Guide to Automatic Lubrication Systems

There are several major configurations of automatic grease lubrication systems, including single and multi-line. Knowing which type of system to use not only helps eliminate unplanned downtimes and maintenance costs, but also improves safety, keeps work areas cleaner, and extends the life of machinery.

In this blog post, we’ll cover both types of systems, their primary features and functions, and how to select the right one for your machinery.

Single Automatic Lubrication System

A multi-line system operates similarly to a single-line system in that it is also controlled by a pump-signaling timer. The timer tells the central pump when to deliver the lubrication to the supply lines. In a multi-line system, each lubrication point has its own supply system, and it is capable of distributing grease and oil without metering devices. Multi-line systems are typically used for smaller machines with smaller lubrication points or in groups of machinery with small lubrication points.

The Main Difference Between Single & Multi-Line Systems

The primary difference between single and multi-line systems is the design itself. Both single and multi-line systems both have a centralized pump system. However, a multi-line system has supply pumps for each lubrication point, while single-line systems have one supply system that distributes lubrication to each injector.

Selecting the Right Type of Automatic Lubrication System

When selecting your automatic grease lubrication system, consider the following factors:

  1. How many points will need lubricating?
  2. What is the distance from the pump to the lubrication points?
  3. What are your application requirements? (E.g. is it a high-pressure application?)
  4. What type of lubricant (s) will you use?
  5. How big is your machinery?

Generally, single-line automatic lubrication systems are compatible with many types of lubricants. They’re also easy to expand, have more application flexibility, and are easy to set up. On the other hand, multi-line systems provide continuous lubrication, and some can even run without electrical timers. Multi-line systems are also great for very demanding applications, are highly accurate, and typically more customizable than single-line. 


Both multi-line and single-line automatic lubrication systems are used in a variety of industries from agricultural to food and beverage. Some of the industry applications for these systems include: 

  • Vacuum Pumps
  • Construction Machinery
  • Forging Presses
  • Printing Machines

As previously mentioned, application requirements typically influence the type of lubrication system that is needed.

Find the Right Automatic Lubrication System

For nearly 80 years, DropsA continues to be a global leader in state-of-the-art automatic oil and grease lubrication systems and components for all types of industries. Browse our online shop to learn more about our systems. If you need help selecting the right configuration for your application, don’t hesitate to contact us!