Electric motors represent about 25% of all rotating equipment in a typical plant, yet they are often overlooked for their lubrication requirements. Up to 75% of motor failures are bearing related, and it is estimated that 90-95% of all bearing failures are premature. Frequently, even when the bearing has not totally failed, heat buildup from a damaged bearing can cause windings to fail prematurely. Obviously, motor failure almost always leads to costly downtime, and proper lubrication can be the key to helping all motors in the plant to reach their full rated useful life and beyond.
Electric motor manufacturers publish lubrication recommendations for every motor of a size large enough to have grease fittings. These recommendations typically call for a certain amount of grease to be delivered to each bearing at certain intervals, based on the conditions in which the motor is running. Motors running indoors, at modest ambient conditions, intermittently and under light to moderate loading require less grease than those large workhorse motors running continuously at high loads, elevated temperatures and in harsh environments.
Safety requirements prohibit access to most motors during operation. Here again, any sort of lubrication of a rotating component needs to be done during operation, not all at once when the motor is stopped. Almost all motor bearings have the ability to port any excess grease overboard, so with a low-pressure automatic lubricator, there is no chance of pushing grease into the internals, as can happen with manual lubrication with a grease gun.
Automatic lubrication is simply the only way to reliably lubricate electric motors to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Our customers report cost savings due to year-to-year improvement in motor replacement rates once they’ve covered their motors with these durable lube units.