Power companies suffering from incorrect equipment lubrication

Incorrect lubrication is leading to unplanned downtime for many power companies according to a report commissioned by Shell Lubricants, which produces industrial lubricants like Shell Omala S2 G 320 and Shell Tellus S2 M 4.

This report, which was undertaken by research firm Edelman Intelligence, involved 212 interviews with power sector staff connected with the purchase or use of lubricants.

Power companies are under intense pressure to supply a reliable service, and unplanned downtime can carry a considerable cost. Of the companies studied—which were spread over Asia, Europe and the Americas—just over a quarter reported shutdown costs in excess of $250,000. Some 18% of companies even incurred costs of over $1m.

Despite these high costs, most companies (60%) were unaware that correct lubrication can have a measured effect on the reliability of equipment. Only 52% of companies expressed an understanding of how lubrication management affects maintenance costs, while just 43% said they had a complete set of correct procedures to manage lubricants effectively.

While most companies are aware of some potential benefits to ensuring correct lubrication, many seem to undervalue the cost savings that can be achieved. Speaking about the report, Marcelo Goldberg, Shell’s Global Sector Manager for Power, said:

“Companies do recognise the potential for savings, but underestimate the opportunity.”

A lack of employee expertise also seems to be a major hurdle, yet only 25% of the companies studied took advantage of regular visits from their lubricant suppliers.

Shell Lubricants has also published a whitepaper detailing the benefits of correctly selecting and, more importantly, maintaining correct lubrication.