Good Lubrication Practices (GLP) and Rabinowicz Law

It’s always a great time in our industry to start thinking about Good Lubrication Practices, or GLP, across the board. Literally, lubrication keeps the gears of industry turning, and without it machinery and mechanical systems would come to a grinding halt.

An insightful article from the online version of Lubrication Technology explains why GLP is so important and offers some fascinating stats and figures as to how our nation is doing in the use of lubricants proactively for most of the major industries in the USA. Let’s start with an understanding of the so-called Rabinowicz Law.

According to studies performed by the illustrious Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Dr. Ernest Rabinowicz, loss of bearing surface usefulness, or moving equipment failure as it is more commonly known, can be blamed up to 70% of the time on mechanical wear and corrosion. This corrosion and wear almost always can be traced back to ineffective lubrication practices, which are preventable through the awareness and use of GLP at all times.

Quoting from the Lubrication Technology reporting on interpreting the Rabinowicz Law in light of P&L figures, “In practical terms, the impact of lubrication is astounding. GLP translates into asset availability, reliability, uptime, throughput, energy savings, carbon footprint reduction and profit. The Rabinowicz law states that ‘every year, 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is lost through mechanical wear.’ Applying Rabinowicz’s law to the 2014 estimated third-quarter U.S. GDP of $17.5 trillion, mechanical wear losses could amount to more than $1 trillion this year!” That’s a tremendous amount of money being wasted that could be saved via smart applications of existing lubrication technology.

So what are some of the findings from the article on how industry is doing in America when it comes to proactive lubrication practices? Read on to see, below.

  • Out of a sum total of 100 points for various lubrication practices and processes that industries should be incorporating as GLP for their facilities, the average score for all American industries is 43. That’s not even 50%.
  • Natural Resources scored highest at 54 points, with Facility Management lowest at 41 points for known, identified industries.
  • Only 21% of industries have had their lubrication program audited professionally in the past three years, with the remaining 79% choosing not to do so or being unaware of the opportunity. The Automotive industry and Natural Resources sector (mining, paper & pulp, oil & gas, forestry) had the highest amounts of audits at 30% each.
  • Just 28% of all combined sectors used dedicated lubrication personnel for this all-important task group. Only 12% of all sectors combined had professionally certified (STLE, ISO, ICML) personnel.
  • 61% of respondents reported their lubrication-related instances of machine failure or downtime.
  • Just 30% of respondents used oil analysis to determine oil-change intervals based on oil condition. This means that oftentimes, oil supplies needed changed and weren’t, and sometimes, oil that was still functioning was replaced before its time.
  • 43% report that they perform regular quarterly (or less) cleaning and system checks on their automated lubricant-delivery systems. Again, that’s less than 50% of respondents, and one reason the Rabinowicz Law exists.
  • For contamination control of lubricants, 51% of all sectors use dedicated lubricant transfer equipment, but regrettably, only 22% of all sectors have a lubricant cleanliness agreement with their oil suppliers.
  • On a very positive note, 90% of all sector respondents have MSDS information accessible for all lubricants on their sites. 87% operate a formal spill program, while 76% operate a formal waste-lubricant program. These are promising stats for employee safety and conservation.

As any informed reader can see, industries in American have a long way to go when it comes to GLP and proactive lubrication management. The good news is, these numbers are going up and more and more savvy companies are realizing the core value of lubrication for vast efficiencies and less downtime at facilities. Read the entire State of the Lubrication Nation article.

Learn more about industrial oil and other outstanding lubricants that are available at Stevenson Oil.

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