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Single-point lubricators help to extend breakdown-free periods

Home Manufacturing & Processing Food & Beverage Single-point lubricators help to extend breakdown-free periods

AFTER a food manufacturing plant suffered frequent breakdowns of its electrical motors, Lubrication Engineers (LE) South Africa recommended the use of single-point lubricators to automate the accurate dispensing of lubrication to all the bearings around the plant.

As a result of the automated lubricators being installed, over five years later the client hasn’t had a single mechanical breakdown.

Before the single-point system was installed, each of the 150 lubrication points at the facility had to be manually lubricated. This was an enormous task for the maintenance team and many of the lubrication points were located in hard-to-reach places.

The magnitude of the work and the accessibility challenges inevitably led to some bearings being over-lubricated or under-lubricated, resulting in misalignment, trapped dirt forming grooves in the bearing components, metal fatigue or localised rapid wear.

The technical sales representative from LE South Africa. Sam Kekana, who worked on the switchover to single-point lubricators with the client, says that in addition to the cost benefits, the overall performance of equipment has improved. “The benefits of single-point lubrication definitely justify the investment,” he adds.

LE’s team has been working with this client for over a decade and identified the single-point lubrication option as an important solution for its needs because single-point lubricators are versatile and can be used on almost every application imaginable.

Extending bearing life

Managing the switchover was a large undertaking, and the LE team had to set up each lubricator according to the different bearings’ specifications. Once this is done, however, the lubricant is dispensed at the appropriate intervals and quantities for each bearing. This means that the client’s maintenance team’s time is no longer dominated by having to manage lubrication schedules and bearings are automatically lubricated according to their required levels so they can perform well.

The automated dispensing of the lubricant also means that the bearings don’t have to be stopped to be lubricated and maintenance takes place while they continue running, which helps the plant run optimally and saves the client from losing money through downtime. The lubricators are battery-operated, so they are not affected by power outages, which is important in light of South Africa’s current energy crisis.

The single-point lubricators LE installed at the facility dispense LE’s Almagard Vari-Purpose Lubricant, which is an extremely tacky product that is recommended for extended service applications. It is a long-lasting product that helps to eliminate bearing failures, can extend bearing life spans and does not harden with age.

LE South Africa also supplies this client with oil-site glasses and lubrication containers, which are useful for lubrication monitoring and safe storage, and this also reduces the risk of contamination. These are particularly important concerns for this client as they deal with the food industry.

The long-term relationship LE South Africa has had with this client, and the proven track record of success with LE’s products and tools like the single-point lubricators, have saved the client time, money and helped its operations function well.

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