One of the questions we are often asked in our capacity as lubricant experts is how often a survey needs to be undertaken at various plants. In this article, we will hopefully answer this question and shed some light on the process of having a lubricant survey at your business.
What is a lubricant survey?
For those of you who do not already know, a lubricant survey is a process that involves looking at the lubricants currently being used in a plant with a view to working out if they are the best possible fit for the equipment and the company.
Lubricant surveys can be, and often are, carried out by new lubricant suppliers, and although this kind of survey can yield some good results, too often the supplier is more concerned with getting companies to sign up for their new products than anything else. This means that a number of factors can be overlooked, resulting in a poorer choice of lubricant being used than should have been the case.
Quality lubricant survey
A high-quality lubricant survey is one that takes into account whether the correct lubricant specification has been picked based on the conditions in the environment where it will be used, and the manner in which equipment will be operated.
In order to do this, data must be collected for every machine’s operating conditions, as well as any environmental factors that could have an impact upon them. This information should be recorded and updated on a regular basis for best results, and although this is not an easy task to complete, it is vital because it can help to achieve an accurate lubricant survey across all areas of the plant. There are some software packages available that can help with keeping accurate records, so that it is not too much of a burden.
Now that you know what a lubricant survey involves, we can get to the matter of frequency. Ideally, we would say that you should aim to carry out a plantwide lubricant survey every 12-24 months minimum, providing that you have smooth running plant where there are not likely to be any equipment malfunctions. If you are experiencing issues, then you will need to carry out surveys more frequently to prevent any meltdowns that could cause you problems and losses amounting to a lot of money.