More and more manufacturers are trying to use less or even no lubrication. Is it time for a lubricant-free industrial world?
Malfunctions due to deficient lubrication cause $240 billion in damage in the U.S. every year, and the resource waste resulting from excess friction exceeds 6% of GDP. High-performance lubricants are now being produced. But best practices also include reducing lubrication or even eliminating the need for it altogether.
Atlas Copco has pioneered the development of oil-free air technology. In 2006, its Z compressors were the first to be awarded ISO 8573-1 Class 0 certification after no traces of oil were found in the air stream. They are designed for industries requiring the highest levels of air purity, including the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and medical sectors.
Mark Ranger is manager of the oil-free air division:
In these critical environments, contamination by the smallest quantities of oil can result in costly production downtime and product spoilage. So every compressor installation would benefit from being lubricant free.
Atlas Copco recently expanded its offer. The new ZH+ and ZH 630-1600 kW compressors offer high-end turbo technology in an efficient package with a small footprint.
They are based on an all-inclusive, plug-and-play concept, with intelligent control and remote monitoring capabilities. They offer users a total energy efficiency gain of approximately 6%.