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Who Would Have Guessed? The Power of Gravity

Dan Freeland


Gravity Feed Oilers: A Brief History and Benefits

Industrial equipment such as machinery, bearings, chains, and conveyors require lubrication to operate at their peak level. The viscosity provided by the lubricant reduces friction and minimizes wear and tear of the system, extending its service life. The lubrication method matters, and one of the most prevalent and efficient means of lubrication is through the gravity feed oilers. In this blog post, we will unpack the history and benefits of gravity feed oilers, which have been a staple in the world of industrial equipment.

Long History

Gravity feed oilers, also known as oilers, lubricators, or oil cups, are small manually operated devices used to dispense a precise amount of lubricating oil to bearings, chains, and conveyors. They employ the principle of gravity to release oil through a small outlet that feeds onto the equipment surface. Gravity feed oilers have been around for centuries, dating back to 1777 when James Watt started using them in steam engines. They were initially made of bronze, with a screw that regulated the oil drop size, and were manually operated.

The demand for industrialization in the 19th century led to the invention of more advanced gravity feed oilers. The devices no longer had to be refilled manually, as the newer models had reservoirs that could hold larger volumes of oil. The equipment's mechanical force powered some models, and the lubricant would automatically feed the equipment through tubing or piping networks. The developments in gravity feed oilers transformed the once primitive machines into efficient, reliable systems that could operate autonomously without human intervention.

Offering Multiple Benefits for Industrial Equipment

Gravity feed oilers have numerous benefits when it comes to equipment lubrication. First, they deliver a precise amount of lubricant, which optimizes its functions and prevents over-lubrication. Over-lubrication can lead to the generation of excessive heat and pose a fire risk. Conversely, insufficient lubrication can reduce the equipment's performance level and cause premature damage. Additionally, gravity feed oilers are easy to install, operate, and maintain, making them ideal for small and large equipment.

Furthermore, gravity feed oilers minimize the risk of contamination and reduce environmental hazards. When people lubricate equipment with oil cans, it increases the risk of oil contamination, mixing with airborne particles such as dust and creating residue. With gravity feed oilers the oil is dispensed via a closed container, reducing the risk of contamination. Moreover, it ensures that only the exact amount of lubricant that the equipment needs is delivered, reducing the volume of excess lubricant spills.

Gravity feed oilers also improve the equipment life span, thus reducing the cost of repairs, downtime, and replacement. Efficient lubrication aids in heat dissipation, ensuring that the equipment operates at the correct temperature, preventing wear and tear that could compromise the equipment's functionality. The small amount of oil continuously introduced onto the equipment helps to distribute the lubricant constantly, covering the entire equipment surface.

Simplistic Device

Gravity feed oilers have been around for centuries, and their essentiality in industrial equipment is indisputable. They offer a precise, eco-friendly, cost-effective, and maintenance-friendly means of lubrication. Notably, the invention of gravity feed oilers revolutionized the industrial equipment world, enhancing equipment reliability, and preventing premature breakdown. They are ideal for all types of equipment, small or large. So, the next time you lubricate your equipment, consider gravity feed oilers, and demonstrate your care for the environment, your equipment, and your pocket.