Getting the right industrial lubricant for your machinery in Wisconsin is a little more involved than opening your owner’s manual and picking the first recommended lubricant you can find in-store or online. Manufacturers’ recommendations are helpful, but you need to pick an industrial lubricant that’s not just suitable for your machine, but also the environment in which you’re using it. Depending on your shop, processes and other environmental factors, you may find that one type fits your needs more than others.
Here are the main things you should know about industrial lubricants in Wisconsin.
How lubricants perform
Obviously, lubricants grease machinery so moving parts don’t generate too much heat and friction. Friction causes damage and wears down the machinery, so getting the proper lubricant and applying as needed are crucial for proper machine operation.
There are three types of lubricants: fluid, semi-solid and solid. Fluid lubricants are completely liquid, like oil, while semi-solid lubricants are more akin to grease. Solid lubricants often consist of powders or thin films.
How to choose and use the right industrial lubricant
When choosing a lubricant, you need to consider how hot the machinery gets, the speed at which it operates and any other factors, like vibration or moisture. The hotter the machine, the lower the lubricant’s viscosity will be. Your goal is to get a lubricant that will maintain the correct amount of viscosity during operation, which varies from machine to machine. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you’re making your selection:
- Four considerations: Remember the four main considerations when identifying the right industrial lubricant: the right technology, quantity, frequency and application. The previous section provided an overview of lubricant technology—once you’ve chosen the right lubricant, you just need to learn how to use it properly.
- Consider potential extreme conditions: Industrial machinery operation can decline when you’re in extreme conditions. If your application is subject to extreme heat, moisture or corrosion, you’ll need to take that into consideration before making your final decision. Industries like mining, for example, require specialty lubricants that can deal with heat, cold and plenty of water.
- Know when and how much to apply: Think of your machinery like Goldilocks: you want to avoid over- and under-lubricating your equipment. Aim to get the lubrication quantity as close to perfect as possible. This includes knowing not just how much to apply, but when and how to apply it. The manufacturer should have a suggested schedule and instructions for application. Your goal should be to have a consistent lubrication quality—this enables your machinery to operate smoothly and without interruption.
- Schedule regular lubricant application: Finally, after you’ve selected a lubricant and know when to apply it, set a regular application schedule. This ensures your machines will get what they need to function, reducing the risk of downtime. Make sure that in addition to your schedule, you designate a responsible party to be in charge of lubrication.
For assistance selecting industrial lubricants in Wisconsin, inquire with the team at Wenniger Compressor Co. We specialize in air compressor sales and service, including lubricants, and would love to work with you soon!