factors come into play when selecting a lubricant and as manufacturers continue to push the limits of machine performance to increase productivity and reduce downtime for greater customer satisfaction, suppliers are called upon to offer increasingly creative solutions.

Pushing the limits

As manufacturers seek to cut energy costs, minimise friction and reduce CO2 emissions, the use of highly specialised lubrication options for a host of power transmission applications is paramount.

Yes, speciality lubricants are more expensive, but consider a synthetic gear oil, which offers more energy efficiency because they have better oxidation and thermal stability, which means the gear oil lasts much longer - one could expect to change a mineral oil every 5,000 hours, whereas PAOs or synthetic hydrocarbon oils can last approximately 15,000 hours before a change-out is required.

Although the savings provided by one gear box can be miniscule, when multiplied across a manufacturing plant with numerous industrial machines the cost is significant and can lead to a dramatic reduction in energy, thus making a higher performance lubricant that reduces friction resulting in less wear, delivers longer maintenance intervals and lower energy consumption the economic and ecological choice.

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