Ultrasound assisted lubrication of plant assets offers significant benefits that calendar based lubrication cannot. Lubrication serves a primary purpose, which is to create a thin layer of lubricant between rolling and sliding elements that reduces friction. So, it makes sense that the best way to determine the lubrication requirement of a machine is to monitor friction levels, not time in service.
Optimizing lubrication of plant machinery with ultrasound will result in a significant reduction in grease consumption. Having an ultrasound program in place will create a better culture leading to cleaner storage practices, sampling, and avoiding mixing greases.
Machines that are properly lubricated require less energy to run. Imagine that reducing the amount of money spent on grease will lead to lower energy bills. Machines that consume less electricity run cooler and machines that run cooler have longer life cycles.
The real reason to optimize bearing lubrication is to extend the life of bearings by making sure they have the right amount of grease, but not too much. When everything is running according to plan, Lube-Techs will spend less time greasing bearings that do not need it. So, when counting the benefits of your
ultrasound program, do not forget to add “decreased labor” to the long list.
Finally, by monitoring the condition of your machinery’s lubrication, you are at the same time collecting valuable condition data about the machine itself. Dynamic and static ultrasound data coupled with the 4 condition indicators (RMS, Max RMS, Peak, and Crest Factor) are all indicators of bearing health. Who knew so much good could come from such a simple shift from calendar to condition based maintenance? Now you know.