Centralized Lubrication System

The centralized lubrication system, also called an automatic lubrication system, was designed to optimize the lubricant delivery to the precise area where it is needed with the aid of computerized controls.

centralized lubrication systemMechanical parts are subject to friction, so they require thick lubricants like grease or oil to cut down on wear and tear. However, companies can find it challenging to keep the parts supplied with the right amount of viscous liquid at the right times. Whether you’re greasing axles on a construction vehicle or oiling an entire line of presses and other production equipment, the advantages of these lubrication systems include increased precision and decreased risk of human error, particularly when multiple machines and parts are involved.

Basic Components of a Central Lubrication System

The exact layout of a centralized lubrication system depends on the type of system you choose. Whether you have a single-line progressive or a dual-line parallel setup can affect the components and their layout, but most systems include the following basic components:

  • Pump
  • Controller
  • Supply line
  • Air inlets
  • Injectors
  • Feed lines
  • Pressure switch

How Central Lubrication Works

The controller and injectors are programmed for specific amounts of oil or grease to be delivered at designated intervals. When it is time for the lubricant to be applied, the controller activates the lubricant pump. Air is pumped into the lines to create the pressure necessary for moving the viscous liquid through the supply line into the injectors. Once the preset volume is delivered, a pressure switch deactivates the pump, and any remaining lubricant is directed back to the reservoir.

Technological advances have led to additional products or components that increase the efficacy of the central lubrication system, such as alarms for the injectors, plumbing and reservoirs. Any deviation in normal operating conditions or fluid levels sends alerts to operators.

The alerts increase operational efficiency and decrease the risk of damage to machinery by notifying technicians when preventive maintenance is needed. Our team can also provide high-capacity reservoirs to increase the time between scheduled maintenance.

Positive Displacement vs Flow Proportioning Systems

There are two primary types of centralized lubrication systems: positive displacement and flow proportioning. They are differentiated by the method of injection. Positive displacement uses metering pistons, while flow proportioning uses smaller orifices to restrict lubricant flow. At Dropsa USA, our team of experienced engineers can work with you to design the right system for virtually any application.

When choosing the appropriate central lubrication system, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. You must consider the lubricant weight and distance it must travel from the central reservoir to the injection points. The further away from the reservoir and the higher the viscosity of the liquid, the more time it takes to vent after injection.

Monitoring is a very effective tool that supplements visual inspection and decreases the risk of oversight. In very complex systems, we advise adding enhanced controllers and monitoring devices to aid in continuous diagnostic evaluation. While more sophisticated diagnostics do add initial cost, it can be recouped through more efficient maintenance, earlier awareness of potential issues, and decreased downtime.

You can also choose a system design that requires fewer monitoring devices, like progressive metering valves that use positive hydraulic actuation.

When replacing manual lubrication, you have many design options available to you. From the type of system to the monitoring choices, it all depends upon the layout of your facility, the number of machines and parts that need lubrication and the risk factors involved. When choosing the optimal automatic lubricators for your business, remember that the initial investment of a centralized lubrication system can offset fixed or potential future expenditures in labor costs, inefficient processes, system downtime and equipment damage.

Common Types of Lubrication Systems

central lubrication systemChoose a centralized lubrication system from these common types for your commercial or industrial application. Whether you have a single vehicle or a complete line of machines, compare each of these types to find the lubrication system designed for your needs:

  • Minimum quantity lubrication
  • Oil recirculation lubrication
  • Total loss lubrication
  • Air/oil lubrication
  • Centralized grease lubrication system

Minimum quantity lubrication is one of the latest in efficient designs. These systems use precision injectors to deliver the exact amount of lubricant needed for the project. They are often used on CNC machines to keep your equipment cutting at peak efficiency.

Oil recirculation systems are for equipment that can be completely submerged in oil. Similar to an automotive transmission, this system continues to circulate the same oil until it needs to be emptied and replaced.

A total loss lubrication system is less efficient than other systems, but it allows your equipment to continue to operate safely. This process uses up the oil as it operates, so you’ll use more lubricant than in other, similar systems.

Air/oil lubrication to a minimum quantity system. A small amount of oil is injected with pressurized air to deliver a micro-spray to gears, chains and spindles.

Automatic grease systems: Grease has a completely different viscosity than oil, so you need a specialized system installed for automatic greasing. Paper mills and other equipment require grease to keep things moving forward efficiently.

Compare each system for yourself and determine the best option for your facility. Some systems use a dual-line parallel setup to deliver oil to multiple machines at once, while others only include a single injector for efficient delivery to a single lubrication point.

Industrial Lubrication Specialists

Choose the latest centralized lubrication system from a premier manufacturer. DropsA USA is part of a global team committed to delivering uncompromising results to our industrial partners. Enjoy a reliable system selection, design and installation from our ISO 9001 certified team.

Central lubrication systems are key to reducing the cost of routine maintenance. Our qualified installation team allows you to take advantage of full-service convenience to reduce the cost and headache of installing a new system to manage this maintenance task.