Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration


Supporting capital investment in machinery

June 2023 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Industrial and mining operations are under increased financial pressure in the current economic and social climate in South Africa. This means that when businesses make capital investments in new equipment, they need to be sure that the machinery will function optimally for as long as possible. One of the key ways to ensure this happens is to use the right lubrication and aftermarket reliability solutions.

Aftermarket reliability solutions, such as oil level monitors, vibration sensors and breathers, can have a major impact on the lifespan of equipment. In hard-to-reach or hard-to-see places such as inside gearboxes, problems often arise because the lack of consistent monitoring of what is happening inside the apparatus means that oil levels get too low, seals get damaged because of the resultant pressure build up, and then the entire gearbox is at risk of failing.

Gary Wentzel, senior technical consultant at Lubrication Engineers (LE) South Africa, has seen first-hand how using oil level monitors and breathers can save on maintenance and repair costs. At a plaster and plasterboard manufacturing client’s company, the addition of sight glasses and oil level monitors in gearboxes has saved hundreds of thousands of Rands and had a marked impact on maintenance downtime for the gearboxes.

“Aftermarket reliability solutions have saved on the repairs of the client’s gearboxes, because correct lubrication management has stopped leaks happening via the gearbox seals (which are the weakest point). Giving the maintenance engineers visibility has been a massive bonus. Many of the gearboxes were previously run to failure and then had to be replaced. At around R35 000 to replace a small gearbox and up to R160 000 for larger ones, this is a big saving. The gearboxes where we used these aftermarket reliability solutions and our Almatek General Purpose Lubricant have now been running for three years without breakdowns,” says Wentzel.

The Almatek General Purpose Lubricant can be used in multiple applications, which is useful for plants that have different types of equipment components in use. The grease has been specifically designed to be tacky, and it clings well to metal in elements such as bearings. Importantly, as in the case of LE’s client’s gearboxes, it is formulated for extended use and reduces maintenance costs by letting equipment run cooler, with less frictional wear.

Maintenance teams are often required to manage large workloads and to monitor many different moving parts in a business’ operations. Using long-lasting lubrication products is key to helping them extend equipment lifespans, but tools that improve their visibility and reduce machine failures (and the resultant repairs) increase their capacity and ability to balance the maintenance needs across a plant.

For more information contact Gavin Ford, Lubrication Engineers, +27 11 464 1735, gavin@lubricationengineers.co.za, www.lubricationengneers.co.za




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