Selecting a single-point lubricator

Lubrication in today’s industrial landscape has changed the way manufacturing equipment is maintained and has undoubtedly lengthened the life cycle of machinery.

05/15/2008


Lubrication in today’s industrial landscape has changed the way manufacturing equipment is maintained and has undoubtedly lengthened the life cycle of machinery. From complex multiline systems to even more complex air and oil systems for high-speed machine tool spindles, lubrication has never been more advanced. But with every advance, often another segment is adversely affected by the modern ways of doing things. Think about all those Beta users when VHS became the standard. In the case of machinery lubrication, that segment is the small machine tool, or equipment that is just “too small” or lacks the inherent value to justify a centralized lubrication system.

Luckily for manufacturers, a solution exists for this dilemma: single-point lubricators. These small and compact units %%MDASSML%% also known as SPLs %%MDASSML%% can be an ideal alternative to complex lubrication systems. While they lack the lubricant volume and some of the precision of centralized systems, they are very effective at delivering lubricant where it is needed.

Three main types of SPLs are available in the marketplace today: spring-powered, electrochemical and electromechanical. They can be used in almost any industrial condition, including those with vibration and high temperatures, and even in corrosive environments. When compared to centralized lubrication systems, the price point is relatively low, depending on the features. However, as with most product line comparisons, each type of SPL has its pros and cons. Before product selection, it is important to look at how the units will be used. Some sample questions to ask include:

  • Does machinery run lights-out, 24/7?

  • Are maintenance personnel assigned to occasional lubrication spot-checks?

  • Are blown bearing seals from lubricators a concern?

  • Is price a deterring factor in lubricator selection?

  • How soon does the application require the lubricator to start dispensing?