Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Jan Feb 2013

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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AUTOMATIC LUBRICATION BY GUSTAVO SABOGAL , SKF Manual or Automatic Lubrication? How to Decide L Lubrication is an essential part of machinery maintenance for nearly every production facility. On average, lubricant purchases amount to only 3 percent of a maintenance budget, but lubrication-related activities can influence an estimated 40 percent of total maintenance costs. In order to achieve optimum reliability and maximum benefits from a lubrication program, several factors need to be taken into account. These factors are summarized by the well-known five "R"s of lubrication: • The right lubricant • In the right quantity • At the right time • At the right point • With the right method The starting point of an effective lubrication program is the detailed mapping of all lubrication points, including their working conditions, lubrication requirements and criticality. This information is needed to select the most suitable lubricant and the quantity of lubricant needed, as well as to calculate the adequate relubrication intervals. These are the first three "R"s. The fourth "R" refers to best practices, such as tagging and color-coding (or other methodology) of both lubrication points and tools in order to avoid cross-contamination. The fifth "R" can be defined once the application condi, y gy y tions, asset criticality and maintenance strategy are analyzed. Maintenance Costs Influenced by Lubrication-Related Activities Besides lubricant costs, half of acquired components require relubrication. Overtime labor is mostly a result of machine failures typically caused by inadequate lubrication. In addition, approximately 5 percent of labor costs can be attributed to lubrication activities. 32 January - F b J February 2013 | hi l bi i This will help you make the decision on whether to automate each lubrication point. In order to make that decision, the pros and cons of automatic lubrication should also be understood and considered. Once the five "R"s are defined, you can determine the best way to lubricate a component with the resources available. Criticality Analysis A thorough criticality analysis of each asset will illustrate the impact of a failure in terms of: • Overall production cost • Overall maintenance cost • Environmental impact • Health and safety of personnel The most critical assets are commonly the first targets of automatic lubrication. Maintenance Strategy The maturity level of a maintenance program (corrective, preventive, predictive, etc.) will dictate the skill and knowledge level required of personnel involved in lubrication-related activities. As the maturity of maintenance and associated lubrication programs increases, so does the complexity of tasks that lubrication technicians must be capable of completing. These include activities such as: • Lubricant analysis • Continuous adjustment of lubrication routes (relubrication intervals and consolidation of lubricants) • Contamination control and fluid reconditioning • Inspection routes Therefore, as more mature maintenance programs are adopted, the areas where skilled maintenance technicians can add value to your operations need to be carefully considered. For example, are they best utilized performing manual relubrication, which can easily be automated, or by using their skills and knowl-

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