It has been estimated that 60-90% of all bearing failures are lubrication related. Bearing failures most often lead to unplanned downtime which can impact production as well as affect all related components around the bearing. Downtime is costly. Since the most common cause of bearing failure is lubrication related, it’s clear to see that lubrication is serious business. And for the longest time, that “serious business” has been conducted in a way that on its face makes perfect sense – but in fact borders on haphazard.
Time-based lubrication leads to over-lubrication Many technicians, unfortunately, have relied on “preventive”, time-based lubrication alone. That is, every X number of months, the grease gun comes out, and the bearings are lubricated. But by relying solely on time-based lubrication, or even a combination of planned maintenance and temperature readings to serve as a proxy for lubrication status, one runs the risk of something just as bad, if not worse: over-lubrication. In fact over-lubrication has been reported both anecdotally and in presentations at various conferences to be the primary cause of premature bearing failure.