8 Steps to Managing your Lubricants
Unfortunately, many businesses fail to realise the importance of lubrication management, potentially costing your business money in the long-run.
Whether you need to lubricate a tractor, a fleet of trucks or a door hinge, it’s essential that you use the right products in the right way, to avoid the costs of ineffective running, machinery breakdowns or even worse, complete failure.
As a UK leading lubricant supplier, we work with many businesses to help them avoid the above problems that can arise from sub-optimal lubricant performance.
The 8Rs to an effective lubrication programme
You invest a lot of money in your machinery and vehicles as they are what keep your business running smoothly. But the days of ‘one product fits all’ are long gone, and it can be tough to know what counts as good lubricant practise, such as using the right lubricant.
Whether it’s an off-the-shelf lube or a custom speciality blend, selecting the right lubricant is key in helping avoid wear and tear and achieving optimal lubricant performance for your equipment.
For every pound you save on buying low-cost lubricants, the regular and reactive maintenance costs almost outdo your initial savings every time.
To determine what lubricants your equipment needs, you can refer to the OEM manual. However, with old equipment, the manual may be outdated and there may be better-suited products now available.
Our technicians can advise you on the right product, from greases to engine oils and hydraulic oils to food-safe lubes. Read our Oil and Lubricants Guide for more information or alternatively, give us a call on 0330 123 1444.
We are also offering every business a Free Lubricant Check to ensure you’re using the right product for your application and can advise on how to consolidate your grades so you have fewer grades onsite.
To ensure you’re using the right product, you must use an OEM-approved lubricant supplier who offers the expertise, training and tools needed to properly maintain your production line.
A good supplier knows when to use which lubricants, extending equipment life and avoiding a stop in production. At Crown Oil, we offer specialist advice on all areas of lubrication.
It’s also important to ensure employees who apply lubricants are adequately trained as their expertise can greatly affect performance.
81% of UK manufacturers state that their company has suffered unplanned downtime due to a lack of proper lubricant management – Shell.
Even the best lubricant will fail to perform efficiently if not applied and managed properly.
From using oil cans to physically apply oil and rotating machinery at predetermined intervals, the right method can save your business substantial money.
The four most common methods include:
- Oil drip feed lubrication
- Grease lubrication
- Oil force-feed lubrication
- Oil splash lubrication
With lubricants, more is not necessarily better. Too much product can actually cause as much damage as using too little product.
The right quantity of lubricant is key in protecting moving parts effectively. This is particularly important for grease, as overpacking bearings can be just as detrimental as under greasing them.
Businesses must establish and monitor how much product is needed to reduce friction and provide protection from wear, corrosion and machinery breakdown.
Using the wrong oil is not uncommon, and unfortunately, the effects often go undetected until a problem occurs. Implementing an oil analysis programme ensures that any issues are detected early on, helping avoid equipment damage and excess repair or replacement costs.
Site-specific applications have their own requirements, so an oil or grease must be applied correctly to guarantee it reaches the right surface.
Regular oil changes ensure lubricants reach the surface at the right time, helping to avoid enhanced wear and tear.
Adopting a proactive approach with regular servicing is easier, cheaper and more convenient than fixing an issue after it’s gone wrong.
We can help you save both time and money by ensuring higher productivity, optimised processes and compliance with all legislation and quality standards.
Many lubricant users are unaware of the problems of improper lubricant storage and handling in terms of equipment unreliability and short lifecycles. Effective lubrication is not just about the right amount at the right time at the right place – you must also keep them clean and cool.
All lubricants must be stored and handled correctly to avoid contamination and preserve the key characteristics. Fluctuating temperatures can cause thermal siphoning, a reaction where air moves in and out of the container and atmosphere, degrading the stored product. Extreme hot or cold temperatures can also cause chemical degradation.
Top tips to store your oils and greases:
- Store in a cool, dry indoor area where airborne debris is at a minimum
- Shelter from environmental conditions that may degrade them
- Ensure containers are tightly covered
- Wipe off any dirt from container lids to avoid contamination when opening
- Ensure a safe distance from any sources of heat or steam
Lubricants are too often forgotten about. Regular analysis is key to spot signs of equipment wear, contamination and ensures the lubricant is fit for purpose. Regular oil changes are also important to remove combustion by-products and replenish any additives.
Taking time to routinely check your lubricants will ensure maximum return on your investment, helping avoid the significant costs and inconvenient of repairs and replacements.
Crown Oil offers support to customers as well as onsite surveys to help you identify areas for improvement. Give us a call on 0330 123 1444 to ensure your business is relying on quality lubricants, oils and greases.