A blog post last month at the Communal News website reminds us of the importance of lubrication as part of regular maintenance for automobiles, trucks and heavy equipment. As changing your car’s oil will help prevent costly repairs from engine breakdown, the same principle applies to industrial vehicles and machinery. Below is the post:
Why Lubrication is So Essential to Machinery Maintenance
Proper lubrication is essential for ensuring that engines, heavy equipment, and other industrial machinery are able to operate safely and with a longer service life. Most common mechanical issues stem from lubrication issues, from car troubles to large machines in factories – lubrication can drastically change the life span of a machine. Have you ever considered what synthetic oil was or why you would ever use it in your car? Why does it need to be changed? Whether it’s inadequate levels of lubrication, lubrication that contains contaminants, or lubrication that has begun to suffer from reduced viscosity, an issue with lubrication risks the health of the entire system.
Luckily, maintaining your machinery’s lubrication take a fraction of the time and money it’d cost to repair significant damage. Here are a few of the ways that lubrication keeps machinery running smoothly.
Friction and Temperature Tolerance
Stress and friction are created anytime that two moving parts come into contact with one another. While stress is a measure of the mechanical force being exerted, most mechanical parts and components are designed to withstand the strain and wear of everyday operation. Friction is another matter entirely. Friction produces heat which can cause materials and parts to expand, resulting in increased strain, or heat levels that may begin to weaken materials once they have exceeded their safe temperature tolerance. Lubrication is essential for minimizing both mechanical stress and friction which might otherwise begin to harm moving parts and components.
Even minute quantities of contaminants can pose a risk to internal machinery. Metal shavings from moving parts, deposits that have built up within the system and contaminants that have found their way into the inner working of heavy machines and equipment can become lodged in gears, obstruct the movement of key components and speed up the process of equipment wear if left in place. Lubrication can help to remove contaminants through use of an oil filter which is designed to keep even the smallest foreign objects from circulating throughout the system.
Seals and Gaskets
Exposure to a lubricant is also essential for keeping rubber gaskets and seals from drying out. Leaks within the system that may occur once a gasket has worn out or a seal has been damaged can introduce foreign contaminants, allow lubricant to escape or to interfere with the specific internal pressure or tolerances needed for machinery to function properly.
Even the strongest metals begin to oxidize once they have come into contract with moisture. Over time, oxidation will begin to corrode the metals which may weaken their overall integrity as well as contaminating the system through the introduction of rust. Well-lubricated machinery is better protected from exposure to moisture and is far less likely to corrode over time. Proper lubrication can be especially important in moist environments or when working with maritime equipment or machinery that is frequently exposed to water.
Reducing Service and Maintenance Costs Will Optimizing Service Life
Poor, infrequent or inadequate lubrication can result in more frequent mechanical issues as well as significantly curtailing the useful operational lifespan of machinery. Professionals that deal with machinery on a daily basis set budgets aside specifically for lubrications and preventatives. Having to deal with potential disruptions and bottlenecks that breakdowns may cause, dealing with higher than expected service fees or being forced to replace heavy machinery prematurely can all end up costing equipment owners much more than they might expect. Lubrication is an essential part of preventative maintenance and equipment owners who are interested in enjoying the greatest value possible for their investment would do well to ensure proper lubrication prior to operating their machinery.
Story and image source: Communal News.