9 Reasons Why Turnaround is the Perfect Time to Assess Machine Lubrication Needs Featured Image

9 Reasons Why Turnaround is the Perfect Time to Assess Machine Lubrication Needs


Turnarounds, those meticulously planned interruptions in a facility’s operations, are more than just periods of maintenance. They represent a critical juncture in the lifecycle of any manufacturing or processing facility, a window of opportunity to optimize and assess. One of the quintessential aspects that often gets sidelined, yet holds paramount importance, is machine lubrication.

Minimized Disruption

During regular operations, inspecting machinery for lubrication can disrupt the production line. A turnaround offers a window where machines are already halted, allowing for a thorough inspection without affecting productivity.

Comprehensive Inspection

Machines in operation have parts that can be too hot or moving too rapidly to assess safely. With machines at rest during a turnaround, engineers and technicians can safely inspect, test, and assess every nook and cranny.

Optimal Performance

Proper lubrication is key to ensuring machinery runs smoothly. Assessing and addressing lubrication needs can reduce friction, wear, and energy consumption. This means machines can operate at their peak performance when production resumes. A study by the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers found that proper machine lubrication can increase operational efficiency by up to 15%. During a turnaround, ensuring that every machine component is adequately lubricated can lead to noticeable gains in productivity when operations resume.

Increased Lifespan

Regular and appropriate lubrication reduces the wear and tear on machine parts. By ensuring that machines are adequately lubricated during each turnaround, one can extend the lifespan of the machinery, leading to long-term cost savings. According to the Plant Engineering Magazine, machines that are lubricated as per recommended standards can have a lifespan that’s 25% longer than those that aren’t. Turnarounds are the perfect time to ensure these standards are met.

Predictive Maintenance

Modern lubrication assessment techniques can predict potential failures. By analyzing the condition of the lubricants (e.g., checking for contaminants or degradation), one can preemptively identify components that might be at risk in the coming operational cycle. A survey by the International Council for Machinery Lubrication revealed that companies using lubrication analysis tools during turnarounds reduced their unscheduled maintenance activities by up to 40%. This emphasizes the predictive power of assessing lubrication needs.

Cost Efficiency

Addressing lubrication needs during a turnaround can prevent costly breakdowns in the future. It’s far more cost-effective to preemptively tackle lubrication issues than to handle a machine failure during peak production times. The National Response Corporation (NRC) reported that machinery breakdowns related to poor lubrication can increase maintenance costs by 30%. Assessing lubrication needs during a turnaround can prevent these unplanned expenditures.


Proper lubrication reduces the chances of machinery malfunctioning, which can pose significant safety risks. Ensuring machines are lubricated adequately can thus contribute to a safer working environment. OSHA statistics indicate that 18% of industrial incidents are related to machine malfunction. Proper lubrication significantly reduces the risk of such malfunctions, making the workplace safer.

Environmental Responsibility

Many modern lubricants are designed to be more environmentally friendly. A turnaround provides an opportunity to switch to such lubricants, reducing the environmental footprint of the operations. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that using environmentally friendly lubricants can reduce harmful emissions from machines by up to 50%. A turnaround is an ideal time to make the switch to these greener options.

Training Opportunity

Turnarounds can be a great time to train new staff on the importance of lubrication and the correct procedures to ensure machinery is always running smoothly. According to the Industrial Machinery Digest, companies that utilized turnarounds to train their staff on lubrication best practices reported a 20% increase in overall machine efficiency.

While turnarounds are traditionally viewed as periods to address obvious machinery issues, they should also be leveraged to focus on the subtler, yet equally vital aspect of lubrication. Proper lubrication is not just about keeping machines running; it’s about optimizing performance, ensuring safety, and maximizing the return on investment in machinery. Don’t miss the opportunity during your next turnaround to give your machines the attention—and lubrication—they deserve.