The Importance of Lubrication in Preventive Maintenance

The Importance of Lubrication in Preventive Maintenance

Throughout the industrial world, 88% of organizations already use a preventive maintenance strategy — a central part of which includes adequate lubrication to boost machine reliability and longevity.

Surprising or not, 82% of companies have experienced at least one unplanned downtime in the past three years, estimated to cost these companies about $50 billion annually. Machine owners need realistic, sustainable solutions to their operating challenges. Almost 90% of consumers believe companies should do more to reduce their carbon impact. Meeting customer demands also involves exploring innovative plant-based lubricant and grease alternatives.

Lubrication and preventive maintenance practices work in tandem to deliver benefits such as longer-lasting parts and decreased downtime. Ultimately, proactive strategies can help you minimize unnecessary costs. You must understand the link between lubrication and preventive maintenance to ensure optimal performance and boost profitability.

The Basics of Lubricants and Greases

Machine failures caused by lack of lubrication are highly preventable. Metal lubricants are critical in reducing friction on machinery components and boosting equipment longevity and performance. Some lubricants also contain additives that provide benefits like corrosion or water resistance.

Lubricants serve various purposes.

The Benefits of Preventive Maintenance Lubrication

  • Mineral oil lubricants: These liquid lubes, derived from crude oil, are common in many applications, like gearboxes and hydraulic systems. They typically offer excellent performance for a relatively low cost.
  • Greases: These lubricants are solid or semi-solid at room temperature and can be ideal when other lubricants are unsuitable. Their thicker consistency adheres to surfaces for additional reliability. They often have coating additives like molybdenum that strive to protect the metal.
  • Bio-based lubricants: Bio-based lubricants have gained popularity. They come from natural materials, offering a sustainable alternative to fossil-fuel-based options.
  • Synthetic lubricants: These primarily petro-based lubes are purpose-built lubricants that perform specific functions, such as temperature and pressure resistance.

Any component subject to friction or vibrations requires lubrication to remain functional throughout its useful life. These materials are crucial for maintaining machine components.

The Link Between Lubrication and Preventive Maintenance

Lubricants are crucial for preventive maintenance programs, reducing friction and preventing unnecessary wear. These products protect components from contamination or corrosion and encourage regular equipment inspections. They also run your equipment more efficiently, resulting in reduced operating costs. Selecting high-quality lubricants and following preventive maintenance best practices can minimize unexpected equipment failures and reduce operating costs.

Avoiding corrosion and unnecessary wear is critical to any preventive maintenance program. A well-planned schedule ensures lubrication happens on time — before unexpected breakdowns happen. In short, lubrication is the backbone of most preventive maintenance programs, ensuring machines function optimally instead of making costly, unplanned repairs only in response to equipment failure.

The Benefits of Preventive Maintenance Lubrication

Repairing machines only after a breakdown or failure puts you and your team on the defensive, constantly putting out fires. Preventive maintenance came to the fore as many organizations realized the benefits of planning maintenance sessions for safety and efficiency. Lubrication activities are a critical part of your overall preventive maintenance program, involving inspecting machines, greasing them at precise intervals and adjusting processes based on the data you’ve gathered.

Here are some of the many benefits of preventive maintenance and lubrication.

  • Improved equipment life: Preventive lubrication minimizes wear, excessive heat, corrosion and contamination, reducing the chances of preventable equipment damage.
  • Better reliability: When you lubricate your machine during regular upkeep, it’s less likely to break down. It’s easier to diagnose the cause and fix issues as they arise, reducing downtime and boosting profits. Friction leads to jolting movements and generates heat, increasing wear and the potential for failure. The correct lubrication creates a film between moving parts, promoting equipment longevity.
  • Reduced noise: Preventive lubrication reduces noise and vibrations in machinery, making machines easier to operate for long periods and promoting operator safety.
  • Boosted safety: Machine failure can be dangerous. Lubricants prevent metal-on-metal contact, mitigating the risk of sparks, fire or explosion. Well-maintained machines are also safer to operate.
  • Enhanced temperature control: Effective lubrication is essential for controlling machine temperatures, absorbing friction-generated heat and reducing the risk of equipment damage.
  • Reduced downtime: Well-maintained and lubricated machines have higher uptime, boosting profitability.
  • Lowered maintenance costs: An established preventive maintenance and lubrication program means identifying and addressing minor issues before they become expensive problems, reducing repair, maintenance and downtime costs.

Lubrication and Preventive Maintenance Best Practices

Lubrication and maintenance are critical to achieving optimal equipment performance and reducing the risk of downtime. Here are some lubrication and preventive maintenance best practices to implement.

Prioritize Lubricant Selection

Selecting the ideal lubricant for your application should always be a primary concern. Consider your operating conditions, equipment and maintenance considerations. Speak to an expert if you have any doubts. Environmental regulations are also paramount. Depending on your industry and location, maintaining compliance may involve restricting specific lubricants in favor of plant-based and toxin-free alternatives.

Follow Manufacturer Recommendations and Techniques

Follow manufacturer recommendations for your preventive maintenance program. Use the correct lubrication techniques, like applying the proper amounts at the appropriate intervals.

Assess Lubricant Performance

Monitor your chosen lubricant’s performance with diagnostic techniques such as oil analysis. Regular monitoring can help you identify potential problems early and avoid equipment failure. Maintain accurate records of all your preventive maintenance and lubrication practices to track equipment performance.

Provide Adequate Training

Train your team on how to choose and apply lubricant. Employees should also understand storage and handling protocols to prevent contamination.

Keep the Environment Clean

Lubricant and machine contamination are common reasons for component wear and eventual equipment failure. Ensure your team understands lubricant storage protocols, keeps your equipment and environment clean and uses contamination-free containers.

Explore Sustainable and Effective Preventive Maintenance Lubrication Options With Fuel Ox®

Explore Sustainable and Effective Preventive Maintenance Lubrication Options With Fuel Ox®

Preventive maintenance and selecting quality lubricants can transform your operations, eliminating unnecessary downtime, elevating project outcomes, lowering maintenance costs and helping you achieve your sustainability goals — however, lubrication and preventive maintenance work best in tandem.

Fuel Ox® offers the world’s best fuel additives and lubricants, period. Unlike all other lubricants, Fuel Ox® Infinity Lube™ contains a patent pending treatment that hardens the metal in place, reducing friction and wear by up to 90%, outlasting conventional lubricants and increasing machine longevity within every component. “Profitable Sustainability” is our motto because making money and treating the environment well should not be mutually exclusive.

Experience the value of our products firsthand. Contact us to learn how our lubricant options can improve your preventive maintenance strategy or visit your closest retailer today.