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Increased plant efficiency by improved lubrication management practice

September 16. 2013

Increased plant efficiency by improved lubrication management practice

A practical example from soft drink production

Munich, 16 September 2013 - An increase in machine reliability and the improvement of lubrication management practices in order to maximise output in one of their plants was the objective of a globally active soft drink producer when they approached tribology expert Klüber Lubrication. One of the plant's seven bottling lines was chosen for the improvement project. Based on an analysis of the current situation, Klüber Lubrication developed a comprehensive lubrication plan, after the implementation of which the incidence of mechanical breakdown was reduced, while output increased significantly.

Increased production output

The plant operates on a three-shift system, 24 hours a day. Theoretically, filler speed of the bottling line is 24,000 bottles per hour. Prior to consulting Klüber Lubrication, utilisation was a mere 55 per cent. 1,760 cases were bottled per hour, equalling 42,240 cases a day. Klüber Lubrication decided to go ahead with its proven KlüberEfficiencySupport package. Within nine months, production loss due to machine downtime was reduced from 7.4 per cent to 2.5 per cent, resulting in a substantial increase of production output: throughput capability had increased to 72 per cent, equalling 2,304 cases per hour, or 55,296 cases a day - an increase by roughly 13,000 cases or 32 per cent a day. The increased production capability enabled rapid response to order and delivery schedules plus, critically, the ability to lower the unit cost of manufacture. In addition, the number of different lubricants was decreased from formerly 47 to 26, resulting in lower storage costs as well as a reduced risk of lubricant mix-up.

Implementation in practice

The comprehensive approach of Klüber Lubrication included the lubrication of all equipment throughout the entire bottling line, comprising de-palletising, filling, labelling, capping and palletising machines at all lubrication points and components, e.g. bearings, gearboxes, chains and shafts. Klüber Lubrication proceeded in several steps. Based on a comprehensive pre-audit, the objectives to be achieved within a time frame of 12 months were fixed. The exact requirements of all persons involved in the lubrication process were precisely defined for the first time. In addition, intensive training sessions on lubrication matters took place. All this resulted in increased lubricant awareness and increased food safety.

A comprehensive lubrication plan and a food-grade lubrication regime for all lubrication points was implemented. Oil analyses were conducted and, when necessary, new lubricants developed; in addition, storage conditions for the lubricants were improved. Klüber Lubrication also rendered lubrication support for an HACCP audit (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). Constant monitoring during the adjustment period ensured that all measures were fully implemented and, if need be, adjusted.

Conclusion

This case illustrates the significant influence lubrication has on the efficiency of machinery. Typical operating cost reductions for a food manufacturing plant can be more than 100,000 Euro per annum. Implementation time for an advanced lubrication program is approximately six months, with payback in nine to twelve months. For many food processors it may therefore be worthwhile to approach the lubrication specialist Klüber Lubrication in order to analyse production runs and, if necessary, adapt lubrication management practices accordingly.

About Klüber Lubrication

Klüber Lubrication is one of the world's leading manufacturers of speciality lubricants, offering high-end tribological solutions to virtually all industries and markets worldwide. Most products are developed and made to specific customer requirements. During its more than 80 years of existence, Klüber Lubrication has provided high-quality lubricants, thorough consultation and extensive services, which has earned it an excellent reputation in the market. The company holds all common industrial certifications and operates a test bay hardly rivalled in the lubricants industry.

Klüber Lubrication, set up as a retail company for mineral oil products in Munich in 1929, is today part of Freudenberg Chemical Specialities SE & Co. KG, a Business Unit of the Freudenberg Group, Weinheim. Klüber Lubrication has approximately 2000 employees in more than 30 countries.

About Freudenberg Chemical Specialities

Freudenberg Chemical Specialities Munich, was founded in 2004 as a new Business Group within the Freudenberg Group, Weinheim, Germany, a family-owned, diversified technology company with a history of more than 160 years. Freudenberg Chemical Specialities has a lean, market-oriented organization with Management Board and Corporate Functions. Its objective is to promote innovation potentials in its field of activities and to expand world-wide market leadership in special lubricants and release agents. The Business Group includes five largely independent divisions which are active in more than 50 countries: Klüber Lubrication, Chem-Trend, SurTec, Capol and OKS.

Press contact
Klüber Lubrication München SE & Co. KG
Andreas Hasslinger, Marketing Communications
Geisenhausenerstr. 7
81379 München
Tel.: 089 / 78 76-467
E-Mail: andreas.hasslinger@klueber.com

mediaconnect
Michael Jurischka
Gotzkowskystr. 11
10555 Berlin
Tel.: 030 / 28 44 95 95
E-Mail: m.jurischka@mediaconnect-berlin.de