Reducing operational costs through good lubrication

Extending the life of heavy gear for cement manufacturers is crucial for them to save operational costs associated with maintenance. Manufacturers’ Monthly finds out why from the John Sample Group.

Cement manufacturing is a vital part of the Australian economy and a significant national industry that employs over 1,300 people directly and more than 5,000 indirectly – many based in regional Australia. With the presence of over 20 cement manufacturers across the country, this industry produces an average of nine million tonnes of cement per year, which represents around one percent of total global production.

According to the Cement Industry Federation, a national body entity that represents the Australian cement industry, in recent years, the Australian cement industry recorded a turnover of $2.4 billion, and since 1990s the industry has moved towards more energy-efficient production technology in order to adopt leading- edge practices to reduce costs and emissions.

Cement mills are large manufacturing sites capable of producing vast quantities of cement per year. These plants require significant investments associated with installation, maintenance and upgrading. Therefore, any unwanted downtime due to lack of maintenance might cost millions of dollars in financial losses.

It is crucial for cement manufacturers to find solutions aimed at boosting production under environmental guidelines while reducing operational costs associated with maintenance.

How can lubrication solutions reduce operational costs while contributing to emissions reduction?

When it comes to cement manufacturing, it is generally common that all machinery must
run continuously even under the harshest working conditions. Cement mill equipment must withstand high vibration, shock loads, slow speeds and a high concentration of particulates. All of which means that contamination, loss of lubricant and even improper mounting techniques will likely lead to failures for pinions or trunnions.

The lack of lubricant during operating hours might cause costly downtime and repairs within the whole operation, which means companies have to face extra high costs that could be anticipated through customised lubrication solutions. By implementing customised lubrication solutions, cement mills will drastically increase durability, reliability and productivity by avoiding undesired breakdowns; and enhance safety as unsafe manual lubrication is eliminated.

Furthermore, a customised lubrication solution will help minimise friction which will lead to a reduction in energy consumption, heat generation, wear and noise. Additionally, it will decrease operating expenses, mitigate product contamination and corrosion, and minimise lubricant consumption and maintenance.

Extending the lifetime of large gear drives is essential for cement manufacturing
Large gear drives are used to transmit movement under very heavy loads. They are generally used in the material conversion industries including the cement industry.

The forces transmitted from one gear to another are such that the metal on metal friction immediately causes pronounced wear on the surfaces in contact. Experience has shown that even with precise positioning of the gears, only 50 to 60 per cent of the initial area bears the load. Lubrication is therefore essential to ensure trouble-free operation of these gear drives to extend their mechanical lifetime.

John Sample Group, through its JSG Industrial Systems business, provides access to products and solutions from SKF and Lincoln Lubrication within the Asia Pacific region. JSG Industrial Systems has been the front runner in delivering lubrication solutions from SKF which has the engineering competence to design state of the art bearing assemblies, incorporating customised lubrication systems that greatly extend maintenance shutdown periods allowing higher productivity and lower costs.

JSG Industrial Systems provides SKF automatic lubrication systems for the lubrication of open gears that sprays the lubricant directly onto the gear teeth. This solution, known as Grease Spray System, is designed to protect pinions and trunnions from harsh operating conditions and prevent failure. The Grease Spray System has demonstrated its efficiency on numerous cement plants across the globe.

The spray lubrication system is fully automated. The control unit, dedicated to this application, allows the possibility of continuous or cyclic lubrication. As a result, it is perfectly suited to the requirements of open gears, whether for running-in lubrication (continuous) or regular service lubrication (cyclic).

The entire lubrication installation is equipped with numerous monitoring and safety devices to guarantee optimum operation.

JSG Industrial Systems designs, develops, and supplies engineered industrial systems which increase assets lifetime, reduce operational risk and contribute to environmental sustainability. The company provides access to products and services in industrial lubrication, liquid flow management, and fire suppression for a variety of global sectors including manufacturing, pulp and paper mills, transportation, mining, food and beverage, agriculture, marine, energy, and construction.

For more information, contact your JSG Industrial Systems representative on 1300 277 454 or visit

Leave a Reply