Machine lubrication is of utmost importance if you're looking to achieve world-class machinery reliability. However, most people are under the impression that lubrication only makes the machine parts 'slippery', so they easily move and perform their function. In reality, lubricants play a much more significant role in machinery longevity and their optimal performance.
The right lubricant for your equipment will perform the following tasks;
- Reduce wear and tear of moving parts
- Reduce friction between rotating parts and stationary ones
- Help dissipate heat and reduce operating temperatures
- Help machines absorb shock
- Minimize corrosion
- Keep contaminants at bay
- Seal and protect the components, and much more
This blog examines how one can achieve effective machine lubrication and select the correct lubricant for its equipment by following its three fundamental "rights."
The first step in achieving effective machine lubrication is to select the right type of lubricant for your equipment. For this, you can refer to your Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) manual and see what type of lubricant the manufacturer has recommended. If the equipment is old, then its manual may be outdated. In this case, contact your lubricant supplier and ask for their recommendation.
The two major classes of lubricants from which you can select are oil and grease. The right type of lubricant selection will depend on the particular application the equipment performs and its operating conditions.
Selecting A Grease-Based Lubricant
Grease is usually used in the lubrication of small bearings. Use grease if you need your lubricant to perform the following functions;
- Reduce machine leakage and decrease drips and splatters
- Access hard-to-reach points, where oil circulation is impossible
- Seal out contaminants such as water, dirt, and corrosion
- Lubricate seal for life applications
- Operate in extreme conditions
- Reduce application noise
- Lubricate machines that are operated occasionally
Selecting Oil-Based Lubricant
As a general rule of thumb, use oil-based lubricant wherever possible because it is easy to cool and filter out. This is not possible in applications that use grease.
Most large machines utilize oil-based lubricants, and their right selection is crucial to their reliability. The two major factors that determine the choice of oil-lubricants are;
- The correct viscosity
- The proper additives composition in the formulation
Once you have decided the kind of lubricant you want for your equipment, it's now time to shift your focus to its quality. Selecting a high-quality lubricant is crucial to meet OEM specifications and reduce the chances of machine failure. A high-quality lubricant benefits a company in the following ways;
- Enhances fuel economy
- Lowers emissions
- Decreases the chances of machine wear and tear
- Provides longevity to the machines
- Optimizes and increases oil change intervals
Here is how you can select the best quality lubricant for your machines;
- Utilize specification tests to compare lubricants
- Use oil analysis to determine if the supplier is meeting the minimum requirements
- Determine the selected lubricants water content and viscosity
- Don't use price as the basis of your selection
- Select the best and most renowned lubricant supplier in the market
Micro-lube offers premium industrial-grade lubricant throughout Edmonton. Visit our website to learn more about us and our services.
Optimizing lubrication intervals is very important to achieve effective machine lubrication. Both over-greasing and under-greasing can be equally destructive and damaging. So, how often should you lubricate your equipment?
For this, you need to consider several factors, including temperature, speed, and application load. Generally, if all other factors are made constant, then the re-greasing or re-lubricating frequency will depend on the bearings type. However, to determine the best change frequency for similar equipment under similar conditions, statistically assess your oils condition through oil analysis tests.