IMIESA – October 2015
In addition to keeping equipment in optimal shape, some modern-day lubricants also ensure lower energy consumption, faster clean-up, and less hazardous waste.
When a piece of heavy Industrial equipment fails, the cost Is usually far greater than merely replacing the damaged parts, states Filter Focus. 'The danger to workers and the downtime that the failure may bring can be crippling. Often, a machine breaks down from something as simple as a lack of lubrication, or use of a product not best suited to the equipment."
Lubricants perform many essential functions within machinery. lncluding: cooling, transferring power, reducing friction, preventing wear and tear, and minimising deposits and contaminants. "With additive technology becoming more and more sophisticated, understanding the lubricant you're investing in has become more important for operational staff and engineers," they assert.
Preventing the wear on parts
While wear is inevitable with any machinery and components do indeed break down, using siperior lubricants designed specifically for the equioment in use and the job at hand can slow this down. According to Filter Focus, the visual inspection of components coupled with planned maintenance and a log of when a machine's parts were last lubricated is the key to keeping costs down and efficiency up.
'As a wear control specialist, Filter Focus' involvement in implimenting comprehensive lubrication and filtration programmes at sites in a number of industries has resulted in massive cost savings, as well as major reductions in energy and oil consumption, and less machine failures," Filter Focus says.
Filter Focus points out that contaminated lubricants dramatically reduce the life of lubrication system components. "What is little understood is that all lubricants are contaminated - it is just the levels of contamination that differ, and this is no different with brand-new, unused oils. The role of lubricants in contamination management is critical, as abrasive dust and wear particles constantly build up in the machinery, regardless of the preventative measures taken. This highlights the need for effective lubricants and micro-fine bypass filtration as an essential part of the maintenance programme."
Scoring and pitting of metal components in high-stress parts of industrial equipment increases the risk of operational failure and downtime, and Filter Focus indicates that a high-performance lubricant can help 'heal' the gear surface.
Lower energy consumption
Filter Focus mentions several cases where energy usage of large mill motors at industrial plants was measured prior to and after conversion by the company. "The savings in electrical consumptions were significant.
"When you consider that the annual electrical bill for open-gear applications is one of the largest operating costs for industrial plants, the temperature reductions we achieved during the conversion process - a decrease of 15oC - is incredible. Lower operating conditions point towards reduced friction and better usage of available electricity. Essentially, we provide the customer with the ability to do more with less, driving towards improved plant efficiencies."
A recent project has seen Filter Focus provide Sasol Synfuels with a production increase of 18%, while also reducing operating and lubrication costs. Filter Focus states that it is about time that customers start implimenting proven technologies and eliminating wasteful, outdated practices.
With the enhancements in lubricants performing a variety of functions per piece of equipment and project. Filter Focus stresses that it's vital that customers know exactly what they're buying and what each lubricant brings to their bottom line. "Most importantly, Filter Focus provides a faster, safer clean-up process, higher production, and lower energy consumption, while producing less hazardous waste. These are vital aspects of environmental responsibility and compliance, he concludes.