The use of fluids and lubricants to reduce friction and to cool and protect machines and components during cutting and forming presents significant challenges for manufacturers. Environmental concerns have added new chapters to the situation. In the current social and political setting, a great deal of emphasis is placed on environmental stewardship. As government regulation continues to increase, the cost of complying with environmental guidelines impacts overall manufacturing costs.
In an already competitive manufacturing landscape, companies need to identify and bookmark ways to reduce excess costs wherever possible. It’s no mystery that industrial lubrication just may be the low-hanging fruit for achieving considerable cost reduction, as well as to engage in environmental stewardship.
For most manufacturers, the purchase, handling, application, cleaning, maintenance, and disposal of fluids and lubricants can be 10% of total manufacturing costs, conservatively. Upon closer evaluation, many companies may conclude that they actually have nearly 20% of their operational costs bound up in these processes.
In a business climate of thinning margins, it may make sense to perform due diligence on processes with this degree of importance. Yet the time spent on lubrication-related decisions, from the early product design phase to shop floor execution and management, is often cursory, at best.