• Injecting plastics with lubrication benefits

    Injecting plastics with lubrication benefits

    The plastics sector’s high energy needs are affecting profitability. Not to mention mounting pressure to cut its carbon footprint. 

    Advances in processing machinery are helping cut energy usage. But in order to get peak performance, you need to use the best possible lubricants, and apply them properly. Doing so not only helps to ensure peak productivity, but can also help improve energy efficiency by maintaining optimum viscosity. 

    Operating challenges

    In hydraulic systems, a fluid has to deal with compression and shear stresses. This can trigger what’s called ‘molecular breakdown’, reducing the fluid’s lubricating performance, and its protection of your components. This means your equipment ends up working harder and may use more energy. To help avoid this, it is important to use a lubricant with high shear stability and a high viscosity index. 

    It is also essential to prevent lubricant oxidation as this can result in corrosion, a build-up of damaging lacquer and an increase in viscosity. Lubricants can also become contaminated with process materials, water, dust and wear debris. This can trigger pump failures while increasing filtration costs. 

    To combat these issues, plastics processors should use lubricants that are easy to filter and protect against oxidation-related problems.  

    Lubrication selection

    The importance of choosing the best lubricant is underlined by a new survey revealing that 44% of respondents had suffered equipment failure due to poor lubricant performance, while another 26% reported time-consuming lubricant leaks.1 

    In order to address these issues we have developed a range of lubricants suitable for plastics processing equipment. These include: Mobil DTE 10 Excel™ hydraulic fluid, which offers up to 6% energy efficiency compared with a standard mineral alternative.2 

    Machinery health check

    However, it doesn’t end with choosing the best possible lubrication. You need to know how those fluids are performing.  

    That is why we have launched Mobil Serv Lubricant Analysis (MSLA), a new mobile-enabled used oil analysis service. By assessing the health of a lubricant it’s possible to detect developing issues before they become a problem.     

    MSLA has been designed to streamline the entire used oil analysis process - from sample gathering to reporting. Its intuitive new platform and website make it easy and quick to use. MSLA offers scan-and-go technology with QR Codes – enabling customers to easily send samples to our lab. And, with 25 testing options, you can pick the right test package for your plant. 

    Small change, big difference

    Overall, lubricant spend is only a fraction of the cost of running a plastics processing plant. But, if done correctly, the investment can yield a tangible return. Not only can it improve energy efficiency by maintaining the desired viscosity, it can help protect equipment, reducing maintenance costs, while also extending oil drain intervals. This, in turn, cuts waste oil disposal, helping improve a company’s overall environmental credentials.  

    Results are from 95 respondents to an ExxonMobil survey conducted with Plastics News Europe readership in January 2016.

    1 Results are from 95 respondents to an ExxonMobil survey conducted with Plastics News Europe readership in January 2016

    2 Energy efficiency relates solely to fluid performance when compared with conventional reference oils of the same viscosity grade in hydraulic applications. The technology used is able to achieve up to 6 per cent efficiency compared with the reference when tested in a hydraulic system under controlled conditions. Efficiency improvements vary based on operating conditions and application.


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