Efficient Plant January 2018 - 32
feature | lubrication strategies
Your grease-gun technique plays a major role in determining how well you deliver the
correct amount of clean lubricant to a bearing cavity.
Ken Bannister, MEch Eng (UK), CMRP, MLE
OVER THE COURSE of the past 40 years or so, I have been in
many plants and industries and witnessed the effects of many premature lubrication failures-the overwhelming majority of which
involved manual greasing. When asked if formal grease-gun training
has ever been provided during their career, only a handful of maintainers have ever responded positively.
Grease-gun use falls into the same category as hand washing. Until
the recent spate of public campaigns to combat contact ailments,
many of us, including myself, have only lately been taught to wash
our hands correctly. The reality is that manual greasing, as in hand
washing, has many nuanced facets attached to its correct use that
must be performed if the act is to be consistently successful.
The grease gun's "connect and pump" theory is overwhelmingly
simplified when compared with the necessary actions required to
grease effectively. The effects of poor manual-greasing control are
exacerbated when lack of training is coupled with the mythical belief
that if a little lubrication is good, then a lot of lubrication must be
better, and the all-time number-one job plan instruction "lubricate
as necessary"-perpetuated by equipment O&M (operations and
maintenance) manuals and work planners alike.