Expensive, complex components, like open gears, require expert know-how to be effectively maintained and optimised. Since unexpected failures or suboptimal performance can have a disastrous impact on the finances of your business, it’s vital that your workforce is equipped with the right skillset and experience. However, finding these people can be challenging.
Fortunately, a trusted industry partner such as Shell Lubricant Solutions can help plug the gaps in a number of ways:
1. Embedding Experts in Your Team
Shell LubeExpert offers businesses a network of well-trained mechanics and engineers who have extensive experience of the cement industry. Located throughout the world, these industry experts work alongside your local staff to maximise equipment performance, by conducting (among other maintenance-related services):
- Routine operating and shutdown inspections
- Detailed lubricant system checks and audits
- Gear inspections to American Gear Manufacturers Association standards
2. Avoiding Issues Before They Become Critical
Identifying and addressing issues early means that we can help you to avoid their costly consequences. For example, a common issue with vertical raw mills is the premature replacement of rocker-arm bearings, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars in parts alone1.
However, Shell LubeExperts can identify and correct problems before they become critical, such as the use of a standard grease rather than a bearing-manufacturer recommended product like Shell Gadus S2 V1000AD or Shell Gadus S3 V460D.
3. Protecting Against Unplanned Downtime
At the heart of your ball mills and kilns are open gears. The extreme temperatures and vibration they are exposed to can cause these open gears to fail unexpectedly. However, it is expensive to hold the inventory necessary to replace them in the event of complete failure. In addition to parts, labour and lost production costs, considerable energy is also required to restart an inoperative kiln.
Shell LubeExperts work with you to implement a preventive maintenance strategy that can help avoid expensive failures, through:
- Regular visual inspections - both static and dynamic inspections allow gear conditions to be assessed and confirmed
- Vibration and temperature monitoring - allows meshing conditions and alignment to be monitored whilst the gears are operating
- Spray lubrication system auditing and adjustment - to achieve safe & economical consumption rates
1 Based on real-life case in Thailand where the rocker-arm bearing replacement annual cost was $108,000 across three mills. This did not include the lost production time of one and a half days or the skilled labour and crane hire required to perform the bearing exchanges.
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