It is often misunderstood that bearings should be lubricated like bushings. Many people think that if a little lubricant is good, a ton must be better. It may be surprising to know that over-lubing a bearing is as bad as under-lubing. These kinds of lubrication and maintenance practices are being eradicated as their ineffectiveness become common knowledge. However, many traditional practices such as over-lubing continue to exist in many industrial environments.
Oil is often changed in mills, plants, factories and production facilities. Have we ever thought about changing the lubrication culture? When it comes to improving operational efficiency and reliability, many companies start focusing on their machines and overlook the importance of well-thought-out lubrication programs and best practices. You should focus on improving lubrication culture by developing a better understanding of various lubrication-related issues.
In the millwright culture, it is inherent to see grease oozing out of bearings. Consider a situation where an oiler is pushing 30 pumps into a bearing even if grease started spewing out after the first pump. Over lubrication is a common practice and it is normal to see puddles of grease. Regular bearing failures were associated with a lack of lubrication. In most cases, bearing failure does not happen due to lack of lubrication but it is a result of over lubrication.
More advanced predictive maintenance programs clean up this practice. Here are some lubrication practices for improved equipment reliability:
It is essential that all of the lubrication tasks in plants are carried out at the right time with the right lubricant and the right quantity using the right procedure and equipment. It is also important to assess things you do right and areas where you can improve.
2. Labeling system
It is important to have a labeling system in place to make sure that the appropriate lubricant is applied to a piece of equipment. In large production plants, multiple types of lubricants are used. We know that lubricants are complex chemical compositions and how destructive it could be to use incompatible lubricants or mix them up.
3. Contamination control
Oil contamination is one of the causes of equipment wear and failure. It is absolutely vital to use clean oil in the equipment operation. Use of high-quality oil storage systems ensures that the lubricant is properly stored in a contamination-free environment.
One of the sources of contamination entering machines is dirty dispensing containers. Dispensing equipment must be closed, clean, and safe. Controlling oil contamination inside the equipment, therefore, is critical.
It is not an easy job to implement reliability-based strategies which remain successful for a long period of time. Effective implementation of best lubrication practices requires the existing culture within a facility to be changed.
How we can help
Micro Lube is a state-of-the-art solutions company offering a broad range of industrial lubrication and filtration products and services in Canada. We are ready to help you implement the right lubrication strategies. Schedule an on-site inspection of your equipment and filters!