How Often Should Mechanical Machines Be Lubricated?

One of the most important aspects of ongoing maintenance for mechanical machines in Wisconsin is making sure the machinery is properly lubricated. By keeping friction low, you also reduce the amount of wear and tear that occurs during standard operation of the machine, cut down on operating temperatures, minimize potential corrosion and prevent contaminants from entering the system, all of which go toward ensuring a longer lifespan for the equipment.

The frequency with which you should lubricate your mechanical machines varies based on the kind of machine you’re working with. You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this a kind of machine that needs regular lubrication, or does it have self-lubricating functionality?
  • What kind of lubricants are used for this sort of equipment, and how often do those lubricants need to be changed or added?
  • What does the manufacturer recommend with regard to lubrication schedules?
  • Do you have the staff in place to handle the minimum recommended lubrication cycles for your equipment?

The manufacturer’s recommendations are often the first consideration you should take into account. You will find machinery that needs to be lubricated as often as every few weeks, as well as some machinery that may be able to go years without needing to have lubrication added. What’s important is that you follow the professional recommendations and stay on top of your service schedules, no matter what those schedules look like, so you can maximize the lifespan of your mechanical machinery.

What goes into lubrication?

To understand lubrication schedules, you also need to have an understanding of the composition of the various kinds of lubricants you’ll find on the market.

All types of lubricants have a base oil that makes up a significant portion of their composition. There are three categories of base oils: mineral, vegetable and synthetic. Industrial machines generally have mineral and synthetic base oils, the former of which comes from crude oil and has quality that varies based on how well the refining process is done.

Different applications will require different oil qualities for their lubrications. Mineral oil features several kinds of molecules: aromatic, branched paraffin, paraffin and naphthene. These oils are generally used in the creation of industrial lubricants and engine oils.

Synthetic oils, meanwhile, have a molecule size and weight that are constant, which makes them a bit more predictable and reliable when compared to the variance you find in mineral oils. Synthetic oils have a lot of advantages due to this predictability, especially when the machinery is operating in extreme conditions where there is a need for outstanding thermal stability, fire resistance, high flash points, low pour points, high shear strength and high viscosity index.

Are you interested in learning more about the process of machine lubrication in Wisconsin and what you should know to keep your equipment in good working condition? We encourage you to contact Wenniger Compressor Co. today, and we will be happy to provide you with further information about all aspects of lubrication for a wide range of machinery.

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