Lubrication woes

25 April 2008

Without a Proper Lubrication Program, Contractors Run the Risk of Lost revenue through downtime, repair, and damaged equipment, in addition to poor reliability and high - energy consumption due to friction, noise and vibration.

According to Phil Grellier, global solutions development manager at Dow Corning Molykote, to maintain peak production efficiency, contractors should be informed about machinery lubrication, implement an oil analysis program and find a qualified lubricant specialist. “Lubrication products and techniques are changing constantly,” said Mr Grellier, “Therefore knowledge about your lubrication system can help prevent costly downtime and repairs.”

Mr Grellier told CE this knowledge should cover the fundamentals of friction and the basics of lubricant selection, storage, handling and dispensing at the very least. A more in-depth knowledge would cover oil analysis, contamination monitoring and control, and wear debris monitoring and analysis.

An oil analysis program is essential to extending the working life of lubricants, said Mr Grellier. “The program should track critical wear-related characteristics of oil in service by comparing the results with previous reports and noting the trends. This will help identify contamination, lubricant degradation, abnormal machine wear, and problems with sampling. It can also transform a lubrication program from time-based to condition-based, eliminating unnecessary changes.”

Lastly, said Mr Grellier, a lubricant supplier should provide the training and tools needed to properly maintain a contractor's equipment. This should include a comprehensive suite of services to facilitate lubrication management. “If your supplier does not offer seminars in machinery lubrication or an effective oil analysis program, find one that does,” said Mr Grellier.

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