Lubrication technology from SKF
SKF's Flowline circulating oil lubrication system has been developed for use in heavy industrial applications. According to SKF, the new system presents a new alternative to traditional lubrication systems, improves efficiency, saves costs and reduces downtime.
The system has been designed to improve the performance of a range of heavy plant and equipment, such as paper and rolling mills, and of a wide variety of production and process plant with a large number of rotating or moving parts.
It features a smaller oil reservoir, for example 3000L by comparison to a 6000L traditional circulating oil lubrication system. SKF says the design of this system leads to improved efficiency of up to 90% by optimising the effectiveness in removal of water and air from the lubricating oil, whilst enabling an improvement in retention time within the tank or reservoir. It is also said to ensure a greater volume of the oil is in use and not held in dead spots within the tank area itself.
The system comprises four key elements – pumping centre, monitoring capabilities, reservoir and control facility. The complete system consists of all the necessary piping, engineering components, installation equipment, system start up training and documentation. All components within the system support and represent a significant development and advancement in oil circulation technology.
The SKF Flowline control element forms the heart of the system, providing adjustable flow rates as well as an interface with other lubrication facilities. The flexible, modular construction and automatic start up mode can be linked to external process control systems through a Profibus protocol or Ethernet connection.
The Flowline monitor automatically monitors system conditions, adjusting them accordingly to ensure optimum efficiency. The facility has been designed to ensure that the oil supply to each lubrication point is managed so that it does not deviate excessively from the set values.
The flow rate is calculated by measuring the flow through an inline turbine, calculating rotation time by an inductive method. The calculation of flow is based upon oil viscosity and temperature, with an alarm sounding when anomalies are identified. This element can also be linked to other monitoring technologies to provide system trend analyses for improved performance and reliability.
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