In a competitive industry such as manufacturing, those running operations can always benefit from reduced running costs. While selecting high-quality oils and greases from leading oil suppliers can offer you lubrication options designed to last longer, there are still ways to conserve your stores and reap the benefits through significant savings. In the following sections, we’ll look at five key areas to consider.
Storage and organisation
Oil must always be stored correctly and organised efficiently using a dedicated labelling system. On large sites where a wide range of different equipment with its own specific lubrication needs is in use, poorly organised oils can lead to major problems. If a contaminated lubricant is used accidentally in a machine, or the wrong type of oil for a manufacturer’s specifications is used because it was not marked properly, this can lead to short and long-term equipment damage, along with what can often be costly repairs.
Colour-coding lubricants is the best way to recognise your stores at a glance, backed up with written labelling to counter any chance of colour-blindness, and this can significantly reduce any risk of using the incorrect lubricant onsite. Keep a chart that shows what colours indicate to ensure correct usage and easier identification for your maintenance staff.
Oil and grease filtration
Consistently filtering all oils in use for both water and particles is crucial to maintaining gear life in critical equipment. Filtering your lubricant effectively may enable you to use the greases and oils for far longer than you anticipated, and this can lead to massive annual savings for your operation.
Analysing oil is considered a best practice for most enterprises operating in the manufacturing sector. This is because it is a key process in the effective maintenance of production machinery and reducing grease and oil usage. Checking lubricant health is a way of assessing the difference between used and new oil, while examining its contamination can evaluate how clean it is.
To be of use, tests must be conducted consistently, and their results should be reacted to with the correct course of action.
An automated system for lubrication that can control how much of grease or oil is required at a lubrication point can be invaluable. Typically involving metering devices, a controller and a pump, and having been specifically engineered for equipment, an automated system can sidestep human errors and offer a more exact measure when it comes to lubricant usage.
Finally, tasking specific members of staff with monitoring and maintaining your lubrication levels can be key in taking control of how much lubrication you are using. Having trained staff members that are always on hand to fix system leaks, action the filtration of fluids on a daily basis, collect oil samples and analyse results will help you conserve your oil stores and will also ensure that your equipment is always running at optimum. This will not only reduce waste in your oil supply, but will also allow machinery to last longer, improve your operation’s productivity and limit system downtime and disruption due to maintenance issues.