Lubricating systems are used to apply calculated amounts of lubricant to machinery in order to prevent wear from friction. Lubricating systems are vital to manufacturing and industrial companies. Moving or rotating parts of machinery, such as dies, chains, spindles, pumps, cables, rails, bearings and gears, need to be lubricated in order to run smoothly and reliably.
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Types of Lubricating Systems
Many different types of lubricating systems may be used in the same industrial plant in order to keep the assembly line moving without hitch. To ensure effective operation, most moving parts require regular lubrication. Thankfully, there is a vast variety of lubricating systems to ensure that every piece of machinery is thoroughly lubricated. Air lubricators, for instance, supply lubrication and filtration to compressed air lines. These lubricators are often built into the line itself, providing constant lubrication to power tools and other mechanisms. Chain oilers, on the other hand, are units that dispense measured amounts of lubricant along the length of a chain or rail. Both of these systems can be automatic, running by way of preset programs rather than individual manual attention. Such systems are cost effective and more productive, and therefore very popular in the industry. Another automatic system is the central lubrication. This system, which also often attaches itself to the machine it lubricates, is able to cover more than one part of a machine at once. Other systems include gas pumps and constant level oilers.
Types of Lubrication
The two major types of lubrication employed by these systems are grease and oil. Grease is a semisolid lubricant that in essence is a combination of mineral or vegetable oil and soap, not animal fat like other types of grease. They are utilized in industries that require infrequent lubrication of machines that therefore require a lube that will stay in place a long time. Grease, with its greater viscosity, will do just that. The other major lubricant is oil, which is a liquid state that does not adhere to surfaces, making it a perfect lube. Mineral oils such as petroleum are best for lubrication, because they do not degenerate nearly as quickly as organic oils do.
Applications for Lubricating Systems
Lubrication systems are employed in almost every industry that uses mechanical equipment. This includes oilfields, power plants, steel processing companies, the food and beverage industry, printing, mining and industrial manufacturing. The need for lubrication is not specific to these large scale production based industries though; many products that are used everyday by the common middle class American require regular lubrication, including cars and computers.