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Extending the life of wire ropes in the marine industry

The marine industry is one the most challenging operating environments, with harsh sea conditions often leading to the rapid deterioration of machine components.

Supply ships are forced to endure these arduous conditions as they embark on their long journeys transporting heavy loads. Fleets generally have extremely tight schedules, meaning that they cannot afford any downtime, and any machine breakdown is likely to result in high costs for the business.

Wire ropes are a common component in the marine industry. They are found in a wide range of applications, including oil and gas rigs, wharf and ship cranes, deck winches and ship hoists. These ropes are made from reinforced steel cable, which must be regularly lubricated by crew to reduce friction and minimise wear.

Under-lubrication increases the chance of machine breakdown, incurring cost and downtime for the business. However, over-lubrication increases the inventory costs for the business, as well as the level of pollution in the ocean – a critical consideration in today’s world.

SKF launched its wire rope lubrication system in 2016, which is now widely used across the marine industry to reduce downtime and prolong service life. The system eliminates the need for manual lubrication completely, reducing maintenance time by up to 90%. This helps to promote crew safety, as well as the profitability of the business.

SKF’s wire rope lubrication system includes a groove cleaner, which removes any old lubricant before applying the new protective coating. It applies the exact quantity of grease required, eliminating excessive waste and reducing environmental contamination.

The system ensures that each strand of the wire rope is evenly coated by distributing the grease across the surface of the rope and forcing it deep into the rope’s core. This helps to reduce friction and heat generation along with protecting against corrosion, leading to an increase in rope lifetime when compared to wire rope which is lubricated manually.

SKF’s wire rope lubrication system is available in a range of models and is suitable for ropes up to 52mm in diameter. It is compatible with all lubricants which are typically used with wire rope, making it ideal for use in almost every marine application.

To find out more about SKF’s wire rope lubrication system and how it could benefit your business, contact your local sales team today.