Here are 5 Whys:
Problem: Traditional lubrication methods establish lubrication extremes that both diminish longevity of rotating and sliding elements.
Why 1: The application schedule for lubricants is on a per hour of operation for each asset.
Why 2: The equipment manufacturer establishes a routine re-lubrication interval for extended equipment life.
Why 3: The current method of re-lubrication is manually via grease gun with an established shot volume.
Why 4: The equipment manufacturer typically does not install auto lubrication and does not want to increase the equipment price as the end user compares asset price as a major factor in purchase.
Why 5: Companies worry about expenditures on Capital Projects and the ongoing maintenance costs and machine failures are typically a concern for another department and auxiliary budget.
Thus: The issue of Over Lubrication and Under Lubrication and decreased useful life of assets persists in industry. If we would ask WHY are we losing profits on equipment downtime and labor, then maybe we could get to WHY we should implement auto lubrication…
1) Auto lubrication establishes grease re-lubrication intervals from once 40 hours to once per 20 minutes. This reduces the amplitude of the oscillation on the flood/starve graphic. By maintaining consistent “adequate” lubrication, life extension of up to 12 times typical useful life can be achieved.
2) Auto lubrication takes out the human factor in lubrication. Improved consistency as well as the removal of human interaction allows for greater accuracy and reduced labor.
3) Auto lubrication reduces need for downtime and potential hazards by allowing for lubrication during production.
4) Auto lubrication reduces the amount of grease consumption by utilizing a closed system. Grease waste is greatly reduced by removing tubes and grease guns from the operation.
5) Auto lubrication cuts costs and increases the bottom line by being a fixed cost in the capital expenditure. The ongoing unquantified costs of placing the burden of lubrication on the maintenance team/budget is removed.