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Don’t forget those “Fit & Forget”​ Autolubes!

Automatic Lubrication Systems / Centralised Lubrication Systems are designed to apply lubricant in precise, metered amounts over short, frequent time intervals.

Labour constraints and/or the physical location of lubricating points on a machine can make it difficult to manually lubricate the points. This, combined with the convenience and confidence of automated systems, makes such systems a great choice for maintenance and reliability professionals.

Set up and maintained correctly, machines can be lubricated at the right time, with the right quantity of the right product. But, if they are not managed, automated lubrication systems can lead to a false sense of confidence!

Unfortunately, most of the sites’ autolubes we reviewed in the last year were not performing as they should.

Poor lubrication is the cause of over 60% of bearing faults found across our own condition monitoring programs, costing clients £000’s in breakdowns and high maintenance costs.

Fitting Autolubes can, of course, contribute to an effective and efficient lubrication management program, but, when fitted…

DON’T FORGET THEM!

PMs should be created to check their operation, top-up reservoirs, and make sure lubricant is reaching the bearings.

This all sounds obvious…right?

These photos are just a few of the many examples we’ve seen on our last few site lubrication assessments and are not uncommon in our experience.

The “Fix” should simple enough…

Create PMs at least to:

  • Check their operation and integrity
  • Top up reservoirs
  • Check that lubricant is reaching the bearings
  • Record and report observations

Ideally also:

  • Clearly define/control the product they use (in the SOP and colour coding)
  • Record usage over time (so you know they work and can product when they need replenishing)
  • Check the bearing condition regularly (using acoustics or vibration for example)
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