Shell being one of the global lubricant players, delivering market-leading lubricants to consumers in over 100 countries. Shell Lubricants brings world-class technological insights to its products, offering the best formulations for varied applications. In an interview with OEM Update, Siva Kasturi, Asia Pacific Regional OEM Manager, Shell Lubricants gives an overview on the concept of lubricants systems and it’s functioning in a CNC machine.
How do you see the concept of lubricants systems catching up?
As we are aware, the role of lubricant is to reduce friction and offer adequate oil film between any two relative moving components. In addition to friction reduction, the role of lubricant is to reduce the amount of wear that occurs during operation, reduces operating temperatures, minimises corrosion of metal surfaces, and assists in keeping contaminants out of the system.
Lubricants have many properties that can be mixed and matched to meet your operating needs. For example, there are different chemicals that can be added to allow a machine to efficiently run at extreme temperatures. We can also make a lubricant more effective in protecting machine surfaces under extreme pressures.
A recent survey commissioned by Shell in about 8 countries with key decision makers and industry influencers on TCO (Total cost of Ownership), we had some interesting observations on how effective lubrication can help lower Total Cost of Ownership. We have Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) defined as the total amount spent on industrial equipment, including cost of acquisition and operation over its entire working life, including costs of lost production during equipment downtime.
With effective lubrication management, about 30 per cent of total maintenance budget annually can be saved by preventing unplanned downtime and frequent breakdowns.
OEMs and end users in general manufacturing industry are becoming more familiar with the modern advancements in lubricants and lubrication systems including the importance of filtration, cleanliness, regular monitoring of oil through Shell LubeAnalyst.
How a lubrication system works in a CNC machine?
Lubrication of CNC machines is one of the most complex challenges the speed and torque of slideways change with respect to different types of machining processes.
Typically a slideway is a special type of bearing called linear bearings and these slideways are found where linear motion is used (various machine tools, measuring equipment and press die sets). Depending on type of slideways, the bearings can be linear plain bearings, rolling element linear bearings and hydrostatic or aerostatic linear bearings
Addressing the challenges of wear and tear and effective lubrication are extremely important for maintaining machine tool accuracy. Higher friction on slideways will not only hamper machine efficiency, but will have serious implications on machine productivity.
Choosing the right slideway lubricant for slideways can significantly improve production quality of machined parts which prevent friction, phenomenon of stick slip etc. Stick slip phenomenon can be described as surfaces alternating between sticking to each other and sliding over each other with a corresponding change in the force of friction. Typically the static friction coefficient between two relatively moving surfaces is larger than the kinetic friction coefficient. In simple terms it’s the jerky motion which can occur when two objects are sliding over each other.
Apart from lubrication and eliminating stick slip phenomenon, slideway lubricants should have excellent compatibility with different water soluble cutting oils and excellent demulsibility which will aid in quick water separation.
What is your latest offering in this area?
Shell Tonna range of slideway lubricants are Shell’s top-performing slideway oils allowing smoother movement of your machine tools and excellent machining accuracy for helping unlock your productivity: less re-work, faster machining. It is always important to follow OEMs recommendation in terms of fluid usage for various applications in CNC machines. Depending on the direction of slideways, many types of tackifiers are required to prevent oil from being squeezed out of the slide ways. Viscosity, demulsibility, tackniness becomes the most important properties of slideways lubricants. Shell Tonna range of slideway lubricants demonstrate excellent frictional properties and compatibility with metal on metal and metal on plastics including PTFE and various epoxy resins slideways to allow for accurate and precise movements during machining to prevent stick slip phenomenon.
Shell Tonna range of slideway lubricants are Shell’s top-performing slideway oils allowing smoother movement of your machine tools and excellent machining accuracy for helping unlock your productivity: less re-work, faster machining.
Siva Kasturi, Asia Pacific Regional OEM Manager, Shell Lubricants