A clear grease gun. Wow! It makes perfect sense once you think about it. So why didn't somebody think about it until now?
Nobody really knows, but now that they are here, companies can experience the simple solution to grease worries. These patented clear grease tubes allow users to have 100% visual grease identification, therefore avoiding costly grease cross contamination errors. Other grease guns on the market do not allow the grease to be seen, which means that proper grease identification is not possible. The clear grease tubes provide a simple, cost effective reliability solution to eliminating grease misapplication mistakes.
Lubrication Engineers is the global distributor of Clear Grease Guns. We talked to their Marketing Manager, Paul Grimes, who as an 18-year veteran of the industry, and former Six Sigma Black Belt & Continuous Improvement Leader, knows a thing or two about improving industrial processes. Here is what Paul had to say...
A clear grease gun? It sounds so simple, why didn't anyone think of it sooner?
Some of the simplest ideas are always overlooked. Some of the best ideas are ahead of their time in the market place. Today we have a product that is simple and provides immediate value to an organization by virtually allowing the elimination of misapplication of greases. Why, because you can see what you are putting into the machine and verify that the grease is correct for the application. Almost makes the old stand by grease gun obsolete.
There is no question that cross contamination during grease application is a major problem across industries. It leads to unnecessary failures and downtime, both of which cost companies money.
Who came up with the idea, and how fast was the process of going form idea to a finished product?
LE was introduced to the patent holder of the clear grease tubes (Kany Innovations, Mike Cline) in December of 2008. Our alignment of our joint business perspectives happened immediately from the first phone call. Lubrication Engineers and Kany both saw this as an exciting opportunity to solve a real problem for customers, especially those investing in the lubricant reliability journey. From our initial business alignment to product launch we were able to release to the market in only three months.
What are the advantages of using a clear grease gun vs the oldschool metal gun?
Again the concept is simple! Today's grease guns have barrels that an operator cannot see through. Someone may load the gun with a particular grease but once they put the gun down and another operator takes it to the floor, do they assume or do they verify what grease is inside? The clear grease gun allows any operator to see the grease whether it is a tube of grease in the packaging or grease that has been bulked filled. Seeing the grease means visual identification for the operator, but that is not the end to the story. LE wanted customers to not only visual identify but to positively verify. Positive verification takes the product to another a whole new level.
Each Clear Grease Gun Tube comes with colored end caps already assembled onto each tube. The colored end caps come in a variety of colors. The color end caps allow the end user to create an additional positive form of identification.
Customers purchasing the clear grease tube and grease gun kit will also get an additional form of color identification. Included in each box will be a sheet of colored marking decals. The decals will allow the operator to mark the tube with yet another form of positive color identification.
We wanted to allow customers the opportunity to establish and follow best lubricant reliability practices by providing them flexibility in how the tubes are colored mapped throughout the lubricant management process.
OK, but how can a clear grease gun be tough enough to stand up to a tough industrial environment?
The product is made of high impact polycarbonate, drop it and it bounces. The end caps are made out of T 6061 aircraft aluminum. The polycarbonate tubes were specifically designed to withstand the day-to-day abuse standard grease guns are subject to in the industrial market.
What are the three top reasons a company should consider switching to clear grease guns?
1.Eliminate cross contamination of greases in normal and critical bearing applications.
2.Eliminate the opportunities for staff to apply the wrong grease in any of the equipment.
3.Eliminate costly equipment failures due to the wrong grease being applied or mixed.
4.Eliminate unscheduled downtime due to the wrong grease being applied or mixed.
I know....that was four, but I couldn't stop at three. They are all very important, and quite simple to accomplish.
Please give us a success story or two from companies that are currently using clear grease guns.
Easy, this product is already in use with the U.S. Naval Center and, of course, several companies that have implemented the clear grease gun solution as well. All of them are very happy with it. Two that immediately come to mind are Cargill Regional Beef in Milwaukee which says that they had quite a significant drop in cross contamination incidents after introducing the clear grease guns. The other facility that really stands out is the APS Redhawk power plant in Arlington, AZ. The reason they come to mind is because of the way they made the conversion to our grease guns. The maintenance foreman actually saw one of our ads and brought it to the attention of the mechanics as part of their continuous improvement process. They all agreed the guns could completely eliminate the opportunities for cross contamination, and after implementing are even more convinced of their usefulness. They think that anyone using more than one kind of grease should use this product.
Have you met any resistance from lubricators that would be using the clear grease guns?
The early response has been phenomenal! Customers see this product as an easy way to truly solve a problem. It is cost affordable and an easy first step on the road to long term lubrication reliability. Customers can modernize older grease guns by purchasing just the colored grease gun tubes or customers can replace these older grease guns and upgrade by purchasing the entire LE grease gun kit, which includes both the gun and the clear grease gun tube. The cost of the product far outweighs the negative cost implications that grease misapplication provides in an operational setting.
How can interested people get more information about your clear grease guns?
And I would just like to add that at Lubrication Engineers, we are focused on providing lubrication reliability solutions. The clear grease gun is one tool in our reliability arsenal that helps our customers create and capture value with reliability based benefits.