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COOLANTS & LUBRICANTS Role of lubricants: Bolstering energy demands & smooth work processes

Nov 20, 2019

As energy costs continue to soar rapidly, the total energy used translates into an instant concern for each company’s productivity. However, lubricants have an even greater influence on total energy utilised and play a pivotal role in simplifying manufacturing processes. In an exclusive interaction with Deepankar Banerjee, CEO, ExxonMobil Lubricants, and digging deep into the role of energy-efficient lubricants in manufacturing, the cover story explores how lubricants play a crucial role in terms of sustainable industrial operations, their role in manufacturing processes and the range of lubrication solutions offered by ExxonMobilTM.

There is no doubt that lubrication is, in fact, an investment that generates a considerable business prospect. The demands of manufacturers and users for the performance of lubricants have amplified extensively, in search of continuous enhancement so as to bring down operating costs, raise dependability and diminish the requirement for repairs and maintenance. Also, energy supply is a relevant factor in a manufacturer’s cost structure, as dropping energy consumption directly improves a company´s bottom line. Here, energy efficient lubricants help in leading operations to satisfy energy needs.

Using energy efficient lubricants

With growing economies, rising GDP and improving living standards, the global energy demand will rise by 25 per cent by 2040. This demand is expected to come predominantly from China and India, where energy use will rise by 40 per cent. However, this surging demand for energy has created a challenge of ensuring access to affordable, reliable and clean energy solutions to minimise its impact on the environment.

To address these challenges, consumers need to reduce their environmental impact by switching to less carbon-intensive energy solutions. Industries should explore advance and energy efficient technologies and make it a crucial part of their business priorities. Therefore, energy efficient lubricants play a major role in making operations environment-friendly and sustaining energy demands of the future generations.

MobilTM has a three-dimensional view that supplementing energy efficiency in industrial operations can enhance industrial productivity, maintain safe operating environment and minimise environmental footprint. To do so, Mobil offers a range of lubrication solutions, services and industry expertise to monitor energy efficiency in businesses. As per the CII report released in 2016, Mobil’s innovative products, such as, Mobil SHCTM 600 Series and Mobil DTE 10 ExcelTM help industries achieve energy efficiency goals and reduced electrical energy consumption, improved operating temperature and reduced lubricant consumption.

Through the energy efficiency study conducted by ExxonMobil representatives, the company works closely with OEMs to explore how using synthetic lubricants can maximise energy efficiency. The study helps in reducing power related costs, reducing carbon footprint and extending oil life. Mobil engineers explain the theory and application of lubricants for energy efficiency benefits and also provide an engineering service report which gives recommendations to achieve sustainable operations and improve savings.

Ensuring sustainability through timely oil analysis

Lubricants play a crucial role when talking about sustainable industrial operations. Using the right oil at the right time and in the right place can minimise energy usage and directly lower costs. This makes timely oil analysis an important step to understand the overall performance of lubricants and machines. Mobil ServSM Lubricant Analysis (MSLA) armed with the indepth understanding of Mobil products brings a thorough knowledge of applications and equipment by working closely with original equipment manufacturers. MSLA enables companies to conduct the entire process virtually on their mobile or tablet device through scan-and-go oil sampling bottles. It provides informative reports on the condition of the customer’s equipment and lubricant, which has a direct impact on the energy efficiency factor of industrial operations.

Sustainable operations with long oil drain interval

After studying the performance of the oil, it is also important to study the oil drain interval to save energy and reduce additional costs. Under Mobil ServSM energy efficiency monitoring services, Mobil engineers outline the potential benefits of oil drain optimisation with expert insights that are unique to machines and components. The engineers, along with OEMs, design and implement field validation protocols and conduct periodic reviews. This helps the consumer to identify equipment profile changes and set maintenance objectives to improve operations and energy efficiency goals.

Inspecting gears and hydraulic systems to save energy

While analysing the performance of lubricants is important, one also needs to factor in the need for inspecting gears and hydraulic systems to ensure seamless operations. Mobil’s gears and hydraulic systems inspection services encompass expert inspections of the condition of gears, bearings, lubricant systems, seals and housing of critical enclosed gear units, pump, valves and heat exchanges. The service helps in improving the life and performance of gear units and hydraulic systems. It also estimates the life of the equipment and the impact of recommendation on operations and maintenance to improve system reliability.

Lastly, it is important to remember that sustainable operations are performed in the right temperature. Therefore, organising regular thermography inspection of processes and condition of critical plant equipment can add on to the overall energy efficiency goals of the industry.

Lubricants – crucial contributor to manufacturing

However, the role of lubricants is not just limited to introducing sustainability in industrial operations and enabling energy efficiency gains. It is as crucial for seamless work operations leading to higher productivity.

The industrial manufacturing sector is emerging as a crucial contributor to India’s growing economy, with the government encouraging the ‘Make in India’ initiative. By 2020, India is expected to become the fifth largest manufacturing country in the world, with its large pool of engineers, increasing purchase power parity and capabilities for innovation. The sector has the potential to reach $1 trillion by 2025 and become globally competitive in terms of its contribution to the economy. Nevertheless, as the industry evolves operational challenges, such as, downtime due to poor oil drain intervals and machine breakdowns, remain. To overcome these challenges and build world-class manufacturing facilities, using the right technology becomes imperative. However, while talking about increasing productivity and improved results, companies tend to focus on making their machines intelligent and hiring skilled labour. They overlook the role of lubricants as an important element for smooth functioning of equipments and increasing profitability of businesses.

Role of lubricants in manufacturing

Manufacturing industries often experience a breakdown of industrial operations due to increased friction, which causes heat resulting in the breakdown of equipment. Components, like bearings and gears can also disintegrate due to continuous frictional contact and poor lubrication. But every downtime costs. It is an added expense on labour and inventory, which can have serious business impacts. This makes it important to ensure seamless functioning of industrial equipment. Using the right lubricantion technology plays a major role in preventing heating and abrasion on the friction surface and keeping the machine running smoothly.

Innovating with MobilTM

Mobil lays enormous emphasis on R&D and works closely with leading equipment builders. By driving deep insights from equipment trends and industry requirements, Mobil engineers formulate and design technologically advanced lubricants for exceptional and balanced performance. The company also invests in programs to ensure the right kind of support structure, technology and application expertise to deliver advancing productivity, reliability and sustainability benefits to customers.

Mobil industrial lubricants and greases are designed to protect industrial equipment, enable seamless operations in high or low temperatures and provide longer lubrication intervals.

Reducing maintenance efforts

Hydraulic oil selection plays a big part in helping manage maintenance efforts and slows down equipment ageing. Hydraulic industrial equipment needs maintenance in terms of both, oil and the upgradation of the machine. As the oil oxidises with time, deposits are formed causing replacement of oil and filter. Moreover, often times, even valves, pumps and other parts of the machinery wear with age wherein the damaged components require replacement.

The recently launched Mobil DTE 20 Ultra Series for hydraulics and plastics industry is an example of Mobil’s outstanding technology, which helps reduce maintenance efforts. The lubricant lowers maintenance to reduce man-machine interaction and ensures zero breakdowns for less unscheduled downtime. It also provides outstanding deposit control for longer oil life and extends component life with its superior wear protection.

In addition to this, with two time oil life, it also supports environmental care by reduction in hydraulic oil consumption. Providing improved deposit control of 89.2 per cent for longer oil life and precision operations, the technology also delivers superior wear protection to extend component life. Extensive testing shows that it comes with better water handling and filter rating. According to Eaton 35VQ25 Test – an industrial test recognised for hydraulic-fluid qualification – the oil provides more than 72 per cent better wear protection.

Lubrication – a necessity to strengthen energy requirements

ExxonMobil provides a plethora of lubrication solutions & services and industry proficiency to observe energy productivity in businesses, while focusing hugely on R&D. Lubrication is a necessity to give a boost to energy demands, while using the correct lubricant technology helps with the machine running effortlessly. Using the right oil at the right time and in the right place can also bring down energy usage and costs. This helps comprehend the complete performance of lubricants.

Courtesy: ExxonMobil Lubricants

Image Gallery

  • Using the right lubricantion technology plays a major role in preventing heating and abrasion

  • Energy efficient lubricants play a major role in making operations environment-friendly and sustaining energy demands of the future generations

  • The appropriate lubricant for the hydraulics and plastics industry helps reduce maintenance efforts and provides better protection

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