Due to the competitive nature of the plastics industry, companies are continually looking to maximise productivity while reducing unscheduled downtime and costs. While they only represent a small percentage of the total maintenance spend, customers in this industry will be keen to learn how the latest hydraulic oils have the potential to inject additional productivity and performance into plastic manufacturing operations.
Find out here how they can do just that.
The role of hydraulic oils in plastics
Within the majority of plastic injection moulding applications, hydraulic oils play a fundamental role in the actual production of plastic components as well as helping to reduce unscheduled downtime and extend oil drain intervals.
However, improvements in hydraulic oil technology now mean that plastics manufacturers can select fluids which not only help produce high quality components but also provide outstanding levels of protection, alongside other potential benefits such as increased energy efficiency and decreased cycle times.
Plastic injection moulding operators will be interested to hear that ExxonMobil introduced in 2009 an award-winning* hydraulic oil which has been proven to help them increase productivity, reduce unscheduled downtime and improve the energy and cycle efficiency of their machinery. Compared to standard hydraulic oils, Mobil DTE 10 Excel can provide up to a six percent improvement in hydraulic system efficiency**, reduce cycle times and triple oil drain intervals.
Next Generation Hydraulic Oils
To help reduce unscheduled downtime, customers are looking for hydraulic coils with good contamination control. Contamination may be generated in the system or may come in from the outside, so a hydraulic oil needs to demonstrate excellent oxidation resistance and filterability to avoid lubrication and component failures, and frequent oil changes. Customers also want a hydraulic oil to prevent pump damage or failures at equipment start-up and while operating at extremely high temperatures.
Laboratory and in-service field demonstrations conducted on a wide range of modern hydraulic systems, demonstrated that Mobil DTE 10 Excel has exceptional oil life, outlasting standard hydraulic oils by up to three times whilst maintaining outstanding hydraulic system cleanliness and component protection.
In addition to excellent protection, it can also be made clear that Mobil DTE 10 Excel can help provide quantifiable increases in hydraulic efficiency compared to standard hydraulic oils. This can translate to reduced power consumption and cycle times, resulting in monetary savings that customers will be keen hear about.
This is achieved through the oil performing at its optimum volumetric and mechanical efficiency level achieved when the two efficiencies, which are inversely proportional to each other, are in balance. To ensure this level is maintained throughout the day and to avoid late-day sluggishness („PM fade‟), Mobil DTE 10 Excel‟s high viscosity index ensures the performance of the oil is not impacted by the equipment heating up during the day while in operation.
In controlled laboratory efficiency testing, Mobil DTE 10 Excel was measured to provide up to a six per cent improvement in hydraulic pump efficiency compared to a standard hydraulic fluid, when operating in typical hydraulic applications. The oil‟s ability to reduce cycle times delivers additional benefits - for example, in plastic injection moulding equipment, a 0.5 second reduction in cycle time can realise up to an 11 per cent increase in productivity.
Field-tested By the Plastics Industry
You can share with customers examples of how Mobil DTE 10 Excel fares in real industry conditions.
A company who recently made the switch to Mobil DTE 10 Excel was Häfner & Krullmann, a company based in Leopoldshöhe, Germany, specialising in processing plastics. The company is one of Europe‟s largest manufacturers of plastic spools ranging from special spools for the silver stripes used in hundred euro notes, to spools produced under clean room conditions for medical applications. It currently has 52 injection moulding machines, varying in size from 50 to 2,000 tonnes.
The company has realised the importance of hydraulic oils in maximising the productivity of its equipment for a number of years and was keen to see what performance benefits could be realised through the introduction of Mobil DTE 10 Excel.
Following a successful test phase involving two machines, the company decided to convert additional machines to Mobil DTE 10 Excel. Since then, five of the company‟s installations have been filled with the product and for the other machines it has been used for topping up.
Following the introduction and initial monitoring of Mobil DTE 10 Excel, Häfner & Krullmann expect to extend oil drain intervals from 40,000 to around 50-60,000 operating hours and make an energy saving of twothree per cent. The company also expects to double filter life which in itself will deliver significant cost savings.
Analysis to Maintain Performance and Maximise Productivity
In order to maximise the productivity of machinery and reduce costs, distributors can encourage their customers to incorporate an oil and equipment condition monitoring programme alongside the use of a high-quality hydraulic oil. As part of routine maintenance, the „health‟ of the hydraulic oil and the hydraulic system itself should be regularly checked. Industry advice is that maintenance professionals perform quarterly oil analyses and annual system inspections.
The oil analysis should include a measurement of fluid viscosity, water content, dissolved metals and particle count to determine how well the system is operating. Examining changes in the oil analysis data over time - also known as „trending‟ - is necessary to assess the condition of the hydraulic fluid. By trending oil analysis data, customers can proactively address undesirable conditions before they become problems.
For equipment maintenance professionals looking for an effective oil analysis programme, distributors can direct them to ExxonMobil Lubricants and Specialities‟ proprietary online Signum oil analysis programme. Signum oil analysis offers engineers immediate access and direct control of their lubricant sampling programme. With a few keystrokes, customers can manage their oil analysis needs enabling them to:
- Update equipment registrations and select analysis options based on their equipment or maintenance needs
- Track the status of samples at the lab
- Direct actions based on analysis results
- Share critical results with colleagues in a secure, password protected environment.
Beyond oil analysis, distributors should also recommend that customers carry out regular visual system inspections to check and document the condition of hydraulic systems. Inspection data can be used to establish the optimum time to perform maintenance on critical hydraulic components such as filters, breathers, valves, hoses, heat exchangers and pumps. Comprehensive leak detection should also be performed, especially if excessive hydraulic oil usage is noted during a routine system inspection.
By combining the use of high quality oils and an effective oil and equipment analysis programme, plastic companies can look to achieve a competitive advantage in their operation, maximising productivity and reducing the energy consumption of hydraulic machinery.
Notes For Editors
Article source: www.renewableenergyfocus.com.
Author: Kari Williamson
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