Five secrets of a successful lubrication program

All plant workers known that lubricant is the lifeblood of equipment. This is why it is so important that excellent lubricant practices are put in place.

Figures show that approximately two thirds of all mechanical failures are caused by poor or incorrect lubrication practices, and this costs billions of pounds annually in terms of both lost production time and mechanical damage. This can be avoided if you follow these tips for your lubrication program:

A maintenance-centered philosophy

In any plant, it is vital that a philosophy that emphasises the importance of production, engineering and maintenance is fostered across the board from the CEO to the people on the factory floor. If everyone feels responsible for the maintenance and reliability of equipment, there is a much better chance that proper steps will be taken to look after machinery.

Lubricant selection

Lubricant selection is a vital part of maintaining a healthy machine, and the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is the first and best place to look when one needs to identify the lubricant selection requirements that will help one choose the right lubricant, whether than be from Fuchs, Shell or any other brand.

Storage and handling of lubricants

In-plant storage and handling is a vital cog in the wheel of the well-oiled machine that is a successful plant. However, many facilities are simply not aware that poor or incorrect lubricant storage can be dangerous at worse, and costly at best.

You see, correct lubrication is about much more than using the right amount of lube at the right time and in the right place; it is also about keeping your lubes clean, cool and correctly labelled. In order to do this, lube storage areas should be designed so that they are easy to navigate and hard to make a mistake when handling.

A quality control program should be implemented in order to monitor cleanliness and moisture levels of all lubricants, and to check the shelf life of any lubes before they are delivered.

Labelling

All lubricants should be clearly labelled with an easy to follow system such as one that is colour-coded, to ensure that mistakes are kept to a minimum.

The OEM Manual

Referring to the Original Equipment Manufacturer manual is something that should always be done before buying lubricants, maintaining lubricants, or adding lubricants to machinery. This will help to prevent contamination, machinery malfunctions and a whole host of other problems, so plants should always have their OEM manuals clearly displayed and easy to access at all times.