How to take the heat out of steel mill lubrication with high performance hydraulic oils

An Italian steel mill dramatically extended the oil drain intervals of the hydraulic systems of its bridge cranes by 700% - following a switch to a synthetic, high performance hydraulic oil.

Steel mills are hostile environments where the combination of high temperatures and heavy loads places extreme demands on lubricants. This can adversely affect equipment downtime and lead to costly repairs. As such, picking the right hydraulic oil is essential for smooth operation and maximum productivity in the mill.

For example, owners of a steel mill in Italy were dissatisfied with the performance of their existing hydraulic oil, which needed changing every 4,000 hours. Even with that oil drain interval length, sludge and deposits were building up.

They thus decided to reach out to their lube supplier to investigate the possibility of identifying a replacement oil that could tackle these issues and improve productivity. Working closely with their supplier, the mill owners identified a high performance lubricant, which was specifically formulated to offer excellent oxidation resistance.

This provided a significant advantage in extending oil and filter change intervals, while ensuring exceptional clean systems and trouble-free operation. Its combination of synthetic base stock and additive package also ensured the oil provided an uncontaminated, deposit-free performance beyond what was achievable with conventional mineral alternatives.

Field engineers from the supplier also worked alongside the maintenance staff of the Italian steel mill to monitor the performance of the lubricant. Used oil analysis and detailed on-site inspections showed that compared with the previous mineral lubricant, the drain intervals could be safely and efficiently extended to 32,000 hours by switching to the new synthetic lube – a performance increase of 700%*!

The switch also led to a major reduction in deposit formation, a cessation of unscheduled downtime, and a reduction in waste oil disposal costs.

What issues have you encountered at your steel mill plant? We’d love to hear about your experience, do share with us in the comments below, or hit “Like” on the toolbar to the right if you found this article useful!

*Note: This proof of performance is based on the experience of a single customer. Actual results can vary depending upon the type of equipment used and its maintenance, operating conditions and environment, and any prior lubricant used.