Machines and vehicles depend on proper lubrication so that friction forces are reduced. If friction forces are not reduced, the machine or vehicle’s life cycle will be decreased. As such, if you want to get the most out of your equipment or vehicles, it is essential that their roller bearings are lubricated regularly and correctly.
Today, motor experts are recommending machine and vehicle owners to do or carry out optimized lubrication. Optimized lubrication means applying new grease on bearings when needed and using just the right amount and type of grease to return friction levels to an acceptable level.
To carry out optimized lubrication properly, here are some useful tips you should follow:
Identify when you need to lubricate the bearings.
It can be tricky to know how often to apply grease. Keep in mind that lubricating bearings, when they don’t need grease, will cause them to malfunction and get damaged, too.
The frequency of lubrication can be influenced by various factors, including heat and humidity, the dimensions of the ball bearings or roller bearings, frequency of use and duration of running time when in use, and type of grease used.
To get the timing right, read the machine or vehicle’s user manual or guidelines and follow the instructions on lubrication of ball bearings. However, you also need to be willing to adapt the rules to a specific situation. Always keep a vigilant eye on the bearings as well.
Choose a brand and type of grease that is compatible to the bearings and the one you used before.
Make sure the type of grease you are using is compatible with the grease which may have been used before on the bearing. If they are incompatible, the two types can react with each other and become obsolete. You can get some sort of chart which indicates compatibility from the supplier, but it is always best to get in touch with the manufacturers of both types of grease to find out if they can be used in conjunction.
Select a type and brand of grease that won’t cause the bearings and the machine to overheat.
A 10°C degree increase in temperature cab cut a bearing’s life expectancy in half. As such, make sure your lubrication won’t crank up the temperature of the machine while it is in use since this is just counterproductive.
Don’t lubricate a bearing in a machine or vehicle that has not been used for more than two years.
Lastly, this is an important tip to remember since the old grease on an unused bearing will have hardened and can prevent even distribution of the new grease and sometimes force the new grease through a seal.