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LubriSource Blog

3 Tips for Automated Lubrication Systems when your plant is idle.

Posted by Kevin Morrow
Kevin Morrow
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The coronavirus pandemic has idled many plants across the country which has given maintenance teams an opportunity to catch up on needed projects and over-looked tasks. Here are some ideas that may be helpful for your maintenance team.


1.) Check for leaks in Pressure-based Systems:  Pressure-based lubrication systems, such as dual-line and single-line parallel (i.e. injector) systems, rely on certain operating pressures (typically in excess of 1,500 psi) in the supply lines to achieve functional dispensing of grease or oil. For pressure-based systems, leaks are the primary cause of system faults. Loose or broken fittings, and holes in the hose or tubing are the most common leak points in pressure-based systems. Also, if your system uses a pneumatic pump to move the grease or oil, then check the air pressure and air filter-regulators for proper function as they too can diminish the systems ability to reach operating pressures.

2.) Check for blockages in Flow-based Systems: Flow-based lubrication systems, such as series / single-line progressive systems, rely on the steady displacement of grease and oil through the system to achieve functional dispensing. For flow-based systems, the disruption of lubricant flow from a blocked line or clogged bearing tap will create a fault. And as series progressive systems lubricate one bearing point at a time, in a series, if one point line is blocked then the entire system faults. Checking for blockages can be achieved by affixing a zerk fitting to the alternative port on the face of a divider valve and slowly adding grease. If the pressure gauge on the grease gun exceeds 1,000 psi then remove the line from the bearing tap and try again. If pressure is less at this step, then check the bearing tap for clogging. If pressure remains, then replace the line

3.) Single Point Lubricators:  Most single point lubricators operate in a timed dispense mode regardless of whether the bearing or motor is moving. During idle times, single point lubricators should be removed or turned off (i.e. batteries removed) if they operate without a signal from a PLC or the machine itself (i.e. vibration sensing). If the SPL is left to operate through the idle period, it will over lubricate your bearing or motor, and potentially cause more damage to the equipment once it is returned to operational status.


Schedule your Brainstorm Session: To serve the manufacturing community at this time, we are offering free 30 minute sessions to discuss clients specific plant needs and brainstorm / prioritize trouble shooting measures for maintenance teams.  This is not a sale pitch.  It is truly to provide advice and helpful tips. To sign up for the "brainstorm session"  please fill out the Contact Us form and type BRAINSTORM. 


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Tags: Downtime Maintenance, Flow based systems, Single Point Lubricators, Pressure Based System