Paper mill reliability staff determined that the first press section roll drive side bearing was stage failing. This was determined by a temperature rise from the normal 165° F to 175° F to a temperature of 265° F and excessive vibrations.
Reliability staff decided to attempt to prolong the life of the equipment without making immediate repairs. Instead, they elected to simply upgrade lubricants. Although they were already using a major brand synthetic grease, they believed they would be better served by trying a synthetic grease from a manufacturer who specialized in high-performance lubricants.
Upon making the change, the bearing temperature went from 265° F to 160° F in less than one hour, and the vibrations decreased. The mill continued to run until its next scheduled downtime and changed the bearing even though all indications were that the bearing was no longer problematic. Reliability staff concluded that the upgraded grease prevented an approximate 12-hour downtime, which saved the mill in excess of $36,000 in downtime expense.