Industry News

Case Study: Minimal Quantity Lubrication Escalator Chain Application (DropsA)

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Minimal Quantity Lubrication has been around for quite some time now but unfortunately has been given a bad name from its early predecessor and has been thought to only be used for machining applications.  DropsA, a leading industrial lubrication manufacturer and supplier sets out to change the perception of MQL technology.

They have been developing their minimal quantity lubrication systems for over 20 years and they are out to show everyone that this technology will change the way the world lubricates.  This following case study highlight’s DropsA’s Distributed Zone Chain Conveyor Lubrication System with ThyssenKrupp Escalator Chains as the subject.  ThyssenKrupp Elevator America is the largest producer of elevators in the Americas, with more than 200 branch and service locations and sales of more than $2.7 billion. They also offer a range of products and services, including premium carbon steel, high-performance alloys, automotive components and systems, elevators, escalators, moving walks and passenger boarding bridges, material trading and much more.

1.  Application: Drive Chains on Escalator Systems (underground network. Test Site: Madrid and Barcelona)

Existing System: Various brush applicators

This prior system was creating lubrication build-up which increased friction and heat thus decreasing efficiency, chain life and creating more maintenance problems. Below is a picture of the excess lubrication build-up created by the existing brush system.




3.  Problems/Challenge: Contaminated chain (low penetration of lubricant) ineffective lubrication and frequent maintenance

4.  Solution: DropsA’s Minimal Quantity Air/Oil Distributed Zone Chain Conveyor Lubrication System



5.  Results:

  1.  Number of Cycles Per Day :  19.5
  2.  Oil Consumption per cycle :  1.28 cc
  3.  Oil Consumption per day :    24.96 cc
  4.  Oil Consumption per MONTH:   0.77 Liters   Compared with  5 Liters with Old System
  5.  Elimination of Monthly Maintenance check by operator
  6.  Eliminated problems of chain jumping on drive teeth
  7.  System runs for 4 months between refills
  8.  Preliminary study shows increase in chain life by 25%
  9.  Lubricant consumption reduced by 80%

Below are pictures showing the progress of the MQL system eliminating the chain’s excess build-up and the surrounding area while increasing efficiency and chain life over a 22-day period.  Jason Craft Sales Manager for DropsA USA, the United States Branch of DropsA stated the following, “This case study is an incredible success for MQL, now proving that this technology is only scratching the surface of it’s capabilities and application useage.  DropsA is dedicated to continue the advancement of this technology and is determined to be the leading provider of Minimal Quantity Lubrication technology not only with superior systems but oil as well.”

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Dropsa was founded in 1946 in Milan, Italy and has become one of the world’s leading producers of centralized lubrication system and components. As a company we are proud to have developed many ideas and products that have shaped the industry over the last 60 years. Our innovation continues today opening new markets and applications in the field of lubrication technology.
Dropsa has an extensive range of solutions for the main product categories: Total Loss Oil, Grease Lubrication, Re-circulating Oil and Air/Oil Lubrication.

The Company offers an extensive production program which caters for the most diverse lubrication applications, from small machine tools to transfer lines, printing presses, paper machines, steel mills and pratically all other sectors of industry.

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