The lubrication of open gears in a cement plant is a particularly important issue, although one that is often overlooked. The traditional technology that exists to lubricate open gears has been in existence for over 50 years and has had little in the way of development since its launch. Usually the system comprises of a centralised spray lubrication system utilising compressed air to project the lubricant on to the open gear. Over the years, lubricant and system manufacturers have been reluctant to become involved in each other’s discipline and this attitude has held back the progress that should have been made in providing the market with sound solutions to the continuing problem of open gear lubrication.
Although this technology is well established as the preferred method of applying lubricant to open gears, it has many flaws, notably:
- High usage of compressed air
- Requires constant monitoring due to the high risk of blocked or misaligned nozzles which can cause gear damage
- Inefficient cleaning due to the need to create a cleaning effect by flushing the gear with excess lubricant
- Over utilisation of costly lubricants to achieve both cleaning and lubrication of the gear
- Difficult to use in low temperature environments where the cold affects the consistency of the lubricant meaning that the spray pattern becomes insufficient to provide a useful amount of lubricant
With the above in mind, UTM Ltd has been working with TriboServ GmbH, to develop a more efficient method of applying lubrication to open gears. We have also been working together on the project with a worldwide lubricant supplier in order to tailor a lubricant to the new system to give a perfect harmony between the application system, the lubricant used and the open gear. This technology is currently in the testing stages, with a live test due to be carried out in the first quarter of 2012.
Please watch this space for more information!