We Need to do Better
One of the easiest ways to save your company money is to use the right lubricant and to use it properly. This can help reduce operating costs, reduce maintenance costs and/or reduce energy costs. In addition, they can be both environmental and safety advantages.
This field got a big boost with the 1966 Lubrication : (Tribology); education and research; report on the present position and industry's needs (submitted to the Department of education and science by the Lubrication engineering and research) Working Group. This is often called the Jost Report after the Chair, Prof. Peter Jost. The cost of friction, wear and corrosion to the UK economy was estimated to be 1.1-1.4% of GDP. Similar studies in Canada, the US and other countries found similar results.
What does this mean for you? Examples of the problems are that 90% of rolling element bearings do not reach their design life. With most failures because of lubrication, installation and maintenance. Generally, such things can be easily corrected but a learning, productive working environment is key.
With hydraulics the leading causes of equipment issues are said to be contamination. This can be water, dirt, and/or wear.
In addition, better lubricants that last longer are usually readily available as are lubricants with less change with temperature. This can mean better morning or winter starts with less wasted fuel, time and damage. In addition, synthetic lubricants can provide huge saving in worm gears with paybacks of a few months.
If so simple, why is more not being done? It is usually because management has not set up a
learning and improvement based business culture that also considers life cycling costing. The cheapest product is seldom the most cost effective.
Learn, ask, improve and see the rewards.
The following might be helpful and many suppliers also have very good information on their websites. It is for info only and has not been reviewed for accuracy or does this constitute any particular recommendation or action.
Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers Park Ridge, IL
Motor Oil Approvals and Classifications
Petroleum Quality Institute of America – re: Oils that failed
American Petroleum Institute – re: What the starburst means