Optimizing the performance of business-critical equipment is important for enterprises of all sizes. However, not all maintenance managers understand the complexities of preserving machine health. It involves numerous factors, one of which is lubrication. A recent study reveals that 70% of machine failures result from surface degradation. The same study also suggests that 79% of surface degradation can be attributed to mechanical wear, which can be easily reduced by adequate lubrication.
What is machine lubrication?
Machine lubrication is a preventive maintenance technique that has been widely used across industries for years now. It involves applying a lubricant to equipment based on the specific application, operating conditions, and type of machine. The commonly used lubricants for machines include various types of oils and greases.
Timely lubrication of equipment can help maintenance managers not just reduce friction between moving parts of equipment, but also:
- Lower the machine’s operating temperature
- Reduce the rate of surface degradation
- Increase the life span of assets
- Prevent equipment failures
To understand the importance of lubrication, you must first be fully aware of the effect of friction on equipment. When two components rotate, move, or rub against each other, the friction between their contact surfaces produces heat, converting kinetic energy into thermal energy. This friction-induced heat negatively impacts hardware over time. Since most industrial machines operate continuously, they produce tremendous heat because of friction. Lubrication reduces the friction between moving machine parts, which in turn reduces the heat produced. It also brings the added advantage of ensuring the machine operations are smoother and less noisy.
Benefits of lubrication in maintenance
Lubrication is important for the longevity of industrial machines and not just a menial task that OEMs recommend. Here’s why:
Mitigates premature machine failure: Proper lubrication serves as a safeguard against the rapid deterioration of machine parts, enabling you to fully capitalize on the anticipated lifespan of your industrial assets.
Minimizes unscheduled equipment downtime: Well-timed lubrication enhances the performance of components and curtails the need for frequent hardware replacements, thus reducing unexpected operational halts.
Averts equipment damage due to overheating: Lubrication curbs friction, effectively minimizing heat generation and maintaining your assets at an optimal operational temperature.
Preserves component integrity: Lubrication proactively prevents unforeseen wear and tear of components by ensuring the seamless operation of hardware.
Attenuates vibrational impact: Through lubrication, the absorption of shocks and vibrations is heightened, enhancing safety measures, and safeguarding both machinery and its human operators.
Curbs corrosion: Lubrication acts as a barrier shielding metal components from rust by creating a protective layer, guaranteeing sufficient insulation against environmental elements.
Guards against contaminants and debris: Lubrication actively draws away contaminants from moving components, thwarting the erosive effects of generated debris and preserving the machinery's optimal functionality.
Managing lubrication with CMMS
Lubrication of industrial machinery is a complex task that requires expertise and experience. To eliminate the scope of human error, using Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) or Enterprise Asset Maintenance (EAM) solutions can help maintenance managers process data related to preventive maintenance and lubrication programs. CMMS plays a role in:
Asset tracking: Identifying equipment that needs lubrication by creating a unified database of lubricant-related specifications, equipment, and schedules.
Work orders and scheduling: Creating work orders for lubrication processes, including information on the needed lubricants, the frequency of their application, and the amount to be used.
Inventory management: Ensuring the availability of sufficient lubricant through automated alerts for inventory management and reordering.
Data analysis and reporting: Analyzing lubrication-related data, including lubricant performance, equipment reliability, and usage trends. Generating reports for identifying potential concerns, optimizing lubrication schedules, and improving overall equipment performance.
Employee training and certification: Maintaining employee certification and training records and ensuring that the resources involved with lubrication tasks have the expertise necessary to perform their duties effectively.
Optimizing preventive maintenance scheduling with Eagle CMMS
Lubrication maintenance brings several benefits to enterprises such as reduced operational downtime, disruptions, and costs. By aligning human expertise with software-driven efficiency, Eagle CMMS can help businesses of all sizes manage their preventive maintenance scheduling activities.
As a leading maintenance management technology partner, Eagle CMMS is dedicated to delivering reliable, innovation-driven, and customized facility maintenance management solutions. We not only offer future-ready tools to streamline and automate industrial functions like lubrication but also perform audits to outline areas for improvement and address business-critical concerns. Our teams also offer training and consistent support to your team to utilize and manage maintenance data with ease at all times. With Eagle CMMS, you're not just adopting a solution — you're embracing a partnership that sets your maintenance operations for future-ready excellence.
To learn more about how your company can benefit from our CMMS solutions, schedule a demo today.