Using technology to adapt to tough conditions
It is for this reason that downtime caused by equipment failure and breakdown can result in financial losses that many simply cannot afford, explains Anton Niemann, Shell Downstream South Africa general manager for lubricants.
Optimising lubrication can have a significant impact on component life, maintenance costs and unplanned downtime which can contribute to cost savings far higher than the price of the lubricant itself.
“The belief is that apart from the moving parts of a machine, there is potential for lubrication to deliver even greater business value by contributing to improving machine productivity, and therefore reducing associated running costs.”
Through research conducted by Shell, the impact of lubrication truly is underrated, with only 60% of companies believing they can reduce costs by less than 5% through lubricant selection and management, while a mere one in four think savings could exceed 10%, the company says.
However choosing the correct lubricant or grease often depends on a combination of the equipment’s design characteristics, operational parameters and environment. Factors like temperature, humidity and location (altitude/underground) all pose different challenges for lubrication.
The three primary lubricant applications in the mining industry involve components such as engines, drivelines and open gears; and in all cases, selecting the right lubricant is a critical first step in improving productivity as well as realising significant total cost of ownership savings.
It is worth investing in the resources as well as selecting the correct lubricant as the performance benefits in terms of protection far outweigh the investment, Niemann says.
(Image credit © ISTOCK – admy)