New lube is the good oil for cranes

Continuous improvement > 18th May, 2021
Team (from left): Louie El’Sheikh, Larry Nicholls, Michael Simpfendorfer (Dorf), Joel Niemann, Roy Paul, Mark Spiers (absent)

Hydraulic fluid, oils and greases are the life blood of our machinery so using the right fluid for the right application is important to keeping it in tip-top shape.

So, when a recent “health check” was done, it identified ways to improve reliability and optimise costs across for our steelmaking machinery.

It found the long-term benefit of using synthetic oil was lost due to cumulative contamination from kish (iron and graphite oxides).

The Steelmaking  team proposed a transition from synthetic oil to mineral oil in BOS crane gearboxes. BOS cranes are used to charge hot metal into the BOS furnace to convert iron into steel.  Further improvements were made by adjusting the frequency of grease dispensing depending on maintenance schedules.

The Steelmaking team  didn’t stop there. They also developed a range of measures to reduce leakages and oil wastage and implemented a zero-tolerance approach to leaks supported by preventative maintenance plans.

The improvements have decreased the cost of lube by about 30 per cent and increased plant availability.

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