Effective lubrication program helped Bhushan Power & Steel increase hydraulic efficiency and annual savings exceeding $96,426.
Steel is one of India's largest industry sectors in terms of value and volume. As of 2016, India was the world's third largest producer of steel. The figures of India's crude steel output which grew 10.7 per cent year-on-year to 25.76 million tonne (MT) during January-March 2017, testifies how the industry has been on a trajectory of steadfast growth.
Relevance of heavy machines to steel industry
Several equipment are deployed to enable the smooth functioning of a steel plant. These equipment must be reliable and strong to match the heavy rigid applications they are used in. Hence, it is imperative to ensure safety, avoid costly machine downtime and provide exceptional wear resistance.
Using the right lubricant
Lubricants play a critical role in machine reliability and in order to achieve lifetime longevity and operations of equipment such as gears, bearings, and engines, it is required to protect them from severe conditions such as extreme temperatures and corrosion. In heavy-duty industrial applications, a high-performance lubricant can have a significant impact on operational success. Exposures to extreme temperatures could cause equipment failure and unwarranted downtime, resulting in losses for the company. Safeguarding equipment performance and reliability has become paramount for operators, and the first step towards achieving this objective would be to implement a disciplined lubrication management program.
A case report
Bhushan Power & Steel (BPSL) is a leading manufacturer of flat and long products including value-added products covering the entire steel value chain. The company has four state-of-the-art plants in India, including one at Jharsuguda in Odisha and is a planned engineering service (PES) account customer of ExxonMobil. In order to meet the demands for its products, BPSL operates complex machinery daily in multiple shifts to maintain optimum output. The manufacturing requirements necessitate the use of various types of in-house processes and machinery, which require specialised lubricants, including hydraulic fluids, gear oils, greases and cutting oils.
BPSL has 31 excavators for various operations inside the plant, one of them being the Tata Hitachi EX 350 LCH-V excavator. The previous lubricant used for the hydraulic system in the excavator resulted in shorter oil drain interval (ODI) of 1,500 hours and was hampering the productivity and increasing overall maintenance costs.
Counsel from Mobil field engineering services
BPSL required a lubricant with higher ODI which facilitates improved productivity and reduces maintenance costs. BPSL found the required solution through the experts from ExxonMobil's field engineering services (FES). These experts carried out the hydraulic inspection, thermal imaging of the hydraulic system in the Tata Hitachi EX 350 LCH-V excavator. The oil that was being used until then was taken through the Mobil ServSM Lubricant Analysis (MSLA). On the basis of the investigation, they recommended using Mobil DTE 10 ExcelTM 46 for higher ODI and filter change over intervals in the excavator.
Mobil DTE 10 Excel 46 & PES program helped extend the ODI by 2.7 times and drop in temperature of the Tata Hitachi excavator by 4oC. Regular monitoring of Mobil DTE 10 Excel 46 through MSLA by assessment of oil condition, machine wear and contamination levels helped in increasing ODI and filter life from 1,500 hours to 4,000 hours. This eventually lead to an annual savings of $96,426.32 for BPSL.
Speaking on ExxonMobil's success, Imtiaz Ahmed, Asia Pacific Mobil SHC Brand Manager at ExxonMobil said, "The results that Mobil DTE 10 Excel 46 delivered for Bhushan Power & Steel has demonstrated our technology leadership, which helped in advancing productivity and reducing the customer's maintenance cost effectively. ExxonMobil is committed to continue to develop solutions for its customers and partners under strict industry standards and protocols to ensure efficiency, safety and longer equipment life."