Reliability Matters – 1.6 – Equipment Lubrication

Is There a Better Way to Grease my Equipment?

When greasing bearings, how do you know you have achieved the right volume of grease for the bearing? It seems there are all kinds of charts and graphs that indicate the volume of grease needed for each size and type of bearing. All those published estimates are subject to the rotational speed and knowing how much grease your grease gun is administering with each pulse.

We are all aware of the issues we face when we over-grease. If using a pneumatic grease gun, the pressures can rupture seals and fill the voids.

In electric motors, that over-greasing can affect energy usage, cause winding failures, and a host of other issues that in the end will drive up the total costs of ownership and maintenance / repair costs.

We are equally aware of the issues with under greasing.

THE GOOD NEWS … There is a better way to grease bearings that permits a proper amount of grease to be injected into the bearing and to sustain the bearing in good health.

Acoustical Ultrasound Greasing is The Answer.

Acoustical Ultrasound is a process of measuring the high frequency sounds of the bearing and then adding grease until the sound levels drop.

Bearings that are dry, slide, scuff and knock when rotating causing an acoustical noise similar to gravel in a washing machine. Acoustical Ultrasound can not be detected by the human ear. Sound levels of a high frequency (above 20 kHz) can be detected with an acoustical ultrasound detector. This is the same hardware that is used to detect compressor air leaks and hidden electrical failures associated with arcing, tracking and corona.

When used with a grease gun, you can be confident that you are administering exactly the volume of grease the bearing needs

How Does Acoustical Ultrasound Lubrication / Greasing Work?

Dry bearings generate “noise” within the sound spectrum that is above the level of human hearing. The high frequency signal can be measured using a decibel scale. A high frequency signal is an indicator of the degree of lubricant that is missing or that the bearing is damaged.

By continuing to monitor the decibel frequency while administering the lubricant to a good bearing, the sound will transition from “gravel” to a “waterfall”. The “waterfall” sound indicates the correct amount of grease has been administered.

Can Acoustical Ultrasound be used to Indicate when a Bearing Needs to be Replaced?

A very high decibel value can be an indicator that no amount of grease is going to benefit the bearing. A continued high frequency signal can be used to identify when a bearing needs to be replaced thereby providing maintenance with time to properly plan a change out of the equipment.

Is an Acoustical Ultrasound Grease System Expensive.

There are two types of acoustical grease applicators. An analog system is available that offers a graph of the decibel level attached to a set of headphones. A digital system is now available that can be used for route-based greasing and to track details of sound levels and the volume of lubricant added. Both systems are reasonably priced.

Can we help you with your system or give you a demonstration?

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