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Ball bearings - lubrication-reliability

Lubrication Reliability

10 ways to improve your Lubrication Reliability Programme

Introduction to Lubrication Reliability

Lubricants like oils and greases and lubrication in general are often perceived as backseat products and activities, not needing any special care. But gradually companies are realising the massive savings in both time and money to proper lubricant storage.

The condition and cleanliness control of lubricants have a high impact on the condition of your machinery. In fact, increasing the cleanliness level of new oils by pre-filtration and proper storage in the best conditions can result in 2 to 10-times longer-lasting machine components (gearboxes, diesel engines, even hydraulic systems).  

The long way a finished lubricant has to go

Finished lubricants have come a long way. A lubricant starts as base oil refined from mineral crude or synthesised stocks. To create a proprietary product for delivery to the market, the base is blended with various additives.

Next step is the transfer into bulk containers to a market supplier, who will store the oil in own storage tanks. Thereafter the oil will be sold to the end-user; delivered in pre-packaged drums, pails, or transferred again into a bulk container.

At the end-user’s site, the lubricant will be stored and transferred into smaller drums used to fill machine reservoirs. 

EACH TIME A LUBRICANT IS STORED OR TRANSFERRED,

THE RISK OF CONTAMINATION IS HUGE !

Winnerwheel

The WinnerWheel

If you want to improve the performance and service life of your lubricants take a good look at your storage and handling procedures. They can have a significant impact on the success of your lubrication program.

Enluse developed the so called “LR WinnerWheel” programme – Lubrication Reliability Winner Wheel. For sure a winner when following the 10 steps to understand which critical areas require a focused effort. In other words: how we help keeping your oil clean from the moment it arrives and is stored at your facility, during transfer and handling, and while in-use on your equipment. 

10 ways to improve your Lubrication Reliability™ (LR) Program

Key factor of a World Class Maintenance Organisation is the Lubricant Management. While Lubrication has for long time been seen as “another-job-to-do”, today a modern Lubrication Reliability™ Program is the only answer. 

It has been said many times before: while the bearing is the heart of your (rotating) machine, the lubricant is considered as the blood. The health of your blood is as “life threatening” as the quality of the lubricant – whether oils or greases – are. Bad lubricant quality is extremely harmful for the reliability of machine components. Quality does not only relate to type or brand, but to many more intrinsic aspects we will discuss later. Of course it all starts with the correct machine – lubricant combination in the design stage, but this we will not address in this article. Lubricant quality in the Lubrication Reliability™ Programme is a matter of managing the selected lubricants in the best possible way bearing in mind the 6 “lubrication rights”.


The 6 Lubrication Rights

  • Right Type
  • Right Time
  • Right Quantity 
  • Right Place
  • Right Way 
  • Right Condition 

It has been proven many times by independent organisations that bad lubrication is responsible for over 60% of bearing / machine failures: here asset maintainers have sinned against one or more of the 6 Lubrication Rights. Turning the bad practices into a Lubrication Reliability™ attitude will have a direct impact on fundamental machine health. 


Aside from bearings, “Best Lube Practices” should be applied to gear technology, hydraulics or basically all lubrication related technologies. Time for a maintenance culture change with an important Return-On-Investment.

Six Lubrication Rights

Bearing failure

Bad lubrication is responsible for > 60% of bearing failure

The Silent Phase in bearing life time

Time to start Lubrication Reliability

In a bearing service life we have 3 phases: 


  • the Silent phase, 
  • Prediction phase and 
  • Breakdown phase.  


The initial silent phase is that part of the life time where wear and eventual damage can occur due to inadequate lubrication or contaminated lubricants (6Rs).


Or adversely, when lubrication is managed in the proper way, internal wear can be reduced significantly and bearing life maximised. It is during this phase that prevention is most effective.  

3 phases in bearing life

We call it “silent phase” because in the component life time no predictive techniques are able to capture any potential failures yet. At a certain moment in time – point of no return – initial wear or damage is detectable by predictive methods (vibration, temperature, oil analysis, visual inspections, ultrasonics) . 

It is now too late to maximise the bearing life and the life time is now set beyond return. 


During the  prediction phase it is only possible to monitor wear and damage by measuring abnormalties via - commonly called - Condition Monitoring (CM).   One can understand that CM is not changing the quality of lubrication but only measures its level.  

Eventually the CM techniques will detect that a failure will occur. If in time, repair or replacement can be planned and implemented. 


Conclusion 

It is imperative that Lubrication Reliability™ should be implemented at the start of the silent phase. 


10 ways to implement Lubrication Reliability™

Lubrication Reliability™ (LR) is a combination of managing best practices, tools and strategies. In order to understand and implement it in an efficient way, we will explain LR in 10 separate components.
Assessment
1. 

Assessment


Plan-Manage-Organise
2. 

Plan, Manage, Organise

Oil sight glass (3D BullsEye)
3. 

Identification and Inspection

Lustor on steel bund
4. 

Lube storage by cleanliness control

Oil dispensing is an art..?
5.

Oil dispensing is an Art..?

Grease Lubrication
6.

Grease Lubrication


Breather Z-series
7.

Contamination Control

FanPro - Fluid analysis program
8.

Measure Quality by oil analysis

Environmental control
9.

Environmental control

Feed the brain and train
10.

Feed the brain and train