Simple steps to increasing the reliability of your equipment

Lubrication is a lot more important than many companies think. If you are able to implement a decent lubrication strategy, there is little doubt that you will improve the state of your equipment and the efficiency of your plant.

Most plants will be able to take the following lubrication-based steps to improve efficiency, cut costs and extend the life of equipment:

Assessment

One of the simplest, and most important, things you can do is set up a system whereby you will regularly assess the state of your lubrication and equipment, in order to determine what you are doing well and what things could be improved upon, and then act upon this information.

Planning and organization

When it comes to lubrication, it is of vital importance that all of the right tasks are completed at the most optimal time, which is why you should plan which lubricants to use where and when, and stick to your schedule. There is software available that can help you with this.

Labelling

No plant which relies on oil lubrication should be working without a good labelling system. Having identification labels will ensure that the wrong lubricant is not added to a piece of equipment. This is especially important in plants that deal with food, where introducing a nonfood grade lubricant into the wrong place could prove disastrous.

Cleanliness

One of the biggest causes of wear and tear and machinery failure is oil contamination. No matter whether your oil is from Q8, Shell or Fuchs, it is not immune to contamination (although good brands will fare better) so you need to only use clean lubricants that have been stored in a proper environment free of contamination. You also need to regularly test the state of your oil and change it when signs of contamination appear.

Dispense in-plant

One of the ways that oil is commonly introduced to contaminants is through dirty and unkempt dispensing containers, which is why it us always a good idea to dispense oil in-plant, using clean, sealed containers.

Oil analysis

Of course, you can keep things running smoothly by sending samples of lubricant for oil analysis on a regular basis. It may take you time and incur some minor expenses, but it will keep you abreast of the state of your oil and allow you to take action before it is too late.