One of Canada’s largest producers of iron ore, and a leading global supplier of iron ore pellets and concentrates, began extracting ore at one of its mine sites decades ago. The concentrator annual capacity was nearly 18 million tons of iron ore concentrate, of which 13 million tons was pelletized, and the balance was sold directly as concentrate.
Recent expansion increased its annual concentrate capacity by 4 million tons. As a result, 22 million tons were produced in 2012. Transporting this material subjected induration cart wheel bearings and train car dumper rack and pinion gearings to significant stress.
The competitive product being used for the induration cart wheel bearings was a high-temperature extreme pressure (EP) lubricant made from a very heavy synthetic fluid and a non-melting base. However, the cart wheel bearing life was too short. The bearings were not re-lubed during production. The grease lasted less than six months when bearings seized.
To provide more protection, it was necessary to change to a longer life grease. Tests were performed on Klüberlub BE 41-1501 in the application — and the bearings lasted over one year. Klüberlub BE 41-1501 is a heavy-duty grease specially formulated to increase the service life of highly loaded rolling bearings running at low speeds. Its wide service temperature range resists degrading under high dynamic loads for bearing protection known to last more than one year — reducing lubrication intervals and ensuring equipment reliability.
Applying Klüberlub BE 41-1501 provided several significant advantages:
- Ensured full service capabilities
- Reduced lubricant volumes
- Provided confidence during production
- Avoided shutdowns
- Supported engineering training for the lube systems
- Supplier is trained for proper lubricant storage and cleanliness
- Maintained proper lubricant utilization to ensure equipment reliability
Because the process is a 24/7 operation, maintenance is only performed annually. With the effective service life of Klüberlub BE 41-1501, the operation has fewer costly production interruptions. In fact, they do not have any non-scheduled shutdowns. Klüber continues to provide prompt and professional on-site engineering support as needed/requested, in addition to maintaining continuous communication with the customer to deliver long-term value.