“We are currently implementing a plant-wide ‘equipment reliability’ initiative promoting a tangible increase in failure reduction, life-cycle improvement and asset availability. We employ many automated lubrication systems and would like some basic advice on how to improve and sustain their reliability.”
When set up and maintained correctly, an automated, centralized lubrication system is a very stable and reliable system. When system failures do occur, they are likely to result from maintenance neglect, abuse and poor set-up.
Cleanliness Is Godliness. Lube systems use fine-tolerance components in their pumps and metering valves, which are NOT dirt-tolerant. Thus, you should:
Don’t Mix and Match. Mixing lubricants can be detrimental to bearing life. To reduce such problems:
Tune Your System. If a lube system is using more or less lubricant than normal, or specific bearings show evidence of lubricant leakage or seem to be failing prematurely, your system is in need of a tune-up. Take the following steps:
Doing an occasional simple system review can ensure sustained reliability. MT