One way of determining the quantity of grease comes from the bearing suppliers. Knowing the bearing number or dimensions generalizations can be made and a rough quantity of grease can be determined. The formula is as follows: Re-lubrication Amount of Grease (g) = 0.005 * Bearing Outside Diameter (mm) * Total Bearing Width (mm). If the speed and load are known for the bearing; only then can a frequency be determined, otherwise it is trial-and-error. Unfortunately an error in lubrication means a machine is down.

The next few paragraphs will discuss a couple grease lubrication devices and then the benefits of using them in combination.

Sonic and ultrasonic lubrication devices have been quite popular at a number of plants that I have had the opportunity to work for. Generally this device is used by the Plant Lubrication Technicians on their grease routes to allow them to determine when the bearing has enough grease and avoid over-greasing potentially destroying bearings. Sonic lubrication devices have a transducer mounted on the end of the grease gun and passes a signal to an electronic processor that filters out some sounds and amplify others. Ultrasonic units pass the signal through an electronic processor which converts the ultrasonic vibrations to an audible sound range. Both types have had great success in condition based lubrication and with experience the user can determine what greasing frequency works best with a particular bearing.

Fig 1

Grease gun meters are fairly common and useful units. The equipment OEMs generally recommend specific amounts of grease in grams or ounces; in other to dispense the recommended amounts, nothing is better than a metering device. The problem with using a meter alone is that there is no feed back on if the quantity is too little or too great.

When using a sonic/ultrasonic lubrication device and a grease meter on a grease gun, you gain a tool more powerful than any of the components on their own. Your grease gun will now ‘tell' you when the bearing has enough lubricant and the amount. After completing the grease routes a few times and recording the amounts of grease used, you will be able to determine the optimal frequency and quantity. If you listen to what your machines tell you, your equipment will dictate the interval and amount themselves.

Fig 2

Another advantage with this system comes across when using autolubers in your equipment greasing strategy. Both electrochemical and microprocessor controlled autolubers have different ways they control the flow of grease; however, they are both based on a volume over a period of time. Once the optimal frequency and quantity has been determined through sonic/ultrasonic metering all that is required is a quick calculation and you can find the best dispensing rate for the autoluber. Below is an example:

Ultrasonic metering determines 4g/month of grease is optimal
4g/week= 17g/month

Streamliner M Dispenser: 125cc pouch= 113g of grease
Settings: 113g per ½, 1, 2, 4, 6 & 12 months
A setting of 113g per 6 months would give us 19g of grease each month

As with any maintenance program, a greasing program has to be monitored and updated regularly. Conditions in which machines operate change and with these changes, so do the lubrication requirements. Feed back from bearing and ambient temperature readings and vibration readings are valuable since they can tell you how well your lubrication program is working. Feed back from Production and Operations can also provide insight as to if any process changes have occurred which can lead to a lubrication revaluation.

Written by: Kristopher Sonne, Senior Field Service Technician

Article provided by Tricocorp

Upcoming Events

August 9 - August 11 2022

MaximoWorld 2022

View all Events
80% of newsletter subscribers report finding something used to improve their jobs on a regular basis.
Subscribers get exclusive content. Just released...MRO Best Practices Special Report - a $399 value!
Optimizing Value From Physical Assets

There are ever-increasing opportunities to create new and sustainable value in asset-intensive organizations through enhanced use of technology.

Conducting Asset Criticality Assessment for Better Maintenance Strategy and Techniques

Conducting an asset criticality assessment (ACA) is the first step in maintaining the assets properly. This article addresses the best maintenance strategy for assets by using ACA techniques.

Harmonizing PMs

Maintenance reliability is, of course, an essential part of any successful business that wants to remain successful. It includes the three PMs: predictive, preventive and proactive maintenance.

How an Edge IoT Platform Increases Efficiency, Availability and Productivity

Within four years, more than 30 per cent of businesses and organizations will include edge computing in their cloud deployments to address bandwidth bottlenecks, reduce latency, and process data for decision support in real-time.

MaximoWorld 2022

The world's largest conference for IBM Maximo users, IBM Executives, IBM Maximo Partners and Services with Uptime Elements Reliability Framework and Asset Management System is being held Aug 8-11, 2022

6 Signs Your Maintenance Team Needs to Improve Its Safety Culture

When it comes to people and safety in industrial plants, maintenance teams are the ones who are most often in the line of fire and at risk for injury or death.

Making Asset Management Decisions: Caught Between the Push and the Pull

Most senior executives spend years climbing through the operational ranks. In the operational ranks, many transactional decisions are required each day.

Assume the Decision Maker Is Not Stupid to Make Your Communication More Powerful

Many make allowances for decision makers, saying some are “faking it until they make it.” However, this is the wrong default position to take when communicating with decision makers.

Ultrasound for Condition Monitoring and Acoustic Lubrication for Condition-Based Maintenance

With all the hype about acoustic lubrication instruments, you would think these instruments, once turned on, would do the job for you. Far from it!

Maintenance Costs as a Percent of Asset Replacement Value: A Useful Measure?

Someone recently asked for a benchmark for maintenance costs (MC) as a percent of asset replacement value (ARV) for chemical plants, or MC/ARV%.