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Avoid Pump Lubrication Maintenance Mistakes

Where feasible, grease is a preferred bearing lubricant, because grease is easy to apply, can be retained within a bearing’s housing and improves sealing against contaminants. Photo: SKF.

PUMP LUBRICATION problems cause wear and damage, create friction and heat, and can lead to costly repairs.

Proper lubrication of rolling bearings pump systems is essential in realizing optimized performance and reliability.

Whether grease or oil, lubricants serve to prevent wear and damage between a bearing’s rolling and sliding contact surfaces, reduce friction and heat generation, help protect against corrosion, and help keep out contaminants.

The right lubricant for an application should always be supplied in the right quantity at the right time.

This may seem intuitive, but adhering consistently to this practice can be challenging, especially when bearings are lubricated manually.

Many manual-lubrication technologies — some quite advanced and user-friendly — have been developed to aid the process.

But what if lubrication points are difficult to access? What if too much or too little lubricant is dispensed? What if the number of points requiring lubrication is especially high?

Typically, there can be upwards of 7,500 individual lubrication points at a paper mill, 4,000 for a steel mill, 3,500 for a refinery, and 2,000 for a cement mill—all requiring service and vigilance over time.

Can your operation afford the costly downtime to make lubrication-related maintenance repairs that could have been avoided?
When manual lubrication turns out to be impractical or inconvenient, automatic lubricators and centralized lubrication systems provide a range of solutions.

Delivery methods

As one of the many handheld tools appropriate for manually lubricating bearings, rechargeable battery–driven grease guns offer portability, consistent performance and user-friendly interfaces to maximize efficiency and accuracy.

With such a tool, lubricant flow rates can be precisely adjusted and an integrated grease meter will dispense the proper amount of lubricant to prevent possible over- or under-greasing.

A visual display further assists users by showing battery charge level, amount of grease dispensed and blocked lubrication points.

Where manual lubrication does not make sense, “hands-free” lubricating technologies offer viable alternatives, depending upon the size of a machine, type of required lubricant, and number of lubrication points, among other factors.

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Mechanical Seals for:

  • Centrifugal Pumps
  • Slurry Pumps
  • Submersible Pumps
  • Mixers & Agitators 
  • Compressors
  • Autoclaves
  • Pulpers