Lower en­ergy con­sump­tion by us­ing cor­rect lu­bri­cants

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - MAINTENANCE MATTERS -

It is a sim­ple fact that bet­ter lu­bri­ca­tion can lead to dramatic en­ergy sav­ings and an im­proved bot­tom line.

Dur­ing con­ver­sions from one form of en­ergy to an­other, some use­able en­ergy is lost. These en­ergy loses can be ex­tremely costly. The science of physics reveals that lu­bri­ca­tion can play a role in re­duc­ing en­ergy losses by re­duc­ing fric­tion.

Placed be­tween two mov­ing sur­faces, a lu­bri­cant de­creases the co­ef­fi­cient of fric­tion. Nat­u­rally this would also mean the more a lu­bri­cant de­creases fric­tion, the less en­ergy the lu­bri­cated ma­chine con­sumes.

Mon­i­tor­ing tem­per­a­ture changes is a great way to op­ti­mise lu­bri­ca­tion pro­gramme per­for­mance. In­creased fric­tion in a piece of mov­ing equip­ment re­sults in higher op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­tures.

Fric­tion is a re­sult of metal-to-metal con­tact that oc­curs be­tween two op­pos­ing sur­faces mov­ing rel­a­tive to on an­other, even be­tween highly ma­chined sur­faces, un­der mi­cro­scopic view, as­per­ity con­tact oc­curs.

The greater amount of con­tact, the greater the amount of fric­tion. As a re­sult, more en­ergy is re­quired to move the sur­faces rel­a­tive to one an­other, this fric­tion re­sults in higher elec­tri­cal power costs.

There­fore when fric­tion is re­duced, less elec­tric­ity is re­quired to drive a gear­box, com­pres­sor, pump or other piece of equip­ment.

A case in point in­volves At­las Copco ro­tary screw air com­pres­sors (GA30 and a GA230) used at a New Zealand build­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing plant.

Its two older com­pres­sors have rel­a­tively high to­tal run­ning hours (ap­prox­i­mately 94,000 hours for the GA30 and 67,000 hours for the GA230). Each year, the GA30 is used ap­prox­i­mately 4,000 hours, while the GA230 runs ap­prox­i­mately 1000 hours. The two air com­pres­sors hold 15 litres of oil each.

To track re­sults, the com­pany took am­per­age mea­sure­ments be­fore and af­ter the con­ver­sion to the new oil, and then used the for­mula shown be­low to cal­cu­late en­ergy sav­ings.

In en­ergy sav­ings alone, con­vert­ing to a high per­for­mance lu­bri­cant for the two ma­chines will save the com­pany a to­tal of $1,676. Based upon cost sav­ings and an­nual hours of op­er­a­tion, the LE oil will pay for it­self in six months for the GA30 and in 30 months for the GA230. Other ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing ex­tended oil change in­ter­vals and de­creased main­te­nance, will re­sult in ad­di­tional sav­ings.

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