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Top 10 Tips for Grease Optimisation

Jan 21, 2017 | by Phil Black - Editor, PII
Category Top Tips       Hits: 1765

Mohamed Mourad, Industrial Marketing Advisor, ExxonMobil – EAME

Optimising your use of grease and ensuring you select the right grease for a specific application is not easy. However, an informed choice can help improve a plant’s productivity and safety while reducing costs.

To that end, ExxonMobil has compiled a 10-point checklist to help guide users through best practise selection, application and use of grease across a wide range of industries.  

1. Choose the right grease for the application.
Individual greases have specific properties that are designed to ensure they can operate under particular conditions. To select the right grease, it is essential to consider the circumstances under which your equipment operates, such as machine speeds, load levels, ambient and operating temperatures, exposure to contamination, the application mode and regreasing frequency.

2. Select the most appropriate grease consistency, base oil viscosity and Anti Wear/Extreme Pressure additive system.
When selecting a grease consider its consistency, base oil viscosity and AW/EP capability. These should be appropriate for the greasing mode and the operating temperature, load and speed of the application, helping ensure maximum protection and extending component life.

3. Don’t over-grease or under-grease.
Incorrect application and over-greasing is a major cause of costly bearing failures. Likewise, an insufficient level of grease could lead to bearing failure due to lack of lubrication. Be sure to check your OEM guidance to ensure you use the right amount.

Mobil bearing red grease

4. Avoid incompatibility.
Before applying a new grease, thoroughly clean – or flush out – the previous product. This avoids compatibility issues, such as grease thickening or softening, leakages, and inappropriate oil bleed in the contact zones. It also helps ensure that the new grease can perform at an optimum level.

5. Consider using greases with synthetic base oils.
When compared with a mineral base oil, grease formulated using a synthetic base oil can offer enhanced oxidation resistance, a higher lubrication film thickness, and reduced flow or torque resistance at low temperature. This helps ensure continued performance and protection even in low or high temperature conditions.

6. Ensure OEM approvals are in place.
OEMs test and approve greases for specific models of their machinery. Make sure the grease you choose is endorsed by your equipment’s manufacturer during its warranty period.  

7. Monitor application in service.
Understanding how your applications are performing can help identify issues before they become problems. You should therefore set up a periodic programme to monitor temperature, vibration, noise, leakage, and grease condition on most critical applications, or after converting an application to a new grease.

Mobil silver ball bearings blue

8. Store and handle greases correctly.
By handling lubricants correctly you can cut down on contamination and minimise waste. Keeping lubricants at common ambient temperatures and away from moisture can help prevent deterioration. Always follow the grease manufacturer’s shelf life guidelines.

9. Reduce disposal costs.
Choose a grease formulated with a synthetic base oil as this can offer a longer operational life than a similar grade mineral-based product. This can help reduce used grease disposal costs and also cut waste.

10. Purchase your greases from an experienced supplier.
Always choose a knowledgeable grease vendor in order to help ensure that you can access the best possible product insights and technical information.

By following these simple steps, you can help optimise performance and ensure that your equipment is properly protected with the right grease.

To find out more, please visit: ExxonMobil