Lubrication is critical to prolonging the life of bearings which in turn is fundamental to increased uptime and production and reduced operational costs. “The importance of accurate lubrication cannot be overemphasised as both over- and under-lubrication can reduce bearing lifetime,” states Eddie Martens, SKF product manager, MaPro.
He points out that over-lubrication is wasteful; excess grease is costly and can also cause serious complications while under-lubrication can lead to premature bearing failure or allow contaminants into the bearing. “It is therefore surprising that re-lubrication is often carried out based on experience rather than making use of available modern technology.”
SKF offers a practical, easy-to-use solution for accurate re-lubrication in the form of an Ultrasound Lubrication Checker, the TLGU 10. With a simple connection to a grease gun and using ultrasonic technology, this intuitive device helps to improve the manual re-lubrication process by assisting the maintenance technician to dispense the correct amount of lubricant into a bearing at the right time, subsequently maximising bearing performance and lifetime.
The TLGU 10 relies on a robust, repeatable ultrasound sensor which has been optimised for harsh conditions to effectively monitor the sound of lubricant filling the bearing. The device allows a technician to listen to this sound via headphones. The sound changes abruptly at the point where the correct amount of lubrication has been applied. In addition, a coloured display indicates noise levels, further simplifying use. “The combination of sound with visual displays helps the technician to re-lubricate the right amount quickly and with maximum accuracy,” notes Martens.
By making it a more practical, condition-based process, the ultrasonic sensor improves maintenance practices when re-lubricating bearings. Rather than using theoretical models or experience, a technician is now given accurate, real-time guidance on the progress of the re-lubrication process.
The TLGU 10 helps to avoid both under- and over-lubrication and all the associated problems by ensuring accurate re-lubrication for optimum bearing performance and extended bearing life by reducing the likelihood of wear and failure, and ultimately improving the reliability of a customer’s assets.
SKF recommends Ultrasound Lubrication Checker for a range of bearing applications including electric motors, pumps, fans, compressors and conveyors.
The TLGU 10 is supplied as a kit. “The grease gun is not included in the scope of delivery of TLGU 10 but SKF offers a range of grease guns which can be purchased separately,” concludes Martens.