Insider tips to help optimise your industrial grease selection

Can you really get much benefit from choosing a different grease? It’s a question we come across time and time again – and the answer is far more than you think. The benefits are there waiting to be unlocked by leveraging our 150 years of lube experience we can help you choose the right grease to your enhance productivity and cut costs.

Leveraging over 150 years of lubrication expertise, ExxonMobil field engineers have provided guidance to help industrial operators select the optimum grease for their application.

We’ve gathered these insights from studying the performance benefits of application-specific plant operations of all sizes. They are designed to help reduce preventable maintenance, boost productivity and cut costs.

What are you waiting for? Dive right into it and unlock these benefits!

  1. Choose the right grease for the job

Not all greases are created equal. It may sound obvious, but individual greases have specific formulations that maximise equipment performance under particular conditions.

To select the right grease, it is essential to consider the circumstances under which your equipment operates. Machine speeds, load levels and operating temperatures all have an impact on the grease you choose.

Situations that involve extreme loads and high shear stresses, for example, can damage the thickener matrix. Therefore, greases with specific high performance characteristics, such as durability and stability, may be required.

  1. Understand your viscosity requirements

When selecting a grease, be sure to match the base oil viscosity to the application to ensure proper film thickness. If the base oil is too thin, wear may occur. If it is too thick, the lubricant may cause excessive drag, reducing equipment efficiency.

Applications that involve high speed bearings, for example, would need a grease with minimal viscosity. Choosing a viscosity that’s too thick would generate unwelcome heat that could degrade grease performance.

  1. Determine your re-greasing intervals

It is critical to get the re-greasing frequency and quantity right as both under- and over-greasing can lead to equipment problems and lubricant waste. In high speed applications, too much grease can result in overheating and reduced grease life, while under-greasing can lead to equipment wear. Always consult with you Original Equipment Manufacturer to determine the correct re-greasing interval.

Determining the right re-greasing intervals would also help to improve manufacturing productivity and safety due to reduced human-machine interaction, while reducing costs due to the longer grease change intervals.

  1. Test before you switch

Grease compatibility cannot be predicted with certainty, even with detailed knowledge of the product’s composition. Unlike oils, which can be drained out due to their fluid nature, it is much harder to remove all of the old grease before applying its replacement. Compatibility problems can even exist with greases feature similar formulations.

Be sure to test for any compatibility issues by comparing grease blends of the two greases prior to making the switch. Issues to look for include changes in consistency and or abnormal oil separations when the greases are mixed.

If you are unsure that your grease is not allowing you to get the most productivity out of your machinery, your ExxonMobil contact will be able to advise on the best grease product for your plant.

You can also refer to our technical library for insights into grease-related topics, ranging from compatibility and conversion to storage and troubleshooting!

Hopefully these tips have given you additional insight into selecting the optimum grease for the respective industrial application. If you have any further questions or comments, leave a comment in the section below!