Oct 5, 2022


Lube system - Mining review journal

Lube system - Mining review journal


Lube system - Mining review journal

Pump failure due to lack of regular lubrication can halt production in a process plant, but despite this risk many plants continue to use manual greasing procedures which are often unreliable.

Lubricating of pumps is a time consuming and labor-intensive process that is often difficult to control and to conduct with the required level of precision, says Marnus Koorts, product manager – pumps at Weir Minerals Africa.

“Many minerals processing plants around Africa may not have duty schedules that closely monitor and enforce regular lubrication of pumps with the exact volumes of lubricant,” says Koorts. “In our experience, pumps are frequently under-greased or over-greased, and this can severely undermine the lifespan and reliability of pumps.”

The answer, he says, is the Accumin™ range of lubrication systems from Weir Minerals, designed for use with Warman® pumps. The Accumin™ 250 Lubricator, for instance, includes a 250 ml replaceable lubricant cartridge fitted to a reusable drive unit.

“The lubricator is driven electro-mechanically, dispensing a consistent dosage of lubricant at precise intervals ,regardless of ambient temperature and back pressure,” he says. “It can even be installed up to five metres away from the lubrication point, allowing operators to gain access to the mounting point more easily than to the pump itself.”

He notes that the lubricators are also simple to maintain. The status of some units can be determined by an LCD display, flashing LED alert system and an on-cartridge recording system. The clear cartridge shows how much lubricant remains.

“The accurate lubrication of pumps pays itself back in improved uptime by avoiding the disruption and consequences of unexpected pump failure, as well as in reduced maintenance costs and even energy consumption,” he says.

As South Africa’s electricity costs climb and mines work towards energy efficiency as part of their efforts to combat climate change, a more effective lubrication regime makes pumps more economical to run.

“Bearing wear is a ‘silent killer’ for a pump’s efficiency, demanding significantly more power as it progresses,” says Koorts.

The Accumin™ lubricator also adds to smooth plant operation by freeing up operators to focus on more demanding functions, he concludes.

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