The competitive market of the industry drives continuous improvements in mill productivity, which means increased requirements for equipment and lubricant reliability. Mills are moving to higher speeds, reaching more than 100 km/hr, with increased paper widths and steam temperatures in excess of 200°C. Additionally, the evolution of gearboxes and bearings to more sophisticated designs and technologies, including the movement to a combined circulation system, brings new challenges to lubricants, which need to satisfy the demands of multiple system components.
Function of effective paper machine lubrication
Paper machine oils lubricate moving parts, help to remove heat and contamination, and protect against rust and corrosion. They also provide anti-wear performance to prevent premature machinery wear and provide protection for the softer metal components present in bearing cages. Paper machine oil needs to tolerate a wide variety of corrosive and aggressive process waters and particulate contamination without significant impact on filterability, corrosion or other key oil performance properties. Additionally, an oil should help to keep the system clean and free of deposits which can build up in bearings and return lines. These deposits can restrict oil flow, reduce lubrication, cause overheating and can result in premature failures of bearings leading to unscheduled shutdowns and loss of production.
One of the world's largest manufacturers of base stocks, ExxonMobil has the resources to help ensure the quality of the entire lubricant manufacturing process and specifically engineer synthetic base stocks to optimize product performance. Further enhancement of these base oils with carefully selected additives makes the synthetic lubricants perform as close as is technically possible towards the ideal lubricant.
The benefits of synthetics
Extending the component life has long been recognized and proven as a benefit of synthetic hydrocarbons whether it be high-performance grease, circulating or gear oil. Now with pressure to reduce energy consumption, the inherent properties of these synthetic oils are becoming apparent.
With their natural high viscosity index, synthetic lubricants maintain their viscosity throughout the operating temperature range with minimal changes, providing a more effective lubricant film and helping protect metal surfaces from contact at even high temperatures. Moreover, synthetic lubricants lubricate at much lower temperatures resulting in significantly less stress on the machinery.
A synthetic lubricant is one that is synthesized and especially formulated for high performance in a wide variety of applications. With a more uniform structure, they exhibit lower traction coefficients compared with mineral oil, which translates to lower internal fluid friction. This gives them the capability to decrease oil temperature and help improve energy efficiency.
Mobil Industrial Lubricants engineers have for a long time known and marketed the energy saving attributes of synthetic lubricants.
The primary focus is to help increase productivity and this is where synthetic lubricants excel. With energy efficiency potential and the additional benefits of longer oil drain intervals it makes the selection of synthetic lubricants both practical and economical. Productivity remains the focus for development of Mobil Industrial Lubricants, but with extensive application expertise it is now possible to secure additional energy savings potential while increasing productivity. Despite higher purchasing costs, the correct application of synthetics can make good economic sense when comparing the benefits with other lubricant choices. With oil cost accounting for only a small percentage of total maintenance cost, investing in synthetics can help reduce an organization's overall maintenance budget.
Synthetic lubricants have grown in popularity and use due to both the advancement in equipment designs and the more severe operating conditions to achieve higher productivity at reduced cost. Mobil Industrial Lubricants offer synthetic lubrication solutions for a trouble-free and low-risk mill operation. Whether in a wood yard gearbox where the user is seeking reduced energy costs or in the dryer section where higher machine speeds are stressing the oil, synthetic lubricants are worth serious consideration. As productivity drives competitiveness, missing the opportunity may be costlier than one might think.