- Single-Point Lubricators
- Multi-Point Lubricators
- Industrial Fittings
For many industrial facilities, manual lubrication has been “good enough” for a century or more. But it really isn’t very efficient, and nowadays there’s no reason to settle for something that doesn’t consistently protect your expensive production machinery.
Manual lubrication is inefficient and ineffective in at least five critical ways:
Logistics of the Lube Cart: To manually lubricate machinery throughout a facility, the maintenance technician must load up a lubrication cart with grease guns and lubricants and then push it to each machine to apply the lubricant. In larger facilities with a lot of equipment, this may require multiple trips to the tool crib.
Time-Consuming Implementation: From a labor standpoint, manual lubrication is quite costly. It involves a lot of preparation work, including gathering equipment and tools, locking out machinery and removing machinery covers and panels to access the lubrication points.
Today’s machines, especially those with high-speed bearings, require more frequent lubrication to keep up with increased productivity demands. That means the tedious task of re-lubrication must be repeated more often, adding to the equipment’s maintenance cost.
Improper Lubrication: This is by far the biggest problem with manual lubrication. Under‑lubrication can cause a variety of problems, including:
Over-lubrication can cause just as many problems, including:
Risk of Blown Seals: A typical grease gun can dispense grease at 10,000 psi or more. This is more than enough pressure to rupture bearing seals if the technician is not careful. And in a motor application, for example, this can be disastrous if the grease is forced past the seal into the windings.
Exposure to Contaminants and Moisture: Industrial bearings can be placed in some really nasty environments. Even grease nipples that are properly capped between re-lubrication events are susceptible to contaminants from a dirty work area or from dirty hands or tools.
If care is not taken to ensure this nipple is clean prior to applying lubricant, contaminants such as dirt, sand, metal shavings, wood dust, and gravel can make their way into the lubrication stream. If this happens, not only is the lubricant effectiveness compromised, but the bearing itself is also in peril. This is a risk every time the bearing is manually lubricated. So, the more frequent the lubrication, the greater its vulnerability to contamination.
In addition, bearings that rely on the lubricant to act as a moisture barrier (such as those found in water treatment facilities or food processing plants) are more susceptible to corrosion if they are not adequately lubricated.
Looking for a better way?
If you’ve experienced any of these shortcomings, then you ought to consider a more productive, reliable and cost-effective alternative: automatic lubrication. We’ve created a helpful eGuide to help you understand its simple advantages and where you can utilize it in your facility.