Industry Report

Lubricants in Machine Reliability

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Areport on how industrial lubricants can help in increasing machine uptime in a shop floor.

L ubricants play a crucial role as it has a direct effect on machine reliability; one should have good lubrication strategy to improve its plant and equipment uptime. Major studies and independent sources have proven that when lubrication is done inconsistently or not in a proper way, it negatively impacts the machine condition and reliability. So here we come up with an analysis on how industrial lubricants can help in increasing machine uptime in a shop floor.

Extensive use of technology and modern machinery forms the base

With manufacturing taking a centre stage in India over the past few years, manufacturing set-ups have gained significance in the larger scheme of things, becoming the driving engine of the manufacturing industry. Shankar Karnik, General Manager-Industrial, ExxonMobil Lubricants Pvt Ltd, says, “Extensive use of technology and modern machinery forms the base for these manufacturing set-ups. However, despite sound expertise and inherent capabilities to enhance the business, manufacturing set-ups are facing a number of challenges such as sub-optimal scale of operation.”

He adds, “Manufacturing set-ups specialising in nuts and bolts, complex gear sets or high precision valves, pay high emphasis on efficient functioning of their machine components. Long service life, excellent machining performance, health and environmental concerns are important factors for advanced productivity in a manufacturing set-up.”

Optimise your production process

Karnik feels in order to attain advanced productivity; manufacturing set-ups should consider solutions which focus on improving machinery operation with highest efficiency. He opines, “They must be designed to work in a variety of hard and soft water qualities. They should offer low foam potential and long-term corrosion protection for machine and components.”

To help ensure smooth functioning of the machinery, Karnik believes it is important to choose a combination of high-quality slideway oils and metal working lubricants such as water soluble cutting fluids or neat cutting oils. He further adds, “Industrial lubricants are designed to reduce friction between critical rotating and moving machine components, which then translates into equipment durability, longevity and continued uptime.”

He informs, “Poorly formulated slideway oils may not separate readily from aqueous coolants. This results in the formation of tramp oil which compromises the effectiveness of the coolant by shortening its effective life and adversely altering its cutting performance. Tramp oil can also lead to bacterial growth resulting in foul odour, short service life and potential health as well as safety concerns.”

To further optimise productivity, it is very important to choose technology-leading aqueous coolants. The highest performing coolants can reduce maintenance requirements by resisting biological attack thereby extending batch life.  Ease of maintenance needs to be balanced with performance as well as protecting the machine tool components from corrosion and sticky deposits.  In addition, the fluids should meet the latest health and safety regulations, making the monitoring and maintenance easy.

ExxonMobil is committed to offer a range of lubricants that are reliable and ensure optimal operational benefits for its customers, thus driving increased productivity and profitability for them. Few of the high performing product range in Mobil’s portfolio include the Mobil Vactra series of slideway oils, Mobil Velocite series of spindle oils, Mobilcut and Mobilmet series of metal cutting oils.

Right lubrication solution can open up new opportunities

R B Yadav, AGM (Industrial), Valvoline Cummins Pvt Ltd, says, “The right lubrication solution can open up new opportunities to improve profitability. We need to sharpen our competitive edge by reducing costs and boost reliability.”

He adds, “Lubricants have direct effect on equipment reliability, we should have good lubrication strategy to improve our plant and equipment uptime.”

But, before analysisng equipment efficiency enhancement technologies, one needs to understand market trend and implications and requirements of lubricants to cater these needs.

Market trend and implications

  • Increased loading torque capacity
  • Higher hydraulic pressures
  • Friction response and durability
  • Increased lubricant temperatures
  • Response to new surface finishes
  • Broader range of application
  • Universal compatibility

Lubricant features required

  • Good high temperature protection
  • Stable and durable friction
    X             Resistance to brake chatter
    X             Improved static friction
    X             Broad friction material response
  • Viscosity retention
    X             Shear stability
    X             Wide ambient temperature range
    X             Low temperature fluidity
  • Good anti-wear protection
  • Anti foam protection
  • Bronze, copper protection
  • Compatible with wider range of seal materials

Valvoline has been continuously working with its technical team and technology partners to meet out market needs to come up with innovative ideas and products.

New product developments with

  • Higher drain intervals
  • Better energy savings
  • Stable emulsion in case of machine shop water based products
  • Additives which are less reactive to metallurgy of components
  • Additives which comply with EHS standards and are human friendly
  • Products which can help increase equipment efficiency

Chemical management services

  • Fluid management inside shop-floor
  • Use suitable oil as per recommended viscometrics in machines
  • Reduce machine leakages by informing to maintenance staff
  • Operator trainings on regular basis to keep them updated with developments and optimise uses of lubricants
  • Training to senior staff for better handling of users and passing right guidelines

Valvoline Cummins Pvt Ltd invites key customers to visit state-of-the-art plant situated at Ambernath (Maharashtra) to understand lubricant manufacturing, quality checks and electronic controls for consistent quality. Lastly, Yadav explains, “We also provide POST (Progressive Oil Sample Testing) services which is online to keep a check on health of your lubricants and decide fate accordingly.”

 

Long service life, excellent machining performance, health and environmental concerns are important factors for advanced productivity in a manufacturing set-up.
Shankar Karnik,
General Manager-Industrial, ExxonMobil Lubricants Pvt Ltd

Lubricants have direct effect on equipment reliability, we should have good lubrication strategy to improve our plant and equipment uptime.
R B Yadav,
AGM (Industrial), Valvoline Cummins Pvt Ltd

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