Why Proper Lubrication Is Key to Maximizing Bearing Protection



It’s no secret that maximizing bearing protection is critical to the industrial sector. In fact, bearing failure can cost industries billions of dollars every year. And when you factor in replacement parts, ancillary equipment failures, downtime, wasted product and labor hours, these costs may be even higher than calculated by plant teams.

That’s why clean, efficient lubrication practices are essential to long bearing life. They can mean the difference between lucrative uptime and costly downtime.

A noncontact, compound labyrinth bearing isolator installed on a hydrapulper in a paper mill
A hydrapulper in a paper mill has a noncontact, compound bearing isolator installed.

Why Maximizing Bearing Protection Is Crucial

According to a recent article in Processing magazine, a 2015 MIT bearing study estimated that poorly lubricated equipment can cost industries in the U.S. about $240 billion.

“This estimate gives plant teams about 240 billion reasons to care about protecting their bearings and ensuring the delivery of clean lubricant to those bearings,” the article explained.

How to Maximize Bearing Protection with Proper Lubrication Practices

Reliability teams can take these five steps towards optimal lubrication practices:

  1. Selecting the correct type of lubricant for the asset it will be used on
  2. Using the right quality of storage and handling
  3. Applying the correct amount of lubricant
  4. Utilizing the correct lubricant in the appropriate asset
  5. Deciding to replace the lubricant at the correct time

According to the article, if teams follow all these steps, the lubricant may operate reliably for years.

So this begs the question: Why do most plants and facilities encounter problems?

“Somewhere along the way, something goes wrong.” the article said. “It is often within the bearing housing itself.”

To prevent this problem, a simplified approach to bearing isolator design may make a huge difference. This bearing isolator may eliminate contaminants in lubricants.

Read the complete article on processingmagazine.com to learn more about optimizing bearing protection using proper lubrication practices.

About the Author
Anna Claire Howard is a contributing writer and editor for Sealing Equipment Products Co. Inc. (SEPCO) and has been since Spring 2019. She is a full-time freelancer and stay-at-home-mom. Before those two big life changes, she was the content marketing specialist for Fluke Accelix; assistant editor for Grand View Outdoors, publisher of Bowhunting World, Predator Xtreme, Whitetail Journal, Tactical Retailer, and Shooting Sports Retailer; managing editor for Media Solutions, Inc., publisher of Gear Solutions, Wind Systems, and Thermal Processing magazines; assistant editor for MSI; and the editorial intern for B.A.S.S., LLC, publisher of Bassmaster Magazine and Bassmaster.com. In these B2B/B2C roles, Anna Claire developed an appreciation for the industrial sector, as well as the operators and technicians who make up the workforce. You can find her on LinkedIn at bit.ly/ACHowardLI.

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