For anyone who owns big machinery, it’s a common sight to see technicians scrambling around up, over, under and on the equipment. Routine maintenance often involves climbing up on machine decks, scaffolding or ladders to reach service points located on booms, upper conveyors and transports high above the floor level. Awkward locations and slippery surfaces can make machine service a dangerous occupation.
Don’t put technicians in harm’s way
The wide range of auto-lubrication solutions available today can eliminate many of the hazards that service staff will face on a daily basis.
It’s human nature for technicians to strive to meet high expectations to complete their tasks quickly. Their whole purpose is to keep the equipment up & running, not sitting idle while they grease a production unit. They are always working under pressure, often fatigued and without thinking about it, drawn to take shortcuts that might put their safety in jeopardy. In recent years, too, we’ve seen trends toward asking fewer staff to do more work thereby putting safety concerns at even greater risk.
Automated lubrication can alleviate both sides of the problem: less downtime for the operation, and increased safety for service crews.
Keep the equipment running
In facilities that run continuously operating equipment, such as a sawmill or conveyors, progressive grease circuits allow continuous lubrication throughout the process. Operation Managers will install safety barriers around process machines to keep crews out of harm’s way. To service the machines manually, the line has to be shut down. BEKA systems, however, offer a choice of programmable pumps or central lube points that allow techs to complete grease service from behind the fence, even while the equipment is still running. There’s no more need to climb ramps or crawl under the equipment with a tool kit, simply to apply grease.
Single point access on the safe side of the safety fence. This is a great way to keep your maintenance personnel safely away from the danger zones.
Similar solutions are available for mobile equipment. OEMs increasingly equip large cranes, excavators and material handlers with extensive guarding to protect staff who require service access to various parts of the machine. But most of their lubrication needs can be met without having to leave the ground in the first place. Even for the most remote bearings and pinions, a compact lube pump like BEKAONE can be installed right at the service point to provide continuous, long lasting service.
We recall one employer who was unsatisfied with the safety of the service procedure for a large dozer, which required a worker to reach around its blade mechanisms to grease the blade hoist manually. We installed a single remote lube point a safe distance from the blade. This remote zerk feeds a grease block which delivers grease to all of the blade’s service points. This solution not only prevents injury, it saves time every working day.
Experienced service crews are among the most valuable assets for any processing or heavy equipment operation. It pays to protect them from needless hazards and let them focus their skills on the more demanding tasks that only they can do.
Want to talk to us about enhancing safety in your operation? Call 1-888-862-7461 or send us an email. We will be pleased to connect you up with one of our technical service engineers and your local BEKAWORLD dealer.
For an over-the-highway truck driver a long way from home, one of the last things on his mind is the grease on his tractor-trailer’s fifth wheel. Until, that is, the heavy load behind him starts doing some of the steering for him … at a not-so-comfortable 65 mph.
Without proper lubrication, the natural friction of the two flat metal surfaces connecting at the fifth wheel will increasingly hinder the free movement required during actual driving and hauling operations. Especially in cold weather, the metal-on-metal seizing can prevent the tractor-trailer unit from turning correctly.
A problematic situation
The result is a tractor-trailer unit that will become increasingly difficult to steer, handle and stabilize. This can stress both the driver and the equipment, to the point of required costly repairs and, potentially, even catastrophic and tragic results. The damage can range from worn tires, to chafed upper and lower fifth wheel plates, to actual disengagement of the tractor-trailer unit!
To avoid such issues, some truck and trailer equipment suppliers have experimented with lubrication-free fifth wheels, while others have introduced slippery pads to eliminate the need for lubrication. However, the overwhelming majority of tractor-trailers in use today still require good ol’ grease on their fifth wheels.
An autolube system from BEKA offers a safe, clean, efficient way to ensure your truck’s fifth wheel is getting just the right amount of lubrication.
Not too much, not too little
As with all of our automatic lubrication systems, our fifth-wheel solution is designed to supply the optimum amount of grease, whether it be as a stand-alone system or part of a vehicle package.
We’ve all seen trucks “bobtailing” down the road with globs of grease on their fifth wheels. They’ve probably just come out of the shop and are on their way to a nearby yard to pick up a trailer to head out on the highway.
Well, as soon as the driver backs that tractor up to the trailer, the vast majority of that grease will be pushed away, either onto the nose of the trailer or, perhaps even worse, onto the ground. This is not only a useless waste of resources, but environmentally unfriendly and creates a dangerous situation.
How it works
When we install an autolube system, we drill and tap the channels or grooves that are built into the fifth wheel design. The grease is then metered up and along these channels, smearing across the flat surface of the fifth wheel while the tractor-trailer moves down the highway. The standard is for four such access points, but we can also attach two additional points at the fifth wheel pivots.
Are you passing through Toronto region anytime from April 19th to the 21st? If so, stop by our booth at Truck World Show at the International Center and talk to Matt or Mike.
Learn why this is going to make your ride safer and save you money in maintenance costs. While you are there, ask them about the time limited BEKA Truck Show Special. Can’t make it to the show? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will “hook you up”.
Our BEKA team has a special connection to truck drivers. Some of us have been there. We know them, we know their families, and more than anything in the world, we want them to return home safely from every single trip.
Hold on now! You’re not done here yet!
That was a smart move, installing one of BEKA’s autolube systems. But just because your lube servicing now runs “automatically” doesn’t mean you can simply “set it and forget it.”
You don’t have to worry about reaching and servicing all those grease points anymore but your autolube system should still be part of your daily walkaround. You look after your BEKA system and it will look after you!
Daily fill checks
Just as you inspect your brakes and hydraulic lines and electrical system every day, your autolube system deserves a daily inspection, too. Your autolube doesn’t take a lot of time or care but it does need your attention.
The first thing to look for is the fill level in the pump’s grease reservoir. Of course, you have to be sure it has enough grease to continue supplying the lines and serving your lube points. By checking daily, you’ll also notice any alerts that may indicate a problem elsewhere in the system.
**Remember: when you refill the reservoir, use only a grease that’s compatible with the one you already have in the lines. Mixing different chemistries, such as moly vs lithium, can create costly problems throughout your equipment!
If you find you are refilling the reservoir frequently, you can look into extending the refill intervals by swapping in a larger reservoir. We have several sizes available for many of the pumps.
Inspect lines & fittings
A routine inspection brings your focus to most of the areas on your equipment that are being serviced by the autolube. Take a moment to check on the condition of the grease lines and fittings. Look for signs of leaking grease, including telltale spots on the ground.
Depending on how you spec’d your autolube, you may also have help from our optional alarms and sensors that will indicate low fill levels or a blockage in the grease lines. The alert indicators may be right on the housing of the pumps or they might be transmitted to a remote display in the cab or in your shop.
We make it easy!
You’ll be glad to know that choosing BEKA makes your autolube maintenance even easier. Most lube pumps rely on spring drives that are subject to contamination from the grease elements inside. BEKA’s springless design, using an eccentric gear drive, saves you the time and expense of replacing pump elements which rely on springs for reloading the grease. BEKA’s cast aluminum base also provides better resistance to impact, vibration and harsh weather. You won’t find the corrosion that can compromise pumps with other metal housings nor the cracks that can appear in plastic bases.
It’s really that easy. We build our systems to make life easier for you. Just show your autolube that you care once a day and it will keep you running smooth for years to come.
How about that: a record-breaking year already!
Yes, the New Year rang in with the coldest temperatures on record for many parts of North America, including our hometown in the balmy south of Canada. Through most of the holiday season, our days were dipping down to lows well past ‑20oC (-4oF). That’s cold enough to give your toughest machines the shivers!
If you’re running equipment in the Far North, you are probably used to preparing your equipment for this kind of cold. The rest of us, though, need to think a little harder about winter maintenance and lubrication.
Geared up for cold weather
At BEKA, cold weather operation of our lubrication pumps has always been a key design feature. The need to keep machines running smoothly through the dead of winter led us to one of our major engineering innovations: our springless pump drive.
Traditional spring-drive grease pumps have a built-in problem when cold makes the grease thick and heavy. The spring is unable to rebound properly, so the pump elements can’t fully recharge.
BEKA’s EP autolube pumps avoid the problem entirely by replacing the spring drive with an eccentric gear. The gear is always under power, so it continues to reload and pump grease. That’s how we’re able to keep pumping grease reliably down to -25°C (-13°F)
Know your grease
Even with our eccentric gear drive, we always give our customers a heads-up about using the correct grease for their winter conditions. In most of Canada and the northern states, your Fall maintenance schedule should include a switch from #2 to #1 grease. Without the extra flowability of #1, even though the pump is working, the grease may not move effectively onto your bearing surfaces. While our systems are designed to relieve any back pressure that might build up, they can’t turn cold grease into a free-flowing fluid.
In most cases, a switch to #1 will carry you through short cold snaps, such as the one we’ve been experiencing this year. If extreme cold is the norm for winter in your area, of course, you need to move up from #1 to Arctic grease.
Here’s another heads-up: when you change grease, be sure your new grease is compatible with the grease that’s already in your system. Different chemistries between products can turn your grease into a solid mess. Take time to talk to your grease supplier about when to switch, and which greases are compatible. Watch this space this Fall. We’ll remind you again about how to get your gear primed for winter with BEKA pumps and the right grease.
Got a lubrication question? email@example.com
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 or send an email with your questions.
Most of the people that are reading this blog know that machines have a language of their own. These people also know that, when a machine is talking, you have to listen!
When you hear that low grumbling in some remote corner of the machinery, it’s telling you that it’s not feeling well – and it needs some preventive care. You may just need to “give it some lube” to get it feeling well again.
If you try to ignore that early complaint, eventually your machine really starts to talk a lot louder! But by the time it starts to scream and shutter at you, your pins and bushings are already done for. You’ll have to repin and get all the bearings lubed up quick, before consequential damage makes matters even worse. Better to take a little downtime now, than to suffer major downtime later.
Today’s systems even teach your equipment a wider vocabulary, making it easier to understand what’s going on in there, and what it needs.
Communicate with your equipment
Our central lube pumps and distributors are available with a wide range of remote sensors and alerts that tell you everything you need to know about the status of the lubrication system. If the pump’s reservoir is getting low on grease, if there’s a blockage in the line, the alerts will tell you before the bearing runs dry. The alert could be an audible sound, or a status light or a signal in the cab of your vehicle or control room.
For some equipment, the BEKA alerts can be tied into relays that will shut down the equipment automatically, before any serious damage can happen. This approach has to be done with a mind to shutting down safely, of course. But, for example, the auto shutdown has proven helpful on waste trucks, where the garbage packer can be switched off without affecting the safe operation of the vehicle.
Long distance calls
Whether it is in a mobile or stationary situation, we are seeing more applications that utilize telemetric technology to let owners and operators listen in on their equipment from remote locations. Today, even equipment rental shops can track their fleet in the field to make sure the lube system is maintained properly and the machines return in rentable condition.
We have seen some sophisticated telemetrics used to help wind energy operators to optimize their turbine. The productivity of the turbines can be compromised if they run too hot or too cold. The lube system can be used to monitor and moderate their working temperature, even from miles away.
The whole purpose of BEKA autolubrication systems is to keep your machine talking nicely to you, every day. If you want to communicate with your equipment and avoid unscheduled downtime, give us a call or drop us a line and we can help you make the connection to your machinery and equipment. They have a lot to say and we should be listening!
The 107th annual Oktoberfest will be opening soon in Munich and the three big winners from our ConExpo contest are on their way to Oktoberfest. (Jealous!!!)
Steve Dunning, our Vice President of Sales and his wife Linda, will be doing everything they can as their designated guides to make sure our lucky group has the time of their lives. Congrats to Matt and Alicia Felio (Paul Hansen Equipment of El Cajon, CA), William and Abbey Bryan (Baver – Pile Co. of Conroe, TX), and Jeff and Saylor-Rose Weaver (Motion Canada of North Bay, ON) as they depart for their week in Germany.
They have a busy week ahead, too. Landing at the Munich Airport, they will be whisked away to BEKA’s hometown of Pegnitz to sample some of that famous Franconian hospitality. They will be greeted personally by BEKA’s President, Bernard Köppel and will also meet the firm’s senior management team as they tour BEKA’s three factory locations. Along with the administration, R&D, Quality Assurance and manufacturing center in Pegnitz, they will visit BEKA’s engineering and machining facility in Wannberg, just minutes away. Next, they will visit the assembly plant Creußen, a short drive just northeast of Pegnitz. Altogether, they will take in more than 250,000 sq. ft. (25,000 m2) of BEKA development and production space. They will certainly get their steps in!
The world’s largest pub!
Then, finally, it’s back to Munich for sightseeing and to experience the original, authentic, unbelievably HUGE celebration of Bavarian beer that’s now shared worldwide… Oktoberfest.
Pubs and beer halls tap into Oktoberfest traditions around the world, but in its homeland, the festival site covers a full 85 acres of tents, vendor booths and carnival rides. It has grown into a full-fledged industry of its own these days, employing up to 13,000 people to serve guests and staff the facilities. Officials expect that, over the 18 days of Oktoberfest, the site will host as many as 7,000,000 visitors, who will consume an estimated 1,500,000 gallons of Bavarian brew!
Germany takes its beer seriously. Since 1516, the purity and quality of Bavarian beer has been closely regulated, allowing only water, hops and barley to be used in its brewing. Add with some of that legendary Weißwurst sausage, fine breads and non-stop music and… what a party!
Think about it: next time, it could be you joining in the festivities!
In the meantime, follow us on Twitter.
More industry accolades for new ideas from BEKA – I just love it!
This time, it’s Construction Equipment magazine who included our BEKAONE pump among its “Top 100” new products for 2016.
I was a little surprised, looking at all the heavy machines and earthmoving equipment that dominate the Top 100 list. But the editors explain that their choice of products is based on:
- Advances in technology
- New product lines
- Significant improvements to existing products
- A product that increases competition in its field
The BEKAONE single-point lubricator really does qualify for the list as an advance in technology, as a brand new product and as a significant improvement over any alternatives. (I’m not sure if it “increases competition in its field” – there isn’t anything else like it!)
Let me make this one single point!
BEKAONE is a one-of-a-kind lube pump for applications that don’t need a full autolube system. You simply install a single BEKAONE pump to serve a single lube point on your machine. It’s incredibly compact, just 3 inches in diameter (about 7.6 cm) so it fits in nicely to spots that are hard to access for manual servicing with a grease gun – ideal for motors, drives, bearings, conveyors, compressors and chains that are buried deep in the machinery or located out of reach in awkward locations. After that, it supplies a precise dose of grease to the lube point on any cycle you wish to set up.
And… it keeps on doing it for up to two years!
This is PERFECT for those critical points that you’re apt to forget or overlook when you’re doing your daily service rounds.
Simple installation, better lubrication
As Construction Equipment points out, the set-up for BEKAONE is dead simple. Instructions are right on the pump body. The ultra-compact pump will operate in any position, so just tuck it in anywhere you need it.
The reservoir holds up to 4 ounces (720 ml) of lubricant – including oil and all common grease types – and it can be refilled up to six times with an ordinary grease gun. A display on the pump tells you how many more cycles it has left in it and the lithium ion battery will keep it running for up to 24 months.
For my money, the BEKAONE beats manually greasing in any situation, simply because it delivers small accurate doses the whole time your machine is running. The wear part gets more complete, more consistent coverage and that can only mean longer life for the machine and less downtime. The pump is designed to operate in virtually any climate, from -4o F to +140o F (-20o C to +60o C).
And, as I said, BEKAONE NEVER forgets. It’s simply (very simply) the most reliable solution for those difficult service points. So don’t you forget to ask us where BEKAONE fits best into your operation!
Contact us online or call us at 1.888.862.7461.
Things are always changing here at BEKA. We continue to fine-tune our organization in order to be a company that listens to its customers and dealers.
What have we done lately? Well…
- We recently recruited a number of regional sales personnel to give us more “feet in the street” and increase our personal service and support to BEKA dealers. These new regional representatives, together with our existing sales team, will be covering North America. They will be working with our dealers and their customers to make sure that America not only runs on “Dunkin” but runs smoothly with BEKA Lubrication Systems.
- With increased personnel, we have geared up our plans to expand our assembly operations in the U.S. This step goes hand-in-hand with more assembly personnel. Today, as I write this, our Product Manager, Lead Assembler and other members of the team are at the factory in Pegnitz, Germany getting trained on the latest assembly equipment soon to be installed here in the US. We understand the need to make sure that we have the capabilities to meet the increased demands. With an additional facility opening soon to help us deliver new systems faster than ever, we will be able to maintain our leadership position as providers of the industry’s best customer service.
- As we expand our capabilities and product solutions, our plan is to invest in larger inventories. At BEKAWORLD, we want to ensure that our customers and dealers have the parts they need, when they need them. That is the plan and overtime we will meet that goal.
- Adding personnel without the proper training is like getting a new car but never putting gas in it. You might as well not have spent the money. We feel the same way about our new regional representatives. They have been undergoing product training and are now out in the field. Ask them questions. They are looking forward to working with you and making sure that you get the right pump for your application – single line, multi line, single point, etc. They will even help you find the BEKA dealer in your area.
More personnel + New facilities + Increased inventories + Ongoing training = An exciting time for BEKAWORLD.
We’re very proud of the reputation our team has earned in all the industries we serve. We worked hard for it, and we’ve come a long way, but we aren’t done yet! BEKAWORLD is continuing to raise the bar for autolube customers all over North America.
I have to admit we were feeling quite proud around here recently when DeAnne Toto, the Managing Editor of Recycling Today, contacted us. She was planning a story on the importance of lubrication in the recycling industry, and could we write up something to share our insights with RT’s readers?
Of course, you know and I know that we have the brightest and best team of application experts in the autolube business, and it felt pretty good to be recognized by one of the equipment industry’s top trade publications!
We gathered together the usual suspects and, in fairly short order, we composed a wide-reaching view of lubrication needs in the scrap yard, for both mobile and stationary equipment. I really must give a shout-out to our friend Randy Jarry, the General Manager of Moffatt Scrap Iron & Metal Inc. in Campbellville, Ontario, for taking time to contribute his knowledge of the topic. Thanks also, Randy, for allowing us to come onsite and take some pictures of Moffat’s machinery to illustrate the article.
Ask the right people
Our BEKA crew, notably Product Manager Dave McDougall and Account Executive Mike Michaud, have truly seen it all when it comes to lube systems for recycling equipment. They were able to give the story a solid technical background. Dave, Mike and Randy all agreed that cold weather is a critical element in the design of these autolube systems, whether you are servicing a baler, shredder, conveyor equipment or a mobile material handler.
The article also explains how overgreasing can create as many problems as under-lubrication – problems that are easily corrected with a BEKA system calibrated for accurate, automatic dosing through as many as 600 lube points!
Read all about it!
“For your convenience,” we posted a downloadable version for the article on our website. You can get it here. But you should also look for the June issue of Recycling Today to get the full effect!
Even if you aren’t in the scrap industry, it’s still a good read. Many of the needs and planning points that Dave and Mike bring to light are equally important for getting the most uptime from your machines in other applications – especially for equipment that runs outdoors and runs continuously. Got any questions or want to talk to us about your application, contact us online or call us at 1.888.862.7461.
The show season is still in full swing for us, but we’ll be enjoying the warm sunny days here in New Orleans for the 2017 edition of Waste Expo at Booth #3359.
This is always a big show for us and we look forward to catching up with all our old friends here.
After all the big iron shows we’ve been attending, we change gears a bit here to focus on our customers’ truck fleets. These refuse trucks, whether they are front loaders, side loaders, rear loaders or multi-compartment vehicles, are a special breed – hard-working vehicles that are built more like mobile processing plants than haulers. They go all day long, every day, in all kinds of weather – and they have deadlines to keep!
Packing a load of machinery as well as a drivetrain, this kind of application leaves no room for downtime. That’s why we’ll be highlighting our compact PICO lube pumps at the show this week. Everything on a compactor truck is constantly in motion, and that’s when you need consistent, continuous lubrication most.
PICO pumps are really made for this job! They are up to 60% smaller than comparable pumps, so they fit in where others can’t, snugged into the midst of the gearing and lifts and hydraulics that drive the trucks’ various operations. PICO’s intelligent grease sensors delivers accurate, measured doses of grease matched to the needs of each service point, from 5 to 50 cm3. They’re powerful enough to serve up to 8 grease points. And since they can use a pump element that’s attached to either a distribution block system or to small injectors, they are flexible enough to make installation easy.
Rated to run in temperatures from -13º to 158º F (-25º to +70º C), our PICOs are all-season ready to keep your collection trucks on the road, and on time.
Don’t you wish all your maintenance needs were this easy?
But that’s just how it goes when you’re in the Big Easy, with BEKA. Come on by, Booth #3359 and say hi and get caught up on the latest from BEKAWORLD.