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Industrial Lubrication Systems & Downtime Avoidance

Industrial Lubrication Systems & Downtime Avoidance

Repair and maintenance costs have been on the rise in the farming industry since 2019. With studies showing $18.55 billion spent on repair and maintenance in 2022, it makes sense to be searching for a way to reduce downtime.

Keeping your machinery running smoothly can result in more time to focus on other tasks and more profit from each harvest. Installing an industrial lubrication system is a stepping stone to increasing your productivity. 

In this article we'll discuss:

  1. Common Causes of Downtime in Industrial Machinery
  2. Components of an Industrial Lubrication System
  3. How an Industrial Lubrication System Reduces Downtime


Industrial Machinery: Common Causes of Downtime

Common causes of downtime for industrial machinery can range from improper lubrication and lack of maintenance to contamination; it can also be attributed to human error

Recognizing three main areas of concern means a better chance of avoiding them. These areas are:

  • Improper lubrication
  • Contamination of lubricants
  • Manual lubrication failure



Improper Lubrication

Without proper lubrication, machines experience extreme friction, which can have detrimental effects on machinery parts. When two surfaces rub against each other, it causes the molecules of each surface to heat up and break down faster than normal. The extreme heat generated by this friction can cause metal parts to warp and bend, leading to structural damage. 

High levels of friction can also create a lot of noise and vibration, leading to further complications in machinery operations. Knowing this, it's important to proactively reduce the friction between machinery parts to keep them functioning properly for an extended period.


Contamination of Lubricants

Contaminated lubricants can have a significantly detrimental effect on industrial machinery. Contamination by dirt, dust, and other debris can lead to reduced lubrication, resulting in increased wear on parts and overall decreased efficiency of the machinery. 

Contamination can also cause significant damage to components within the system, which may require costly repairs or replacement parts. Certain contaminants can interact with the components of a machine, leading to premature breakdowns or complete failure of the system.

In extreme cases, contaminated lubricants can lead to catastrophic situations if left unchecked. It’s important to maintain stringent quality assurance protocols around lubrication to prevent potentially damaging scenarios from occurring.


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Manual Lubrication Failures

Poorly trained technicians, inadequate inspection procedures, or mislabeled containers of lubricant are all examples of how ineffective manual lubrication efforts can lead to contamination and subsequent damage to the system

For instance, if a technician uses an incorrect grade or type of lubricant for a specific application, it could result in the system becoming contaminated and potentially causing irreparable damage. Additionally, people may fail to properly inspect equipment for signs of wear or malfunction, leading to further issues.

Ensuring personnel are adequately trained on proper lubrication techniques is a proactive path to keeping the job running on its projected timeline. Having comprehensive procedures in place for regular inspections and maintenance is also crucial to reducing the risk of downtime on the job site.


Components of an Industrial Lubrication System

It's important to know the parts of an industrial lubrication system and understand how they work together to keep operations running smoothly. Without an effective lubrication system, machinery can wear down quickly and lead to costly repairs or downtime. 



The components of an industrial lubrication system work together strategically to provide significant benefits, including: 

  • Climate control: The oil dispensation rate is fully customizable, allowing for proper oiling of all chains and sprockets without dependence on weather conditions. 
  • Increased value at resale: Maintaining this equipment at a higher level and having it retain full capabilities leads to higher value at the time of trade-in or sale. 
  • Reduced maintenance costs: Not only are these systems proven to extend chain life up to three times normal expectancy, but they also mean less money lost to both downtime and chain replacement as a result. 
  • Customization: Lines can be added and some lines cut off from oil dispersion, based on the system’s needs. Spare parts and additional kits are available to streamline this process. 


Having a basic understanding of each component in the system is essential for ensuring efficient, safe, and reliable operation. It can also help you spot problems early so you can take steps to prevent major issues from occurring. Some key components of an industrial oil lubrication system include: 

  • Pump:
    • The pump receives oil from the reservoir that travels through the intake, past a 
      stainless steel ball check, which seats when pressurized.
    • Below the ball check is a screen, which filters the oil coming in from the reservoir.
    • Next is a spring, which returns the piston to the set position upon a drop in hydraulic pressure.
    • Below the piston is the hydraulic or pneumatic pressure inlet, which is controlled by a pilot signal (either hydraulic or compressed air).
    • At the bottom of the pump you will find a jam nut, situated above a brass plunger, which controls the amount of oil dispensed. This can be adjusted at the bottom.

  • Brushes: Oil from the pump flows into the brushes, which clean debris off the equipment chains and also disperse the oil to the pin bushing joints.

  • Oil: Clean petroleum chain oil without additives is the best type to use. Choosing a higher viscosity means better flow between chain plates, and optimizing wear life. 30 weight oil is the most commonly used.

  • Oil reservoir tank: the 2-quart tank offers a reliable supply of oil to maintain efficiency.

How Industrial Lubrication Systems Reduce Downtime

An industrial lubrication system also helps to maintain an optimal temperature within the system. The oil is circulated throughout the machine and helps to disperse heat away from friction points, reducing wear and tear caused by extreme temperatures. This allows operators to work with more precision and accuracy while reducing downtime due to overheating. In addition, it increases the lifespan of components ensuring efficient performance over a longer period.

Using an industrial lubrication system allows operators to monitor the oil level in the reservoir tank easily and top off oil when necessary. The use of a hydraulic line with a pressure gauge also ensures that optimum pressure is maintained throughout the entire system. All these factors contribute to increased reliability and extended life of machinery and production operations.


Next Steps: Investing in an Industrial Lubrication System

Reliable machinery keeps downtime to a minimum. Knowing the parts and processes of an industrial lubrication system can go a long way toward reducing maintenance costs. This means more time for other tasks. 

However, we know with preparation and the right systems installed, sometimes things don’t go as planned. For troubleshooting tips, see our Product Guide.


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