Equipment Lubrication: Maximize Lifespan and Performance

It's important to pay attention to the lubrication of industrial equipment to maximize its durability and performance. Discover the different types of lubricants and their specific applications.

Maintenance of machinery, with a particular focus on the lubrication process of equipment, is vital for industries. Selecting the appropriate product is indeed crucial in preventing bearing failures, equipment wear, and other potential breakdowns. It also serves as an excellent means to enhance performance while extending the lifespan of rotating equipment.

Industrial maintenance and machine lubrication should thus be carefully planned and monitored. Timely performed maintenance operations can prevent resource wastage and sustainably reduce costs associated with the extensive task of maintenance. Discover best practices in industrial lubrication and learn how Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) can support you in this endeavor.


What is equipment maintenance, why is it essential?

What is equipment maintenance and why is it essential?

The maintenance of industrial equipment is crucial for a good reason: maintaining a complex array of machinery in perfect working order is a true challenge for industrialists.

To maintain machinery, industries typically employ one or more types of maintenance from the following:

  • Corrective or curative maintenance: this type of maintenance is used to repair machines when a breakdown occurs. Often unplanned, corrective maintenance is applied to non-critical machines and allows for short-term cost savings.
  • Preventive maintenance: aims at preventing breakdowns. Preventive maintenance involves monitoring the condition of equipment to anticipate malfunctions. It can be condition-based – checking one or several specific parameters – or time-based – inspecting equipment at regular intervals. This type of maintenance is particularly useful in avoiding resource wastage, including consumables such as lubricants, and minimizing production downtime.
  • Predictive (or forecast) maintenance: with predictive maintenance, companies are able to greatly anticipate future events. Data is collected from the equipment and analyzed to predict future failures and act before they occur.

While some companies opt for a single form of maintenance, others combine preventive, corrective, and predictive maintenance. Some organizations implement a comprehensive maintenance strategy, such as Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). Regardless, proper planning is essential to optimize the performance of critical or sensitive equipment without mistakes or oversights. Neglected or inadequate maintenance runs the risk of overlooking significant malfunctions and enduring prolonged production interruptions. Quality maintenance will notably include proper and regular lubrication of equipment.


How does lubrication ensure equipment longevity?

Given the multitude of mechanical parts interacting within them, rotating machines are subjected to high stress. Stress that can quickly lead to wear and shorten equipment life, as well as issues like corrosion or overheating. Lubrication provides a reduction in friction and facilitates smoother movement of parts. Eventually, this improves the longevity of the entire machine.

Lubricants typically come in forms of:

  • Greases: these are used to reduce overheating in certain equipment (chains, motors, blades…) and withstand heavy loads.
  • Oils: employed to make movements more fluid and minimize wear on equipment (such as compressors, hydraulic reducers…).
  • Pastes: suited for slowly rotating equipment with very heavy loads, they withstand very high temperatures.

How does lubrication ensure equipment durability?The various kinds of industrial lubricants (neat, emulsions, synthetics) cater to all types of components (cutting blades, mechanical parts, electrical equipment…). However, the diverse cases and methods of application require thorough knowledge of one’s industrial equipment.

To improve equipment durability, it is vital to carry out proper lubrication, ahead of any failure and while minimizing machine downtime. This may involve either manual lubrication, which is more economical but less reliable, or automatic lubrication, which has the advantage of being performed during machine operation. Regardless, it is critical to systematize this essential maintenance step so that no equipment is overlooked.


The consequences of insufficient or improper lubrication

Inadequate lubrication of industrial equipment doesn’t only affect the concerned component. Indeed, phenomena such as overheating, loss of sealing, and wear can, over time, cause considerable damage to a machine. As a result, cracks and deformations may emerge, eventually leading to machine failure or cessation.

However, deficiencies in lubrication can be detected. Visual inspection can reveal signs of wear as well as potential leaks and flows. Friction signs are usually audible and can be identified through simple listening or using ultrasonic technologies.

To work towards better lubrication of equipment, it is first essential to tailor the process to the profile and history of each machine. This will result in a lubrication plan, the core of rotary machine maintenance and the foundation of effective industrial maintenance.

This planning and the resulting actions should be documented in a comprehensive maintenance plan. Proper maintenance management equates to better organization of human resources and tailored treatment of machinery. The result is fully functional equipment, and thus, a more efficient production.


Best practices in maintenance and lubrication to maximize durability

Just like the lubrication plan, the industry’s maintenance program must be precisely defined. This will enable more targeted actions and significant resource savings – both in products used and labor allocated to maintenance tasks.

The steps in establishing this program are generally as follows:

  • Definition of intervention scope: which sectors and machines require maintenance?
  • Best practices in maintenance and lubrication to maximize durability Selection of the type of maintenance to be applied to each piece of equipment (systematic, condition-based, predictive) and the resources required.
  • Setting objectives (alert thresholds, periodicity) and typical processes.
  • Action plan, defining a forecast schedule and an optimal workload.

In this program, lubrication operations should be prominently featured. Special attention will be given to:

  • The optimal interval for oil changes (to avoid under- or over-lubrication).
  • Assessing the performance of oils (preferably with a numerical analysis).
  • Inventory management (projected resupply frequency).
  • Organization of lubrication rounds.

Drafting a comprehensive maintenance plan – and adhering to it – is made easier with software solutions! These tools are invaluable for providing a realistic overview of the equipment needing lubrication. CMMS software, in particular, allows for the consideration of equipment history and distribution across one or more sites, as well as easy access to material and human resource availability.

CMMS offers advanced features for comprehensive maintenance and lubrication management:

  • Dashboard to view the entire fleet and its requirements
  • Setting a custom intervention frequency by sector
  • Schedule management
  • Inventory management and replenishment
  • Workload planning
  • Reporting and history

Thus, the company ensures all aspects of the maintenance plan are covered, customizing interventions for each machine and never overlooking important details.

Industrial Maintenance Industrial Maintenance Mob


Industries stand to benefit immensely from implementing quality maintenance and effective lubrication. Proper maintenance tracking means better familiarity with equipment, making it easier to intervene to prevent wear. Software support combines professional equipment monitoring with quantified dashboards. Together, they help you meet your industrial maintenance goals.

Are you ready to optimize the maintenance and lubrication of your equipment? Contact us today to learn more about our Computerized Maintenance Management Systems.

Contact us


What is the recommended frequency for industrial machine lubrication?

The frequency of lubrication depends on the type of equipment and its usage. For instance, electric motors may require lubrication every 500 operating hours or once yearly, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

How do I choose the right lubricant for my equipment?

Selecting a lubricant depends on equipment specifications, the operating environment, and applied loads. For high-temperature bearings, for example, a heat-resistant synthetic lubricant is recommended to ensure optimal performance.

What are the signs of inadequate lubrication in equipment?

Signs of insufficient lubrication may include increased operating temperatures, abnormal noises, excessive vibrations, and reduced performance. For instance, a bearing that emits squeaks or clicks may indicate a need for lubrication.

Share this article
See also

Do you have a project, a question?

Do you have a project, a question? Hit us up and we’ll stay in touch

Scroll to Top