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Fundamental of Lubrication

Role of Lubricants
Reasons for Equipment/Machine Failure
Benefits of Good Lubrication
Real cost of lubrication
The difference between Good Lubricants and Good Lubrications



Lubricants can be in fluid, grease and solid forms depend upon the requirement of the application.

Role of Lubricants

  • Reduce friction
  • Minimize wear
  • Heat Control
  • Control Contamination
  • Prevent Rust and Corrosion
  • Transfer of energy or power
  • Etc.

Reasons for Equipment/Machine Failure

There are many reasons for equipment/machine failure . These failures can be split into the following two specific categories.

   1. Failures that relate to maintenance

  • Poor lubrication practices
  • Faulty repairs
  • Slow response time
  • Lack of training
  • Ineffective PM
  • Inadequate Routine Maintenance

   2. Failures that relate to outside or other influences
  • Operator error
  • Improper setup
  • Improper application
  • Sabotage
  • Machine design
  • Poor material specification
  • Poor training
  • Poor environment
  • Poor housekeeping
It is generally accepted within the lubrication community that 60% of all mechanical failures relate to poor or improper lubriction practices.

And it is generally accepted within hydraulic system industry that more than 75% of hydraulic machine failures relate to contamination or poor lubrication practices.

The STLE (Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers) recognizes and states that approximately 50% of bearing failures are due to abrasion or , simply "lack of lubrication".

Benefits of Good Lubrication

Many government (U.S.A. , U.K.,Germany ,Canada ,Japan,etc )reports , Research Institutes & Universities reports, Original Equipment Manufacturers(OEMs) reports that support on lubrication. The potential savings through proper lubrication practices are clearly visible and workable.

Europe - England in 1966

The first tribology report called "Jost Report" funded by British Ministry of state for Education and Service . This was the first comprehensive study how friction, wear and lubrication directly and indirectly affected the country Gross National Product (GNP) in the area of industry,natural resources and agriculture. Jost Report estimates of the effect of improved tribology

Reduction in energy consumption through lower friction 7.5%
Saving in Lubricant costs 20%
Saving in maintenance repair and replacement costs 20%
Saving in consequential loss due to downtime depended on type of failure and type of industry Variable %
Savings in investment due to higher utilization ratios and greater machine efficiency 1%
Savings in investment through increased life 5% of new expenditure
Savings in power 0.13%

Estimated by the report that improvement in lubrication and maintenance in industry could save the British economy 500 billion pound sterling per year.

North America - U.S.A. in 1979

"6-7 % of the Gross National Product ($240 billions) is required just to repair the damage caused by mechanical wear "
Professor Enerst Rabinowicz (MIT)

Wear occurs as result of friction and lurication . And one-third of this expenditure was determined to be unnecessary.

Real cost of lubrication

Many maintenance profesionals have been understood the good lubrication is only to buy apply high quality lubricant for machine /equipment . In fact, there are many several factors which are related and associated lubrication, need to to be taken consideration. The real cost of lubrication will be divided into two imporatant categories:

  • Cost of lubricants
  • Purchase price of oils and greases
  • Cost of lubrications
  • Cost of select and using right lubricants
  • Cost of initial lubricants requirement
  • Cost of relubrication place ,amount and interval
  • Cost of maintenance and repair
  • Cost of downtime
  • Cost of environment
  • Etc.

The difference between Good Lubricants and Good Lubrications

Good Lubricants

Good lubricants or quality lubricants require only money to buy . It is purchasing function.

Good Lubrications

Require integration of knowledge, skill, managing, practicing, attitude and commitment of ensuring good lubrication. Good Lubrication, such as best fitting the type and quality of lubricants to the reliability machinery. Reduce and correction of abnormal condition, minimize failure. And keeping on improving good lubrication. This will lead to extend lubricants and machine lifetime. At present, more and more companies practice Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) , where, good lubrication is one of major fundamental requirement to be implemented.

Money cannot buy this Good Lubrication.

Learn more about Best Practice in Machinery Lubrication

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