Energy – Savings due to improved lubrication

In 2011 on a routine visit to an industrial customer we were informed that the cost of maintenance of electrical motors was exceptionally high. Lubri-Con offered to investigate this issue for the customer. We began by collecting data: number of bearing failures/temperatures/lubricant in use/ lubrication methods/quantities and frequencies etc

Industry : Steel Manufacturing

Application : Combustion fan plumber block bearings

Previous situation : Manual lubrication of the bearings twice a week

  • High bearing temperature (75-80 °C)
  • Use of an NLGI #3 grease which produced high viscous drag
  • Irregular lifetime of the bearings
  • Irregular hand lubrication leading to high temperature within the bearings and high energy consumption cost

Solution: Electrical energy represents a cost to the company – this energy should be available to do work. However due to the quality of the grease used - a fair amount of energy was being lost as heat energy – as seen by the high temperature on the bearings. This was due to several lubrication management issues. Our proposal included a detailed explanation of our findings and the following:

  • Introduction of a high performance grease with friction modifiers and a synthetic base oil.
  • Conducted a workshop to train technicians on proper greasing methods/calibration of grease guns/greasing quantities calculation/re-greasing frequencies.

Results :

  • Temperature drop of 20°C
  • Power consumption reduced by 15 Amps
  • Vibration level reduced
  • Maintenance costs reduced
  • Increase in equipment run time
Situation Before
Amperages = 309
Bearing operational temperature =75- 85° C
Situation After
Amperages = 294
Bearing operational temperature =55° C
ELECTRICAL POWER SAVINGS (Electrical Eng. Calculation)
A x Phase xV3 x Power Factor x Efficiency/1000kW = hourly consumption in kW
15A x 415V x 1.732 x 0.85(PF) x 0.85(E) /1000kW = 7.79 kW
7.79kW x 24hours x $0.03 (tariff) = $5.60 USD/day (savings in electricity bills)

$5.60 x 365 days = $2,047.21 USD per motor savings in electricity (More than 50 motors in client’s shop)

Total Savings = (2,047.21 x 50 x 6.45 TT) = $660,225.22 savings annually in Rod Mill alone

Benefits

  • Cooler operation or lower operating temperatures (less heat from friction)
  • Longer equipment and mechanical components life (due to lower friction and wear)
  • Increased oil life (lower wear metals and reduced oil oxidation)
  • Lower maintenance cost (fewer oil changes and disposal costs)
  • Energy Savings (less energy lost to friction) approximately $660,225.22 annually