Six Signs of a Successful Acoustic Lubrication Programme

Acoustic Lubrication is just one of the 8 application pillars adopted by world-class ultrasound programmes. And what an important one it is. 

Six Signs of a Successful Acoustic Lubrication Programme

Poor lubrication practices account for as much as 40% of all premature bearing failures. When ultrasound is utilized to assess lubrication needs and schedule grease replenishment intervals that number drops below 10%. What would 30% fewer bearing-related failures mean for your organization?

Keep up with the changes in on-condition bearing lubrication or risk falling behind. For example, technology advancements from ultrasonic innovator SDT are transforming the way we look at the grease replenishment task. SDT’s LUBExpert, an ultrasound solution that helps grease bearings correctly, simplifies a complex process into a simple, 2-step procedure. 

A successfully implemented world class, acoustic lubrication programme delivers many wins for your company. Reduced maintenance costs as well as other savings on grease consumption and less unplanned downtime are two big doors that open other possibilities for factory maintenance teams. Another win will be factory-wide efficiency. Properly maintained and lubricated bearings run more efficiently, using less energy and lowering their environmental impact.

With so much innovation available, the question begs, is your lubrication programme world-class? Here are six signs to help you decide.

 

Six Signs your lubrication programme is on track

 

1. A change in the quantity of grease consumed

Maintenance departments should track grease consumption to monitor and control costs. Root Cause Analysis on failed bearings points to over-greasing as the leading contributor. Bad procedures lead to bearings routinely receiving more grease than they are designed to handle. The excess ends up being pushed into the motor casing or purged onto the floor. Reduction in grease consumption is a sure sign that your lubrication programme is on the right track.

Over lubrication happens when grease replenishment intervals are scheduled based on time instead of condition. Control lubrication tasks with ultrasound to monitor condition and maintain optimal friction. The time between greasing intervals increases, resulting in less grease used per bearing.

Over-greased machines are not only more susceptible to fail, but run less efficiently. Optimally greased bearings draw far less energy and contribute to a greener factory. That alone should be motivation enough to Grease Bearings Right. 

 

2. Fewer lube-related failures

Your organization should track failures and perform root cause analysis to eliminate sources of defects.

Optimized greasing programmes experience fewer lube-related failures. Less fixing and fire-fighting translates to more creative time for maintenance. Use that time to bring more machines into the greasing programme.

Additionally, with ultrasound you find many non-trendable defects. For example, broken or blocked grease pipes and incorrectly fitted grease paths that prevent grease from reaching the bearing.

 

LUBExpert_flyer03

Maintenance departments should track grease consumption to monitor and control costs.

3. Optimized MRO spares management

Your new and improved lubrication programme is delivering wins; better control of grease consumption, fewer failures, and more productivity for maintenance. Use this time to study trends and better manage your storeroom.

A decrease in bearing-related failures improves spares optimization. Share your ultrasonic lubrication data with your MRO Stores manager to create a plan to reduce the number of emergency parts on hand.

Since you are taking stock, why not shift some burden to your suppliers? Ask them to confirm your emergency parts against their own stock. If it can be supplied on the same day then why keep it on your balance sheet?

 

4. Increased number of machines monitored

One benefit of an effective lubrication programme is time.

- Time allotted to monitoring machines instead of fixing them. 

- Time allotted to correctly assessing the real needs for lubrication.

- Time to look at the big picture.

Take for instance, criticality assessment. Many lubrication programmes begin with small steps. All the “A” critical machines receive priority, rightly so. But what about the rest? With more time to plan, organize, and schedule, increase the number of machines acoustically monitored for optimal lubrication.

 

5. Save time. Combine acoustic lubrication and condition monitoring

You worked hard for these results. It is time to use your data for more than just lubrication.

Acoustic lubrication is the proven method to ensure precise bearing lubrication. New technology from SDT, LUBExpert, combines the power of onboard lubrication guidance with Four Condition Indicators for bearing condition assessment.

The time savings from assessing bearing condition during the lubrication process is beyond valuable and another sign your acoustic lubrication programme is on the right track.

 

SDT_3

Machines that are properly lubricated require less energy to run.

6. Inspector Confidence at an All-Time High

Reliable machines are the product of an effective lubrication programme. You have:

- Managed grease consumption

- Fewer grease-related bearing failures

- Optimized MRO spares

- More machines under watch

- Increased data collection intervals

The power of adding ultrasound to your greasing programme delivers win after win for reliability. Reliability breeds confidence. More confident inspectors make better decisions and infect a positive culture throughout the organization.

Ultrasound-assisted lubrication of plant assets offers significant benefits that calendar based lubrication cannot. Lubrication serves a primary purpose, which is to create a thin layer of lubricant between rolling and sliding elements that reduces friction. So, it makes sense that the best way to determine the lubrication requirement of a machine is to monitor friction levels, not time in service.

Machines that are properly lubricated require less energy to run. Imagine that reducing grease consumption can lower your energy bills. Machines that consume less electricity run cooler and enjoy longer life cycles.

Finally, by monitoring the condition of your machinery’s lubrication, you are at the same time collecting valuable condition data about the machine itself. Dynamic and static ultrasound data coupled with the 4 condition indicators (RMS, Max RMS, Peak, and Crest Factor) are all indicators of bearing health. 

Optimizing lubrication of plant machinery with ultrasound results in a significant reduction in grease consumption. Successful ultrasound programmes accelerate the velocity of positive culture change.

Who knew so much good news could come from such a simple shift from calendar to condition-based maintenance?  

Allan-Rienstra

Allan Rienstra
Director of Business Development for SDT

Applications | 11.6.2018

Latest articles

Collaboration Between Gasum and Tampere Regional Solid Waste Management to Boost the Use of Biogas in Transport

Gasum and Tampere Regional Solid Waste Management have signed an agreement under which biogas produced at a new biogas plant constructed in Koukkujärvi, Nokia, Finland, will be sold to Gasum. The deal strengthens the use of biogas in transport and is a good example of regional circular economy.

HSE | 12.4.2019

Dispelling the Legends of Maintenance Management

There are many legends surrounding maintenance management in plants. Often, the legends aren’t true, but people live with them because it is simply convenient or so ingrained that they don’t even realize it’s a legend. Plants must break the legends that exist in their organizations to gain improvements in equipment reliability and maintenance management. Some of the legends will be addressed in this article. You might become uncomfortable when you realize some of the legends are embedded in your organization.

Asset Management | 27.3.2019

Implementing RCM? 5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid

If you are considering to employ  RCM analysis  at your facility, it means you have recognized the need for a change in your maintenance strategies. Reliability-centered maintenance is an excellent way to keep your plant or machinery up and running by helping you choose the optimal maintenance strategy for all of your important assets. 

Cmms | 19.3.2019

Wärtsilä successfully tests remote guidance service capabilities

Technology group Wärtsilä has successfully tested its remote guidance service, thereby creating an entirely new dimension in vessel repair and maintenance operations.

Applications | 15.3.2019

Save Energy in Steam and Condensate Systems

The oldest paper mill still operating in Germany detects defective steam traps with digital ultrasonic testing technology

Partner Articles | 15.3.2019

Time to Invest in Europe’s Water Infrastructure

THE WATER AND SANITATION sector is an important part of the European economy. It represents more than 500,000 people directly employed in water and sewerage companies, operating thousands of facilities and several million kilometres of networks.

Editorial | 14.3.2019

Digital Line of Sight

Will a Digital Twin Become a Key Element of Your Digitalization Strategy to Reduce Risk and Enable Operational Excellence?

R&D | 14.3.2019

Maintenance: A Necessary and Important Function in the Future

Euromaintenance 2016 will take place in Athens at the end of May. It is the ideal moment to reflect on maintenance in a European context. Euromaintenance is known as the summit for all involved in maintenance across Europe, it’s the place to be. The conference, with the support of the EFNMS, is the only commercially independent conference covering the topics we deal with in the maintenance world.

EFNMS | 20.5.2016