Manual or Automated Lubrication System: The Best Process Industries

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Lubricating systems help moving parts of machines, including gearing, valves, dies, chains, spindles, cables, compressors, and rails, operate smoothly and healthily. Heavy bearings typically function for more than 10% of their working lives without continuous lubrication. Continuously needing repair on equipment raises unexpected losses and reduces overall economic output.

Most industries concur that improper lubrication is to blame for more than 50% of all manufacturing load-carrying faults. This post will cover how to choose the appropriate lubricating system for every industrial processing facility.

Manual or Automated Lubrication System: The Best Process Industries - Vira Petroleum Company

How do Lubrication Systems Work?

Lubrication systems are, in fact, techniques for distributing lubrication to rotating industrial equipment in touch. As industrial equipment moves and rolls, lubricants lessen resistance between these parts to minimize wear, heat production, and malfunction and increase the industrial equipment’s life. In addition to serving as a coolant, lubricants can effectively deter temperature increases, reducing the mechanical system’s precision.

Lubrication systems regulate how much lubrication is supplied at what pressure to the edges of working machinery and equipment. They support the machinery’s efficient and wholesome functioning. The lubricant is effectively and frequently injected and dispersed through lubrication systems. These systems are commonly employed in the metallurgical processing, oil and gas, electricity, automobile, and heavy production sectors. Engines for cars also have lubrication systems. The intricacy of lubrication systems varies from hand-controlled oil pistols to mechanized and centralized lubricant distribution systems.

Manual or Automated Lubrication System: The Best Process Industries - Vira Petroleum Company

The Primary Objective of Lubricating

An excellent lubricating system lowers:

  • Device loss and friction
  • Usage of lubricants and energy
  • The production of heat
  • The sound of friction
  • Rust effects 
  • Impurities from being inserted into the production line

Additionally, it guarantees benefits like an overall boost in process efficiency, an enhancement in operating efficiency, an extension of a system’s life, and a decrease in repair expenses and service interruptions.

Manual or Automated Lubrication System: The Best Process Industries - Vira Petroleum Company

Lubrication System Parts

The following are the parts of industrial lubrication systems:


A reservoir will supply the lubricant that will be applied to the mechanical equipment that needs it. The tank provides a constant source of oils by gathering and keeping new and used lubricants. Reused lubricants have been purified and pumped back into the system after being emptied from mechanical equipment.


The lubricant, dispersed by the lubrication system, lowers relative movement and sliding resistance between rotating mechanical parts in touch. Oils or greases are frequently combined with chemicals to provide fluids used by lubrication systems with their desired qualities. Oil lubricants are created from vegetable, synthetic, and mineral-based oils, whereas grease lubricants contain oil with a thickening additive to retain their stability. Numerous additives may be present in lubricants; however, which ones must be added to the combination depends on how the lubricant is used. 

Through the distribution and input pipes of the lubricating system, the pump delivers the lubricant to the intended mechanical equipment at various elevations and places. To drive the lubricant through the tubes, connections, and valves and to account for tension drops and friction spots faced during transmission, the pump must produce enough force. This part needs to be dependable and effective when managing the lubricant’s fluid characteristics.

Supply Line:

The tubing network that provides the fluid flow for lubricant is called the supply line. The tubing system is frequently divided to transfer the lubricant to various areas. It links all the lubrication system’s components, including the reservoir, pump, meters, and lubricant injectors.

Metering Equipment:

To guarantee that the right amount of lubricant is delivered to the lubrication sites, measuring equipment is placed at specific spots of the feed and supply lines.

Feed Line:

The input impedance connects the supply lines to the targeted machinery components where the lubricant is to be injected at predefined places close by (lubrication point). An injection in the feed line regulates and sends the amount of oil to be supplied.


A controller is a group of digital parts in charge of turning on, managing, and keeping an eye on the lubrication system. Sophisticated lubrication systems have controllers that rely on equipment PLCs or time- or cycle-based controllers. To ensure that a mechanical component doesn’t lose out on lubricant, they are employed to check factors like the flow rate of the grease and the quantity of lube in a lubricating spot, among others.


Parts of the lubrication system’s installation include filters. It is designed to get rid of impurities and debris that are trapped in the lubricating fluid. The equipment and lubrication system may sustain harm from those contaminants. By applying absorbents to the lubricant, contaminants can be agglomerated out of the fluid.

Manual or Automated Lubrication System: The Best Process Industries - Vira Petroleum Company

Lubrication Systems for Process Industrie

1. Manual lubrication Techniques
2. Automated Lubrication Systems 

1. Manual lubrication Techniques

Lubricants are applied to machines using a variety of techniques. These techniques include small controlled systems with thermal systems, technical purification of the oil, and base oil cans used to administer the oil to rotating gear at periodic times manually.

The most popular lubricating techniques utilized in typical procedures are:

  • Lubrication by drop oil supply
  • Lubrication using spray oil supply
  • Pressed Oil flow  
  • A lubricating grease

Lubrication by Drop Oil Supply

Machines with minimal rate, light pressure, and a slow to moderate pace have bearings that should get a little amount of oil periodically. Drop oil supply systems comprise an oil funnel installed above the bearing and lightly closed to disperse the oil. The feed can be regulated to meet needs and is managed by a needle valve.

Unlike being linked to multiple bearings, a drop flow reservoir is known as a multiple-point system when it is only attached to one bearing. A drop oil supply system that delivers oil to the bearing system under tension can also be compressed. The reservoir can be manually replenished and is either entirely or partially clear.

Oil Spray Input Lubrication

The term “splash oil feed” describes several continually greased bearings or pistons. As a result of the motion of numerous mechanical parts routinely immersed in lubricating oil, oil is splattered on the bearings or pistons.

Splashing the oil supply is a realistic option when the container is oil-tight, and the rotation is too slow to stir up the oil.

An oil shovel that is immediately positioned on the pump is part of the Splashing oil supply system. In the lower part of the bearing casing, an oil tank is immersed in the bottom part of the circle. The oil shovel rotates as the shaft turns, transporting oil from the tank to the head of the housing. Any extra oil drips back into the reservoir as it distributes across the shaft and bearings to lubricate them.

Lubrication via a Forced Oil Supply

Machinery with high speeds or loads may experience extreme temps due to friction. It takes a lot of oil flowing through the machinery to preserve it from such extreme temps. The spinning part receives pressured oil from the oil pump as part of the pressure oil supply in the lubrication system. The majority of force, oil supply lubrication, is used in turbo generators, boiler feed pumps, compressors, and gearboxes.

Typically, the mechanism operates in three stages continuously.

First, oil from the gearbox is gathered and dispatched to an oil reservoir. Next, the oil pump draws suction from the storage tank and returns oil to the gearbox via a cooling unit.

Lubricating with Grease

Grease lubricants are semi-solid. When the lubricant needs to remain in one spot or stick to the component, they are used to replace oil. Oils flow out more readily than greases do. When the part is inaccessible or cannot be lubricated, lubricants are also employed. Grease is sticky and thick. Because of this, it cannot be continually pushed through machinery to reduce the temperature like an oil can. Grease shields the metal from corrosion and reduces frictional forces. To maintain for a lot longer without degrading greases required for lubricating must unavoidably protect from mud and dust, not seep or drop off the surfaces to which they are sprayed, and do not decompose.

Grease is injected into equipment like:

  • Greasy weapons
  • Manually filling
  • Spritzers or aerosols
Manual or Automated Lubrication System: The Best Process Industries - Vira Petroleum Company

2. Automated Lubrication Systems 

A system that automates the delivery of exact quantities of oil to numerous areas on a device at once while the equipment is in use is sometimes referred to as the centralized lubrication system.

Automated lubrication systems are made to deliver lubricants in tiny, precise doses over brief and repeated periods. It is frequently unfeasible to physically lubricate the spots due to a lack of human skills, time restraints, and the specific places on the equipment. 

The most often adopted automated lubrication systems include:

Single-point systems, multi-point direct lubrication, single-line volumetric, single-line progressive, and dual-line.

Dual-line Systems

In heavy process equipment, the dual-line lubrication system predominates. These systems let you quickly increase or decrease the number of locations and are very dependable, intelligible, and easy to preserve. Due to the truth that they have two primary delivery routes, they got their name.

The pilot piston, the bottom piston, is forced to the left due to pressurized lubricant reaching the distributor from line 1, which then permits force to be delivered to the primary piston’s right side. Then the primary piston starts to travel to the left. The control valve discharges lubricant from the pilot piston to the bearing attached to the outlet through the pilot piston and the control valve.

The pilot piston is forced to the right by pressurized lubricant reaching the valve from line 2, which also causes the primary piston to start moving to the right. As described above, the primary piston pushes the lube on the right side past the control valve and pilot piston to eventually reach the bearing through the outlet.

The piston pushes the lubricant from the measurement cylinder to the bearing when under pressure. The metering compartment fills with a predetermined capacity in the overhead position.

Volumetric Single-Line Systems

One header line is all that is needed for single-line volumetric systems. Though certain types are made expressly for grease, they are typically utilized for oil lubricating. Single-line volumetric systems are straightforward to manage and comprehend, and the point count can be simply increased or decreased.

After a lubrication round in these systems, the distributor needs to be reloaded. It indicates that the piston in the distributor must handle the lubricating level in the pumping line. Sturdy hinges are a feature of grease-specific variants that enable refilling of the distributor at comparatively high venting pressures.


Manual or Automated Lubrication System: The Best Process Industries - Vira Petroleum Company

Progressive Single-Line Systems

The progressive separator is the brain of a single-line advanced system. It contains three or more distributing parts with a hydraulically powered spindle that delivers a specific amount of grease as it moves from one side to the other. The piston stroke’s size and speed, which are fixed parameters, determine the capacity. The internal cross-porting connection between the spindles makes it necessary for them to operate sequentially, one after the other. The splitter will not run if one spindle cannot complete its cycle.

One primary splitter and a range of additional splitters are frequently used in the layout of these systems. If there is no piping leakage from the separator to the damaged surface, checking one spindle in any dividers will offer complete management of the entire system.

Single-line progressive systems are adaptable and can be utilized independently or in combination with other systems, such as direct-feed, dual-line, and manual techniques. They cost less than dual-line systems and can manage both oil and grease. These vast systems, however, might be more challenging to manage and comprehend because they have numerous supplementary injectors.

Single-Point Systems

The original mechanical single-point lubricators used a grease-filled piston that was spring-loaded. As grease was discharged through an aperture, its diameter, force, and rigidity influenced the flow. These limitations prevented the spring-activated devices from significantly affecting the market.

Lubricators with a Single Point

Improved single-point lubricators (SPLs) have been developed over the past 20 years, and their use has grown. The most recent SPLs don’t require a significant monetary contribution and are simple to deploy. Simply secure the device with a screw, choose an operating frequency, and turn it on. Typically, the procedure time ranges from one month to twelve months. While operating a single-point lubricator may seem straightforward, destroying a component or the entire device is very simple if you are unfamiliar with this equipment.

SPLs come in three different fundamental models: gas-activated, motor-driven, and spring-activated. In the gas-activated form, a chemical process causes gas to rise. A gas producer is released into the electrolyte fluid to start this process. The lubricant in the tank is forced to stream out to the lubrication spot by the increasing force of the gas acting on it. A gas-powered lubricator’s peak pressure is typically 75 psi (5 bar). However, in other types, it might be as low as 15 psi (1.5 bar).

The second kind of single-point lubricator has a piston on top of the containers, which is forced into the tank by an electrical motor device, causing the lubricant to stream out. With typical force ranges between 72 and 145 psi, these types are typically capable of reaching slightly higher pressures than the gas-driven counterparts (5 to 10 bar).

The third variety of SPL has a tiny piston compressor that draws air straight out of the chamber while sucking air in. These models can have 425 to 850 psi of pressure (30 to 60 bar).

Using a single-point lubricator necessitates handling batteries or the spent fluid as trash. The style of machinery to be utilized must take the removal of this material into account.

Multi-Point Direct Lubrication

A set quantity of lubricants is dispensed to each spot by a specific number of fillers or pump components once the pump’s controller switches on the driving motor and a series of valves. These systems don’t require any extra attachments and are simple to create.

Manual or Automated Lubrication System: The Best Process Industries - Vira Petroleum Company

Lubrication System: Manual vs. Automatic

The ratio between conventional and automatic lubricating must be carefully considered. For lubrication spots that need relubrication on an irregular basis, such as once a month or more frequently, conventional lubrication with a high-quality oil may be the best option. Conventional lubricating of spots with brief greasing phases should be avoided, though, whenever feasible.

Despite the fact that regular lubricating can be pricey, changing it might be considerably more expensive. Specialists may inspect the equipment while personally greasing it, noting any abnormalities or even correcting them. Particular emphasis should be paid to mechanical locations that are challenging to access. An automatic lubrication system can be the sole option if lubrication cannot be supplied safely.

An approximate $650 per contact expenditure is needed to change manual spots to automatic lubrication. Although some people may find this transition price disheartening, please remember that automatic lubrication can lead to a more dependable operation with less structural malfunction. The predicted back on expenditure from the removal of personnel expenses, improved management of lubricant distribution, and the decrease of prospective security and health costs must also be considered when making any investment in an automation system.

Manual or Automated Lubrication System: The Best Process Industries - Vira Petroleum Company

Advantages of A Lubrication System

Quick accessibility:

Irrespective of area or degree of importance, all crucial parts of the machinery may be lubricated. This assures secure equipment functioning and lowers the possibility of service staff greasing parts that are not intended to be lubricated.

Productivity improvement:

In an automated lubrication system, lubricating takes place while the device is operating, ensuring that the oil is spread equally throughout all contact surfaces and improving total operating efficiency with fewer breakage, delay, and maintenance costs.

Decreased fuel use:

With automated lubrication, the lube is delivered to the contact point of course at the proper moment and concentration, resulting in lower resistance, reduced fuel use, and less total equipment running costs.


The entire efficiency and lifespan are affected by lubricant pollution caused by unwanted contaminants. For every repair worker, preventing oil pollution in conventional lubrication systems can be a difficulty. Nevertheless, we can prevent oil leakage and ensure purity by using an autonomous lubrication system. Automatic lubrication can deliver a continuous, precise stream of new, pure lubricant at the lubricating sites in an automated lubrication system.

How Should a Lubrication System Be Chosen?

The following details must be considered in order to choose the proper lubricant for your processor’s manufacturing requirements:

Lubrication type: 

Oil and grease and its characteristics (technical sheet)

Lubricant techniques: 

Include full waste, air-oil, grease, and recirculation oil.

Lubricating locations:

Quantity, location, and type


between the piston and different lubrication locations

The volume of lubricant:

Determine the ratio between the spots or the lubrication volume needed for each spot.

Type of production:

Pneumatic, electric, and manual

Control styles:

Manual, automatic, and electrical controlling system 

Special circumstances:

Heat or ATEX

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