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In March 2020, the new UFAS regulation stipulated the use of foodgrade grease in all pellet press applications. Our customer had used an industrial grease in this application for many years and in April last year the site transferred across to a semi-synthetic food grade grease.
Activate were invited to look at the application following reports of grease issues resulting in increased failures and engineering costs. Charles Harvey, our Applications Director with over 20 years' lubrication and reliability experience, visited the site to perform a Lubrication Improvement Project (LIP) which involved reviewing the specific applications and compiling a recommendations report.
This report centred around improving lubrication and reliability through best practice, product knowledge, performance, condition monitoring and expertise.
History of usage and equipment failures
On changing over from the industrial grease to the semi-synthetic food grade grease, the operators noticed an immediate change in that there was no residue of grease left within one hour's running resulting in a regrease of approximately 50 shots of grease.
The presses use steam as part of the process and the semi-synthetic grease was not lasting due to the temperature and the load in the bearings.
In addition, there was an increase noted in wear rates despite the grease usage running at approximately DOUBLE the previous amount!
Trial / full usage results
When starting on the first 50kg keg of Activate Foodcare Pelletex 1, the operator noticed an immediate change. The grease was still visible at the end of the shift and the amount required to regrease was just a few shots compared to 50 shots of the inferior semi-synthetic grease.
Following post-trial take-up and prolonged use, the following cost savings were recorded:
Combined engineering costs - £50,000 pa saving
Downtime costs - over £240,000 pa saving
Performance of the Activate food grade grease proved to exceed that of the industrial grease originally used!
The cost savings here speak for themselves – the return on the investment in a dedicated lubrication improvement plan, based on tribological expertise and experience, and high-quality synthetic products, is very quick and pays dividend ongoing.
Moreover, the resolution of the original problems and dramatic reduction in downtime means that the customer can now relax, safe in the knowledge that the production lines are running optimally.
Activate Foodcare Pelletex 1 is a fully synthetic heavy-duty grease designed specifically for heavily loaded bearings operating in high temperature and is highly resistant to steam. It has a shell four ball weld load of 500kgs which is in excess of most industrial grease.
Bespoke and off-the-shelf projects to identify and provide reliability improvement opportunities to current assets.
Fully synthetic foodsafe oils, greases and aerosols, and innovative foodgrade application equipment and storage solutions.
We offer bespoke and off-the-shelf training options to suit different requirements and user preferences.
We are always on hand to answer any queries and provide comprehensive support on all lubrication matters.
“Thank you so much for your help we cruised through the audit nicely thanks to your swift response! I don’t think there is anything we need at the minute but thank you again for the support - times like that show which suppliers truly deliver support and you do!”
“Thanks to you and the whole Activate team for your assistance this year, it has been great working with you.”