Press Lubrication

October 7, 2011
Revised July 2012
, November 2014

Lubrication is something we generally review with customer personnel during start-up.  It is pretty straight forward:

CONE BUSHINGS:    Once a shift
GEARBOX:      Annually
AIR REGULATOR:    Whenever empty
GEAR COUPLING: Whenever opened


The most critical lubrication item has to do with the cone bushings. Before starting up a new press, the cone should be run in and out a few times to spread the grease around.

Lubrication of the cone bushings depends a lot on what is being pressed. With orange peel, there is enough press liquor juice acting as a lubricant that the bushings are lubricated only at the end of the processing season, to keep them from locking up on dried-out peel juice. The other extreme is at a paper mill where boiler fuel is made out of reject fiber. There is no free water left in the press cake, so everything is very hot and dry. We automatically supply a 900 psi ATS autolube on paper mill jobs. Another tough application is with vapor tight presses where there is apt to be solvent getting into the cone bushings. The solvent can dissolve and wash out the grease, so we like to see frequent lubrication of the cone bushings. (Food grade grease is used in this application since food ingredients are being produced by the press.)

If Vincent supplies an autolube for the cone bushings, it will be either battery powered or require a hard wired power supply. This should be actuated when the press is first placed in service. It should be set to give one small shot of grease every couple hours. We provide autolubes with large grease reservoirs, so they will go at least two weeks at the maximum greasing schedule. Once operations are stabilized, it may be practical to reset the timer dip switches so that it gets one shot every shift or once a day. In any case, we tell the operators to run the cone open and closed once a shift because this will spread the grease around.

If Vincent does not provide an autolube for a critical operation, we generally tell the operators to manually grease the cone bushings once a shift. We also tell them to run the cone in and out when they do the greasing, in order to spread the grease around.

The bearings and/or bushings holding the screw get greased on the customer's normal schedule for that type of bearing, maybe once a week, or once a day, or once a month. Whatever grease the customer normally uses should be fine.

The shaft seal housing may have a grease fitting. This grease is to prevent fiber from getting into the seal. The seal should be given a shot of grease whenever the screw support bearings or bushings are greased.

The gearbox oil should be changed once a year. Use mineral oil for a normal 1800/1500 rpm input. Use the same grade oil, but synthetic, for input speeds of 3,000 rpm or more. (Sumitomo Cyclo's, parallel shaft gearboxes, and Brevini and Bonfiglioli planetaries, are exceptions to this. The OEM manuals from these suppliers detail lubrication requirements.)

Some Nord gearboxes have an autolube canister located in the motor adaptor portion of the gearbox. It is located under a cast iron cap. This autolube should be actuated when the press is placed in service. Nord recommends replacing this autolube once a year. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DO THIS.

The air regulator set used with the discharge cone air cylinders may have a lubricant jar. Vincent includes a can of light oil along with the air regulator which comes with our screw presses. The jar should be filled when placing the press in service and when the jar is empty, about once a year. It takes very light (sewing machine) oil. The oil helps prevent corrosion inside the air cylinders.

If there is a Falk gear-type shaft coupling, Vincent packs these with lubricant grease prior to shipment from the factory. The grease is re-packed only if the coupling is opened (which is rare). The grease should be hand-packed around the gears; do not count on using the zerk fitting on the coupling.

We have never seen nor heard of anyone greasing the motor bearings.