When working with any kind of heavy duty equipment, you can expect lubrication to be a primary part of machinery maintenance. In a previous blog, we discussed the importance of the 5 R’s of lubrication — the Right lubricant, in the Right quantity, at the Right time, in the Right place, with the Right method. But there is more to consider when it comes to planning your lubrication strategy. One of the most important questions you may need to answer before you go any further is whether you should use a manual or automatic lubrication method.
Choosing the Right Lubrication Approach
You want to avoid downtime on your machines as much as possible, so having a good lubrication system in place is vital. While there are advantages to having some points in your equipment manually lubricated, LH Travis generally advises automating as much of that process as possible. Your technicians likely have their hands full already, and manually adding grease or oil to every lubrication point every time it is needed can be a full-time job in itself.
Utilizing an automatic lubrication system wherever possible will save you time and money, as lubricant will be delivered in the right quantity to the right location at the right time without having to wait for a technician to do it. Not only will this cut back on your man-hours, but it also will help to extend the life of your equipment by preventing rapid deterioration of bearings or other key components.
Another benefit of using automated systems, such as the SKF lubrication systems, is the accuracy of application. If a particular bearing requires 2 grams of grease once each week, that would be equivalent to about 1.3 “strokes” of a standard grease gun. Since delivering 1.3 strokes of grease is rather difficult, 2 strokes would likely be used, resulting in wasted lubricant (and money) with every application.
When in Doubt, Consult the Experts at LH Travis
If you are ever uncertain about the best method or how often to apply lubrication to your equipment, feel free to reach out to us here at LH Travis for advice. We are always happy to help!