ExxonMobil's new synthetic bearing lubricant helps companies increase oil drain interval by 2.5 times and saves around $30,000 kiln.
India is the second largest producer of cement in the world after China. However due to unfavourable demand-supply scenario, the industry is reeling under the pressure of rising input costs. To combat this and minimise production cost, operations must be optimised. Cement plants are 'hot beds' for equipment problems, as they constantly perform under harsh conditions.
Rajashree Cement (RC), a unit of Grasim Industries Ltd, is an ISO 14001 certified company, and one of the largest cement manufacturing units in India with a gross clinker production capacity of 4.0 mtpa. Catering to the residential and commercial segment of the construction industry, the company manufactures white and grey cement, and operates an opencast mine using state-of-art technology.
At its facility, Rajashree Cement employs three production lines with integrated cement lines and individual kilns of 166 tph capacity. The support rollers here were typically lubricated by a mineral oil of ISO VG 460 with the bearings running at very high temperatures (78-85¦ C). Such high temperatures led to frequent tripping of motors. Due to contamination and oxidation that usually occurs at high temperatures, the lube oils required annual replacement affecting the productivity of the plant.
Faced with the recurring problem of motors tripping, the company approached Mobil Industrial Lubricants (MIL) team of experts to seek expert advice on best-in-class lubrication and maintenance practices for operating kilns.
Solutions at hand
Following a thorough analysis of the situation, the MIL technical experts, led by Vishnu Somani, Area Sales Manager and Mr Vasudevan, Lube Engineer, recommended Rajashree Cement to use the new MIL product - the Mobil SHC 639, a polyalphaolefins-based fully synthetic bearing lubricant that demonstrated improved viscometrics at varying high temperatures.
Rajashree Cements was already a customer of ExxonMobil Planned Engineering Service (PES) and had experienced the benefits of using Mobil SHCs in one of their PA fans (thermal power plant). The oil exhibited excellent oxidation resistance that occurs at high temperatures and its low traction co-efficient helps save energy and reduce operating temperature. Mobil SHC 639 was the ideal solution for the current problem of operating with high temperature and load from the kiln, thereby ensuring enhanced reliability and reduction in tripping of the machine. Developed through extensive research and development, and in-service field testing, the application of Mobil SHC 639 helped to reduce the bearing temperature of the kiln by 100¦ C, and maintained an appropriate level of viscosity at high operating temperature.
Benefits outweigh costs
Though switching to Mobil SHC involved a higher cost outlay for Rajashree Cement, the premium paid was negligible when compared to a 2.5 times increase in the oil drain interval and overall reduction in the tripping of the machinery. This improved productivity led to recovery of the overall cost in no time as the extended oil change also enabled the company to achieve considerable savings through improved productivity and reliability of the kiln.
Though Rajashree Cement had been using the ISO VG 460 mineral oil for many years, the significant results provided by Mobil SHC 639 drove the company to take full advantage of the benefits obtained from the newly deployed synthetic oil.
Following the successful completion of the change, Rajashree Cement team head SK Gupta said, "The change has been seamless. The MIL product not only enhances the productivity levels of the machine but also provides increased productivity and higher cost efficiency.
For Rajashree Cement, the results from the new Mobil SHC 639 were outstanding. In addition, the durability of Mobil SHC 639 delivered increased equipment availability, enabling the Rajashree Cement to maximise its productivity, and save more than $30,000/kiln annually by reducing the number of oil changes, and creating less waste oil. Also there has been no incident of kiln tripping, oil drain, contamination or oxidation, etc.
Shankar Karnik, Asia Pacific Mobil SHC Brand Manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants says, ôMobil Industrial Lubricants has partnered with all the leading companies across sectors, and has a long tradition of providing innovative solutions to all its customers after understanding the core issue. The results delivered by Mobil SHC 639 for Rajashree Cement are perfect examples of how ExxonMobil's technology leadership and exceptional application expertise can deliver significant financial value and help companies increase their productivity."
(Communication by the management of the company)