Industrial system lubrication is a crucial practice for enhancing a plant’s reliability, reducing downtime, and increasing the machines’ lifespan. It is also an important part of enhancing profitability. Despite the known benefits of industrial lubrication, the process is often overlooked in many plants. This is one of the causes of regular breakdowns. In this post, we take a closer look at industrial systems lubrication management.

What is Lubrication Management?

Though lubrication largely focuses on using the right greases and oils, the focus has shifted to crafting effective programs. Lubrication programs take a holistic approach to lubrication. This implies that lubricants are not simply consumables, but assets that need to be carefully nurtured. This nurturing includes the following components

  • Lube standards.
  • Lube storage and handling.
  • Oil sampling tactics.
  • Lubricant analysis.
  • Disposal guidelines.
  • Continuous improvements.

All the above components have to be looked at holistically with the goal of progressively improving the performance of the plant. Here is a closer look at how to implement a lubrication management program.

Plant Lubrication Survey

The starting point of any lubrication program is a plant audit that provides insights into and different areas that need lubrication. The lubrication needs should be rated on a scale of 1-10 in order to establish the urgency of every section. For example, if your industry is in the mining niche, areas of the plant that are exposed to dust or extensive movements require more lubrication. The lubrication should be done until the rating reaches level seven.

Oil Analysis

Oil analysis plays a critical role in lubrication management by providing early warnings of system failures. But this analysis is indeed more important than simply helping the machines to run smoothly. Whether done on-site or off-site, it can help to indicate the overall health of your system. For example, in an industry like mining, you can easily establish whether it is time for lubrication even if the time recommended by the manufacturer is still months away.

To run the oil analysis, you need to set performance indicators that can help to indicate cleanliness. This can be specific to a certain machine or industry-wide. The performance indicators can include some parameters such as composite moisture and wear rates.

Progressive Improvement

The ultimate goal of lubrication management is helping to maintain your plant in top condition all the time. To achieve this, lubrication management should be used together with other analytics and tools that indicate the health of your system. For example, you should use lubrication management together with vibration analysis to identify areas that need urgent repair or replacement.

The Final Take

Lubrication management is an important industrial system component that can be used to ensure your system operates smoothly with little or no downtime. Remember that you will need a team for maintenance to check issues as they emerge and follow the lubrication plan.

You want your system to run effectively? Make sure it is properly lubricated and maintained!