What is the best automatic lubricator for ball bearing pillow blocks?

Posted by Daniel Gray on

The 15ml Simalube automatic lubricator is the ideal automatic grease lubricator for ball bearing pillow blocks.  Why?  Because most ball bearing pillow blocks require normal grease lubrication over time, but they require very little in most applications.  We ran the numbers here at Professional Bearing Tools using the Simalube Calculation Pro software to determine what size automatic lubricator size was required in most ball bearing pillow block applications taking into account the bore size of the bearing, operating RPM, shaft orientation and other application parameters.  For ball bearing pillow blocks, the unanimous choice was the 15ml Simalube unit.  In fact, only the 2” bore ball bearing pillow block required more than setting 12 on the 15 ml unit.  This means that for most applications of ball bearing pillow blocks, the lubricators will be set on 12 and last for a complete year without any required maintenance.  (The 2” ball bearing pillow block at 2000 rpm required a setting of 10, meaning it would last for 10 months before requiring replacement.)

Settings on 15 ml Simalube Automatic Lubricators for ball bearing pillow blocks:

  • Of course there are always exceptions. If operating under extreme loads, in high temperature areas or other non-typical environments please contact us to help you determine the proper size.

Find your 15 ml Simalube automatic lubricator - HERE!

Using an automatic lubricator with a larger reservoir of lubricant can cause many problems.  First, your bearings will be over lubricated.  Over lubricated bearings run hotter, which reduces the life of the bearing.  Over lubrication causes as many bearing problems as under lubrication – the under lubricated bearings just scream a little louder when they fail!  Once the bearing cavity is full of lubricant, the automatic lubricator generates back pressure from the bearing and can cause the lubricator to operate poorly.  Get the proper size lubricator and you will save money, save time and increase the performance of your equipment.

There are many advantages of using automatic lubricators beyond the labor savings associated from not needing to send a lubricator around to each bearing for required lubrication.  When properly selected, the automatic lubricators reliably provide the right amount of lubrication, without risk of being periodically skipped by the lubricators.  No over lubrication should be experience when using automatic lubricators – over lubrication can be as damaging as under lubrication.  No additional contamination will be injected into the bearing during regular lubrication.  Equipment in confined spaces can be automatically lubricated without requiring a permit to enter and wasted time.  No risk of grease compatibility issues.  You can probably think of more!

When you step up to spherical roller bearings and tapered roller bearing pillow blocks, you will most likely need a larger automatic lubricator.  Luckily, Simalube offers 5 sizes of lubricators for just about any applications – 15ml, 30 ml, 60ml, 125ml and the big boy – 250ml.  The staff at Professional Bearing Tools is happy to help review your applications and help to select the proper size and setting for your lubrication points.  

For full guidelines on selecting Simalube automatic lubricators, including recommendations for spherical bearing and tapered bearing pillow blocks, click HERE


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