Safety in lubricants – why it matters

Image credit: Auschem

Manufacturers’ Monthly spoke to Mitch Connelly, business development manager, Auschem about the need for a safe lubricant in manufacturing applications.

For industries such as wire drawing, aluminium extrusion and smelting, glass packaging, flat glass, glasswool, cardboard manufacturing, petrochemical, metalworking, mining, drilling and quarrying, etc Condat has a great range of lubricants. Specialising in difficult applications like very high temperatures, fire risk areas, environmentally sensitive and food production.

Local agent for the range, Australian Chemicals and Coatings (Auschem), take into account all the essential parameters for quality when supplying these products to its customers.

Auschem is an Australian-owned company who primarily manufactures chemicals for metal finishing like powder coating, spray-painting and anodising industries. PVC plastisol, paint removal and waste treatment are also in the mix.

The company is the sole distributors for Condat lubricants. They supply chemicals to the wire industry, various glass industries, the fabricating industry, but the primary focus is their fire-resistant, biodegradable hydraulic fluids – Condat D, which is also their flagship product.

“Condat D is one of the best lubricant products available in the Australian market. Condat is a global market leader in this area,” said Mitch Connelly, Auschem’s business development manager.

“This is definitely one of Condat’s best-performing, most renowned products and certainly a product we like to promote,” he said.

Connelly also told Manufacturers’ Monthly that Condat is a manufacturer of specialty products in a sense that the products are industry and application specific. “We (Auschem) focus on quality solutions. For example, the only compressor oils that we promote are food-grade and the only hydraulic fluids that we promote are either biodegradable or fire-resistant. In addition, we have managed to improve bearing life for customers drastically by specifying the right grease for each job – we sell on technical requirements, not like for like.

By world-standards, Connelly mentioned that Condat is quite a small company in the lubricant market. However, when it comes to wire drawing lubricants, they are a world leader.

“We are focussing on the fire-resistant, biodegradable hydraulic fluids. And now, food-grade range of compressor oils and greases. We also do a lot of very high temperature products; we sell into the smelting industry, the aluminium extrusion industry, hot glass, hot steel – all very difficult, heavy duty applications,” said Connelly.

The Condat difference

Condat D’s major advantage in the market is that its products are Factory Mutual (FM) approved. If a product comes with FM approval, it means that the manufacturer’s facility has been approved, and it proves that the product’s quality is consistent.

“Being FM approved is what’s really important when you’re trying to reduce your insurance premiums (you wouldn’t put in a fire-resistant product if you weren’t trying to reduce insurance premiums), because the insurer will ask for FM approval,” said Connelly.

The other feature of the Condat D is that it has a premium chemistry that does not utilise any cost cutting thickeners in the formulation.

“Those kinds of products can be fine when they’re brand new off the shelf, but actually severely reduce the service life of the product, because the shear forces from the pumps will take down the polymers and drastically reduce the life of the product.

“Compared to some other products in the market, it’s safe to say that the service life of our product is 20 to 30 per cent better,” said Connelly.

Applications

Condat D is good for any application or industry that is at risk of fire. Connelly mentioned that even people baling hay could use the application.

“Anything that is a high fire risk or is being used at an elevated temperature which creates a fire risk would find good use for the product. This includes even bridgeworks; if you’re doing works in quarries or works over rivers and bridges, all the hydraulics should be biodegradable, and that is where the features of the Condat come into play,” said Connelly.

It is important to have a really high-quality lubricant because the main purpose for this sort of a lubricant or any sort of quality lubrication is tool life and machine life.

“If you can reduce your fire risk, if you can keep all of your pumps and your system well-lubricated and well-cooled, you’re going to get much, much longer lifespans out of your equipment,” said Connelly.