Global demand for corrugated packaging continues to demonstrate strong growth. This is partly down to the expansion of e-commerce and home delivery, and partly due to the advantages that corrugated packaging offers over plastic alternatives.
Not only is it readily recyclable, it is easy to process and transport. Additionally, some supermarkets are designing corrugated transit packaging that can double up as a point-of-sale display.
Gains, however, are being limited by the mature state of the corrugated industry in developed areas. In the US, Western Europe and Japan – for example – boxes are essentially commodity items.
For corrugators, being able to defend margins and manage costs has therefore never been more important.
In order to support sales and protect bottom line performance it is vital that corrugating machines are kept free from unscheduled downtime and avoidable wear.
Benefits of high performance lubricants
Choosing the right lubricants and associated services can help ensure this, helping companies to retain and enhance productivity.
Applying the most appropriate oils and greases can help:
- Increase equipment life and uptime
- Reduce a plant’s energy bills
- Extend oil drain intervals
- Reduce maintenance-related costs
- Enhance on-site safety by reducing human machine interactions
In order to achieve these goals it is important that corrugators use high performance lubricants.
The balanced formulation of ExxonMobil’s oils and greases can help corrugators optimise equipment usage and reduce energy use – crucial benefits during a period of increased competition and heightened energy bills.
A typical corrugating machine offers a number of lubricant challenges including high temperatures [up to 200 °C] and exposure to steam, which is used during the forming process.
There is also the possibility of glue spillage and fibre build-up, along with the presence of metal particles if guide plates, slitter blades or rollers are not properly aligned.
Choosing lubricants that can handle these conditions is therefore essential in order to maintain the optimum performance of corrugating machines.
ExxonMobil recently introduced Mobil SHC™ Grease 462 PF. This high performance synthetic grease offers excellent high temperature performance up to 240°C and good wear protection, making it suitable for use in a corrugator’s heated rollers.
Energy saving potential
Significantly, a properly lubricated corrugator can be more efficient than one using less effective oils or greases and this can be reflected in its energy usage.
Through outstanding traction properties, Mobil SHC™ Cibus Series lubricants have demonstrated the potential to provide significant energy savings — 3.6% in gear applications* and 3.5% in hydraulic applications**.
Machinery health check
Once the most suitable oils and greases have been selected, a corrugator’s performance and reliability can potentially be improved by implementing a used oil analysis service.
By regularly sampling lubricants and subjecting them to laboratory testing it is possible to spot maintenance issues before they become problems.
It can also help confirm the continued effectiveness of a lubricant, preventing unnecessary and costly oil changes and waste oil disposal.
For a modern, efficient corrugating business it is essential to choose the best possible lubricants in partnership with a used oil analysis service. Taken together these can help ensure good machinery operation between scheduled maintenance inspections, reduced energy bills and enhance overall productivity. In an increasingly competitive marketplace these benefits can offer significant financial gains.
*Energy efficiency relates solely to the fluid performance when compared to conventional (mineral) reference oils of the same viscosity grade in circulating and gear applications. The technology used allows up to 3.6% efficiency compared to the reference when tested in a worm gearbox under controlled conditions. Efficiency improvements will vary based on operating conditions and applications.
**Energy efficiency relates solely to the fluid performance when compared to Mobil DTE™ 25. The technology used provides up to 3.5% efficiency compared to the reference when tested in an Eaton 25VMQ vane pump under controlled conditions. Efficiency improvements will vary based on operating conditions and applications.