Main­tain­ing the en­vi­ron­ment

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - ENVIRONMENTAL -

Ev­ery­thing we do has an im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment, and the in­flu­ence that in­dus­try and in­di­vid­u­als have on the en­vi­ron­ment has be­come an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant topic of dis­cus­sion. Over the life of a ro­tat­ing as­set the over­all im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment that it has can be seen in its en­ergy con­sump­tion re­quired for oper­a­tion, main­te­nance re­quired to pro­vide reli­a­bil­ity and the length of ser­vice life.


In in­dus­tries where the oper­a­tion oc­curs out­side of fac­to­ries such as agriculture, marine, forestry, min­ing and wa­ter treat­ment, the en­vi­ron­ment is more di­rectly in­flu­enced by ma­chin­ery. The op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment can also demand sig­nif­i­cant grease us­age as a means for ex­clud­ing or purg­ing con­tam­i­na­tion. Although the con­sump­tion of grease on a sin­gle piece of equip­ment may seem small, the com­bi­na­tion of lu­bri­ca­tion points and the volume of grease that is used and of­ten lost into the en­vi­ron­ment adds up over time.

Un­til more re­cent times, the per­cep­tion of biodegrad­able lu­bri­cants tended to be that they com­pro­mised per­for­mance for en­vi­ron­men­tal safety in com­par­i­son to typ­i­cal in­dus­trial lu­bri­cants, how­ever that is not nec­es­sar­ily the case any­more.

SKF grease, LGGB 2, was de­vel­oped to meet the strin­gent per­for­mance de­mands of ap­pli­ca­tions and has been tested and ap­proved for steel-on-steel spher­i­cal plain, ball and roller bear­ings. The grease is based on syn­thetic ester oil, lithium/cal­cium thick­ener and other biodegrad­able in­gre­di­ents, and it has low tox­i­c­ity, while pro­vid­ing good cor­ro­sion in­hibit­ing prop­er­ties and suit­abil­ity for medium to high load­ing.


High lev­els of grease con­sump­tion in bear­ings is more of­ten re­lated to pro­vid­ing a seal­ing func­tion or purg­ing con­tam­i­na­tion from the bear­ing. Im­prove­ments to seal­ing and de­sign of bear­ing ar­range­ments can en­able bear­ings to op­er­ate re­li­ably with sig­nif­i­cantly less re­lu­bri­ca­tion with­out re­duc­ing the ser­vice life, and of­ten be­com­ing re­lu­bri­ca­tion free as­sem­blies.

The SKF Food Line bear­ing units, in­stalled with the SKF 2RF seal, are man­u­fac­tured with­out any re­lu­bri­ca­tion fea­ture in the hous­ing and have been tested un­der high pres­sure wash-down. The elim­i­na­tion of ad­di­tional re­lu­bri­ca­tion, par­tic­u­larly when close to food pro­duc­tion, is both ben­e­fi­cial en­vi­ron­men­tally and ad­dresses the risk of prod­uct con­tam­i­na­tion.

Sealed spher­i­cal roller bear­ings come equipped with con­tact seals and lu­bri­cated with a high­per­for­mance SKF grease. For many ap­pli­ca­tion con­di­tions the bear­ings would not re­quire re­lu­bri­ca­tion and can be con­sid­ered re­lu­bri­ca­tion­free while the ef­fec­tive con­tact seals keep lu­bri­cant in and con­tam­i­nants out to sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease ser­vice life. In a typ­i­cally con­tam­i­nated en­vi­ron­ment, a sealed bear­ing has a rat­ing life of up to four times that with an open bear­ing.


Proper lu­bri­ca­tion of both con­veyor and trans­mis­sion chain re­duces the en­ergy con­sump­tion to drive the ap­pli­ca­tion, but also ex­tends the ser­vice life of the chain by re­duc­ing pin and bush wear. Com­mon lu­bri­ca­tion of a chain by oil drip or a brush may be a pre­ferred method, how­ever the re­sult is nor­mally lu­bri­cat­ing parts of the chain which do not re­quire oil, such as the side plates, rather than the wear­ing com­po­nents around the pin.

Use of a lu­bri­ca­tion sys­tem, such as the SKF Oil Pro­jec­tion Sys­tem, pre­cisely de­liv­ers a me­tered volume of lu­bri­cant to the points of fric­tion of each chain link whilst the chain is in oper­a­tion. Air­less pro­jec­tion noz­zles have no me­chan­i­cal con­tact with the chains thus min­i­miz­ing ap­pli­ca­tor wear and dirt ac­cu­mu­la­tion


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