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Greasing It Right

Avoid These Common Mistakes For Effective Lubrication

As we often say, “industry runs on grease.” And when industry isn’t running well, it’s often due to lubrication problems.

Records show that improper lubrication is responsible for more than 50% of all bearing failures. The cost of lubrication errors is paid for in costs related to unscheduled downtime, bearing repair and replacement, and the impact of failed deliveries on customer relations.

The good news is, lubrication errors are generally easy to correct.

Over and under lubricating

Even laymen understand the consequences of giving your equipment too little lube, or not lubricating often enough. Lube shields moving parts from direct contact with each other. It reduces friction between them, so they run cooler and smoother, with less wear.

But over-lubricating can lead to as many problems as under-lubricating. In an over-lubed bearing, the viscosity of the grease can actually result in higher internal friction, and excessive heat. The pressure of overpacking with grease can also damage seals. Don’t forget that different grease guns will deliver different amounts per shot – adjust your servicing routine to match the real needs of the machine.

The right grease for the job

No, all greases are NOT created equal. And moving up a grade “to be safe” is not necessarily the safe practice. When choosing a lubricant, start by checking the manufacturer’s information on recommended types and viscosity. But don’t stop there.

Consider how your application and gear types might vary from the average, according to the loads, speeds and operating temperatures that the different gear types in your equipment will experience. Also review your lube’s compatibility with your seals, including the particular metals, coatings and other material they are made with.

Next, you have to account for the equipment’s operating environment: whether it has adequate resistance to cold, heat, dust and other contaminants that can compromise the performance of the grease.  

Finally, no matter what grease you choose, take care to ensure that it’s properly stored and handled to maintain the qualities you’re relying on.

Got a lubrication question?

The BEKA customer service team has a world of experience with all kinds of mobile and stationary equipment. We’ll be happy to help you find the solution to any lubrication problems you might be having. Just call 1-888-862-7461. 

Jacquie McDougall, Chief Operating Officer