Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication September-October 2022

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 29 of 44 | September - October 2022 | 27 ML ML ML tional losses, wear and temperature increases. Factors include the viscosity of the lubricant at operating temperature when compared to the required viscosity of the component; NLGI grade of greases to help minimize churning losses; viscosity index of the lubricant to maintain suitable film size at all in-service temperatures; fric- tion modifier additive packages to minimize losses during start-up conditions. Lubricant selection can be a challenge for some equip- ment subjected to frequent operational changes and wide changing environmental conditions such as temperature swings. In addition to selecting the proper lubricant, we must also ensure that we are operating the machine at the appropriate lubricant level. is is most critical in splash-lubricated or bath-lubricated machines, and doesn't just apply to under-lubri- cation. An excessive amount of lubricant inside the housing can create a condition of parasitic drag that will greatly increase the workload of the driving component, leading to increased heat and energy consumption. Machines are designed to move through the lubricant at a certain level; variations in that level can impact the lubricant film being generated. We have to be able to splash or lift the appro- priate volume at operating speeds. is is true for grease-lubricated components as well. It is common to see greased bearing overfilled with grease purging out of the seal. is puts a drag on the system and should be avoided. Keeping lubricant volumes at the right level is just as much about inspection as it is application methods. We need to be able to add lubricants slowly so as not to bog down the system. is is most critical in greasing and ties to the previously mentioned condition of housings being over filled. Grease should be added slowly while the machine is in motion. is helps distribute the fresh grease while pushing the old grease out of the way. If grease is added quickly, the component operates in an over-pressured condition, leading to increased energy consumption. With oils, we must maintain the proper oil level in all environments, so being able to top-up or purge based upon any fluctuations is important. Equipment Life Extension One way to impact total life cycle cost is to keep equipment running at an acceptable level for longer. If we can reduce the failure rate, we can expect the machine to be able to perform longer with fewer issues. is is very much the root of proactive maintenance. To make this happen, we have to focus on the root cause of equipment failure. Oftentimes, contamination is one of the leading causes of equipment failure, and this serves as one of the most common places to start in terms of equipment configuration to enhance reliability. Contamination control has two sides: exclusion and removal. Excluding contaminants means keeping them out before they can impact the equipment; removal is getting them out once they find their way in. Ideally, the asset will be modified to assist in both of these areas, and our maintenance practices will be changed to help maintain the cleanliness that the machine requires. It is Maintainability Simply putting items on equipment in the hopes that they will improve reliability is not enough; we should also look to add accessories that aid in the maintainability of the equip- ment. Many of these modifications can be done quickly and are low-cost as well. The goal is to make the machine easier to inspect, work on and maintain with minimal disruption to operation. Some quick items that can help with this are: • Sight Glasses — Mark them for the correct oil level in operation and when turned off. This allows most people to inspect them and know what the normal level should be. • Quick Connects — Alternate male/ female or size of fittings to help minimize the risk of connecting filter carts backward. Color-coded options are also available to help with cross-contamination of different fluids. • Grease Line Extensions — For hard-to-reach places or equipment that isn't safe to be near during operation. We can extend grease lines to make the application of grease easier and safer while the equipment is running. • View Ports/Expanded Metal — Having a way to physically see the equipment or even inside the equipment during operation helps diagnose issues. Replace solid metal guarding/sheeting with expanded metal so we can have line-of-sight with the components. • Magnetic Plugs — These give us a crude sense of advanced wear inside the machine. Check during oil changes for any presence of ferrous debris. By making even minor improvements in equipment configura- tion, you can yield significant savings and ensure a more reliable operation in your facility.

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