Bulk materials handling systems such as conveyors are frequently operated in highly dusty conditions, and this dust can play havoc with the reliability of the machinery used.
The dust produced in grain handling and milling plants is naturally attracted to the lubricated surfaces of machine bearings and conveyor chains, where it mixes with the lubricant, building up caked deposits of grease and dust that create a hazard for both machinery and personnel.
Likewise, in mining and minerals processing, dust, grit and slurry are ever present to contaminate the lubrication of conveyors, increasing maintenance requirements and lowering reliability.
In each case, the contaminated lubricant is not only ineffective, it gains an abrasive quality that increases friction, thereby causing wear and generating heat.
The only solution is to regularly clean and relubricate the affected components to maintain the smooth operation of the conveyor systems. And if the cleaning and relubrication is not performed sufficiently frequently, the resultant wear from the contaminated lubricant will still impact reliability and equipment longevity.
Materials handling applications like these are prime candidates for automatic lubrication, with a continuous positive pressure of new lubricant that will actively purge the lubrication points, displacing the older contaminated lubricant.
However, in bulk materials handling applications, there are a number of physical and environmental factors that limit the choice of automated lubrication systems. These include high levels of vibration, high humidity and moisture (particularly in mining and minerals applications) and the lack of a reliable power supply on long-run conveyors.
The vibration levels can compromise the reliability of complex mechanical systems, and the moisture, humidity and power supply problems mean that any electronically controlled system is at risk of failure – particularly those that rely on batteries for power.
In these cases, the GreaseMax chemically operated automatic lubricator is an ideal choice, fitted directly to the lubrication point and guaranteed to deliver a constant flow of fresh lubricant for the unit’s specified lubrication period.
Alternatively, the GreaseMax units can be mounted on feed lines outside machinery guards so that change-overs can be performed without stopping production, and with no need to reach dangerously positioned or hard-to-get-to bearings.
The simplicity of operation of the GreaseMax unit is the key to its reliability. It has only one moving part – the plunger that drives the lubricant from the reservoir. The motive force for the plunger comes from a controlled chemical reaction that is set in motion once the unit is installed and the plastic starter cap is turned.
Each GreaseMax unit is designed to operate for a set period of time. There is a choice of four different operating periods: 1, 3, 6 and 12 months. After the service time has elapsed, the unit is replaced with a new unit.
And, as the GreaseMax unit is intrinsically safe, they can safely be used in dust-laden atmospheres, as well as underground minerals handling applications.
Furthermore, the choice of GreaseMax lubricants includes food-grade grease, making them suitable for conveyors used in the food and beverage manufacturing industry.
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