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   413-788-5823  |  Lubrication Technologies, Inc.   |

$4K ROI Mower Lubrication System

A State DOT purchased 10 New Holland Tractors equipped with Alamo mowers and contracted with Lubrication Technologies to install our ReliaMAX™ automatic lubrication systems on two of them. The DOT's decision to invest in automatic lubrication systems was driven by past failures on mower bearings caused by a number of factors, but primarily the inability to timely relubricate the bearings during the mowing season.

The systems serve a total 23 lubrication points on a Sickle Mower and 15 points on a Flail Mower. Points being served are all greased bearings on the mower decks as well as upper and lower kingpins and trunnion on the tractors. Each point receives a specific volume of lubricant every hour while the unit is in operation. Lubricating bearings dynamically with fresh grease while they are in motion eliminates the “feast or famine” consequence typical manual lubrication provides, and that assumes the bearings are greased on schedule, which is generally not done.

The DOT expects the cost of the systems to be recovered in 1 to 2 years. Extended bearing life will absolutely occur!
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Water in Oil

A Garage Foremen of a large trucking and construction company recognized our truck as we drove up and welcomed us into their recently built state of the art garage. The manager, who used to work at a heavy equipment dealer, remembered how we had "saved the day" with our Harvard portable filter cart. The dealer had a Liebherr wheel loader that had experienced water contamination in the hydraulic oil. Several oil changes (2 drums each), had failed to rid the system of the emulsified oil.
The dealer rented our Harvard filter cart and saw the oil go from milky to clear in just one pass. Our meeting with him allowed us the opportunity to share the Harvard Filter’s ability to also markedly reduce particle counts in hydraulic oil (as well as other oils) which translates to longer oil life and extended pump, valve and motor life. Scheduled filtration of hard-working hydraulic oil (along with ISO 4406 Particle Count testing) confirms these benefits and allows safe extended life of these essential fluids.

Harvard Filters are also available to allow hard plumbed installations which will constantly clean and polish the oil in engines, hydraulic systems as well as gearboxes and crusher lube oil applications.
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Zero Downtime

A paper mill, in business for well over 100 years, recently converted to using Lubrication Engineers lubricants along with Lubrication Technologies reliability focused recommendations. A detailed lubrication survey was performed, personnel trained and various hardware installed to facilitate more efficient management of the lubrication program. The maintenance manager recently reported that the mill has run the past 3 months with zero downtime, a first time occurrence in the mill's history.
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Grease or Oil?

Two new ball mills were installed at a newly built facility designed to provide a proprietary process where glass is recycled. The mills, made in China, each have 2 bearings measuring 900mm/3 ft. ID x 1280mm/4.2 ft. OD with a width of 375mm/1.2 ft. rotating at 20 rpm. These bearings, originally designed to be greased, were found to be lacking in the design of the housing which limited the ability of the lubricant to get in the pathway of the rolling elements.

The operations manager made a decision to convert the bearing housings to oil and we assisted his team to determine the optimum minimum oil viscosity required to provide the bearings with the maximum life at the operating temperature. We recommended the lubricant which was purchased, as well as dedicated filtration systems for each bearing which are presently under consideration.
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You've probably read it a hundred times in OEM manuals or on the tubes of grease you use. Here's a bit of the back story - NLGI is National Lubricating Grease Institute. They are a professional organization that helps develop standards for grease and are a technical resource for the grease industry.

The NLGI grading systems is based on the ASTM PD217 Penetrometer as seen here: in it's simplest form, a weighted cone is dropped into a container of grease and the penetration is measured in millimeters. More penetration begets more millimeters; i.e. softer grease.
The NLGI grades range from 000 to 6 as seen below
The takeaway is that grease is composed primarily of 3 components, a thickener, a base oil and an additive system. As the NLGI grade number is reduced, the ratio between the thickener and oil changes effectively increasing the oil and reducing the amount of thickener. There are wide variations in thickener system types, oil types, oil viscosities and of course additive systems but one thing remains constant.

Grease is used when the lubricant needs to stay in place and it is the oil in the grease that primarily performs the lubricating function. Softer greases like NLGI #00, 0 and 1 are used in centralized systems, low temperatures and/or high rotational speeds. Heavier greases, NLGI 2 and above are generally used as general purpose, both high and low rotational speeds, heavy loads and/or high temperatures. 

There are too many variables to discuss in this article but this gives one an idea as to the NLGI grades.

Please consult Lubrication Technologies for any specific lubricant application.
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Lubrication Technologies, Inc. · 120 Bosworth St · West Springfield, MA 01089-3503 · USA