TrustLube installed an automatic greasing system on EMAS’ newbuild ice-classed ultra-deepwater pipelaying and construction vessel Lewek Constellation in June. The newbuild is shown here in July sailing along the Queensland, Australian coastline, set against Table Mountain.Photo from EMAS.
The industry strives to be a precise one in every way. Sarah Parker Musarra examines how TrustLube’s systems can cut down on excessive lubrication.
Innovation strikes in the most curious of places. In 2003, Chiel van Daelen, now chief executive officer and founder of TrustLube, narrowly avoided slipping on a grease spot while on a dredger in Singapore. The incident inspired the idea of automatic lubrication and monitoring systems, leading to van Daelen to form TrustLube that same year.
TrustLube’s systems pump pushes lubrication to metering devices, allowing precise administration. One metering unit is employed per grease point, and all units work independently of each other. Capable of operating in temperatures -24°C and 55°C, TrustLube says that the system can enable the consumption of lubricants up to 75%.
As companies try to cut costs while meeting environmental and HSEQ regulations, excessively lubricated parts – from winches and deck cranes to subsea components - can be an issue. TrustLube says that a large dredging ship can use up to 600kilos of lubricant a week, which one of the company’s systems can reduce to 150kilos a week.
“We want to dispense lubricants automatically, in a small dosage, at the right time, in the right amount, on a regular based,” Daphne van der Puijl, general manager of TrustLube says.
As an example, van der Puijl pointed to the turret on an FPSO. If lubricant has been dispensed, and the vessel has moved in a direction and returned within a certain amount of time, the system will not re-dispense onto the already-lubricated surface, eliminating waste. On the opposite side, extra shots of lubricant can be delivered in situations such as just before a crane begins operations.
In May, TrustLube introduced Xtreme Rack & Pinion, a lithium-calcium complex grease that enables usage under extreme heavy load carrying capacity, such as in the case of a cantilever jackup.