The benefits are both tangible and intangible, and ultimately part of the question includes what is the price of having peace of mind. The cost of shutting down production because of a lubricant leak not only has direct financial ramifications but also backlogs production and ultimately impacts product delivery to customers. Depending on the scale of contamination, it also could damage your company’s reputation.
But many of the benefits are very tangible. Food-grade oils offer lubrication performance that some traditional oils can’t match. For example, use of synthetic food-grade oils allows extended drain intervals, in many cases lowering the lubricant cost and reducing maintenance work. Food-grade white oils also have excellent thermal stability and resistance to water and corrosion, which means equipment is better protected.
The food industry consistently provides some of the harshest operating conditions for machinery, with exposure to acids, sugars and alkalines that corrode equipment. Food manufacturing also requires frequent wet-downs and includes temperature variations from freezing to extreme heat. Lubricants that withstand all these conditions ultimately keep performance optimized and machinery protected and are a worthwhile investment.
MRO Q&A is a monthly problem-solving column for maintenance, repair and operational issues. To pose a question for answering online click here.