Lubricant choice is a vital for your business
South African Builder speaks to Shell South Africa’s Technical Manager, Hentie Spangenberg.
Choosing the wrong lubricant for a machine component is very common in the operation of construction equipment today. There is a big difference in performance between conventional mineral oil lubricants and synthetic lubricants.
“Mineral oils break down under extreme heat and form deposits. While petroleum oils are produced to a high standard of purity, the fact remains that some unknown/unwanted content is still present. Modern machines are built with higher operating speeds than ever before and produce more power, petroleum-based oils have reached a plateau,” explains Spangenberg.
Synthetic lubricants and greases have consistent properties and provide an array of overall performance improvements. “Synthetics offer maximum protection for engines, gearboxes, motors, machines, and other moving parts because of their more consistent properties; increased wear protection, wide temperature range, longer oil life and improved bottom line,” he says.
“Whether your plant manufactures components or machines, it is extremely likely to have hydraulic systems, gear systems and electric motors, these workhorses of the construction industry. Irregular greasing can cause problems for your machines. Shell helps you choose the right products, achieve continuous improvement through equipment and process performance monitoring and increase your profitability and reduce operational costs,” continued Spangenberg.
Shell manufactures energy-efficient hydraulic fluids to high-performance greases that is backed by international expertise delivered by the on-the-ground technicians. The Shell range of services and lubricants can help reduce maintenance and energy costs, increase equipment availability and maintain product quality.
For more information on Shell lubricants offering, the Shell Lubematch database is readily available on the Shell website to help find the perfect lubricant match. Whenever in doubt, always consult Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) recommendations. OEMs create specifications for oils, which include required viscosity. From the required additives’ perspective, the OEMs will stipulate the special properties needed in the oil to enhance its capability for various tasks, such as air release, shedding of water, enhancing an oil’s ability to inhibit oxidation, the breakdown of a product, or clearing debris and product combustion.
In a nutshell, the benefits if using specified lubricants in equipment include aspects such as :
-Meeting the OEM approvals and specifications
-Improving operating conditions
-Taking environmental issues into consideration
-Getting value out of the equipment as a result of using a specific lubricant
-Extending oil drain intervals
-Extending component life
-Increasing energy savings.
“If people don’t understand lubricants, it will be difficult to understand that there is value in a more expensive lubricant,” says Tendani Ndwamise, direct sector marketer Shell SA.