Case Studies

The nature of our work demands confidentiality. We are therefore constricted in what we can reveal in case studies. The examples that are included here are therefore an expression of what has been delivered off our plans, rather than the plans themselves.


Case Study 1

Plastic Packaging Industry Kawaguchi 280 Injection Moulding Machines:

The name plate on these machines had a description for a lubricant but it was incorrectly spelt. No one took the time to confirm if there was such a product on the market and therefore used a product with a similar name (information confirmed by a national oil company call-centre). 2000 hours later the bushes and shafts of the Toggles had to be replaced at a cost of R23 500.00 excluding downtime of 2 weeks while awaiting parts and re-assembly of machine.

Case Study 2

High Load and Torque Bevel Gearbox:

After at least four attempts to do a factory visit we were finally invited to visit this Blue Chip Company. Within 10 minutes of walking through the plant a number of lubrication problems were identified. Potentially the most expensive of these was a gearbox that had recently been overhauled at a cost of around R60000.00 two weeks earlier. A red sticker was placed on the gearbox by the re-manufacturer and read “NO FILL OIL”. On closer inspection, its huge oil sight glass appeared to be empty. The machine was stopped and it was confirmed that it had not been filled with gearbox oil. Not one of the plant maintenance staff were able to offer any explanation for this situation.

Case Study 3

Twelve gearboxes for a bottle washer:

The customer was told that the imported synthetic oil used in the gearboxes needed to be changed. The oil supplier confirmed this by doing a “Conductivity” test. Testing the “Conductivity” of an oil has absolutely nothing to do with the condition of the oil or in determining the future service life of the oil. Our company sent the samples to an independent oil analysis company and all the samples were considered fit for use for the next 12 months. The cost to the customer to replace this oil would have been R70 041.00 for the twelve gearboxes.

Case Study 4

Aluminium Machining:

The customer invited us to give a short technical presentation on the specific use of the metal working emulsion they were currently using. The operators were complaining about bad odours, watery eyes and throat irritation. We determined that no one had ever taught them the correct way to mix the emulsion and that they had no guidelines to follow. This resulted in them changing the emulsion every two weeks, at a cost of R962.40 per 20 litre, in an attempt to remedy the situation. We solved these problems through proper product training and the emulsion now lasts six months and the health problems are no longer present.

Case Study 5

Automotive Industry:

While giving a seminar on automotive lubricants, we were discussing the different additive levels in automotive gear oils. On hearing that Isuzu KB diesel vehicles use engine oil in their gearboxes, one delegate smashed his fist on the table as he had been using SAE 90 and had had the vehicle gearbox rebuilt twice in one year as a result of bearing failure.

Case Study 6

Injection Moulding:

A failure occurred on the pump of a Milacron Injection Moulding machine. The machine was under warranty and the supplier immediately blamed the hydraulic oil. The customer paid R170000.00 for a new pump as no second hand pumps were available for that machine. Our company collected the damaged pump and had the hardness of each of the cams tested. Three of the cams were found to be below the minimum specified hardness, which was what caused the failure. After sending a metallurgical report to the manufacturer, the customer was reimbursed in full.

Case Study 7

Grease Comparison:

A Blue Chip customer was using an OEM specified grease on a machine for the period of the warranty. The cost of the grease was R693.00 per kilogram. The customer was extremely hesitant to change products, but was also concerned about the high cost of the grease. We provided the customer with an alternative which was placed on trial on one machine for 6 months, two years ago. The customer has now been operating the machinery for one and a half years successfully using our suggested alternative grease, at a cost of R71.00 per kilogram. The customer was using 36 kilograms per month which over the past eighteen months has resulted in a saving of R403 056.00.

Case Study 8

Printing Industry

A customer was experiencing a problem with the failure of gears, bearings and bushes on a printing press due to insufficient lubrication. It was established that the cause was due to the poor distribution of the lubricant via drip blocks used to disperse lubricant to specific areas. The lubricant being used was not sticking to the areas where it was required. It was not tacky enough. It was also extremely difficult to see if the lubricant was in fact moving through the lubrication tubing, this being metal tubing. It was suggested to the customer that the lubricant be changed to one with a higher tackiness additive, and at the same time the lubricant tubing be changed to a clear plastic tubing, to make it possible to see if the lubricant is in fact moving through the system. The failure problem was resolved as a result of using the lubricant with greater tackiness and the lubricant could be seen through the clear plastic tubing.