Yet, there are drawbacks to this standard dual-line system. Because it is comprised of multiple one-piece lubrication dispensing blocks (each servicing up to eight points), whenever a single lube point fails, the entire block most be replaced, resulting in added time and labor to the cost of a replacement block. But even more significant to many applications, critical point monitoring, or verification, is very expensive with standard dual line systems.

“In heavy industrial application such as steel mills and metal working plants, the cost of critical point monitoring has become a key issue,” Hanley said. “In large systems, it can cost thousands of dollars to monitor a single bearing point.”

A modular alternative — To reduce those monitoring investments dramatically, and simultaneously to reduce bearing maintenance and replacement costs, Lubrication Scientifics has introduced a new design in dual-line lubrication systems, one that can continuously lubricate and monitor critical equipment bearing points over long distances. The new system, known as the MDL-50 Series, is a modular design with lower investment costs and higher system sustainability.

Because of its modular design, the MDL-50 retains the benefits of standard dual-line systems, and the MDL series offers several additional features that dramatically reduce lifetime maintenance costs. For example, it is never necessary to disconnect MDL supply or discharge valves to change out a non-working section. When valve replacement is required, only the piston section – rather than the entire valve block – is replaced, a job that takes only about two minutes instead of two hours.

In order to meet the largest lubrication system requirements, the MDL-50 system design also permits the creation of dual-line valves with an infinite number of outlets, making this technology ideal for the automated lubrication of equipment.

“Essentially, the user can tap into the dual lines anywhere and insert a dual-line valve, a capability that enables and the grouping of critical lubrication points into zones,” The Lubrication Scientifics president explained. “Creating zones enables system designers to economize on monitoring hardware. In effect, this provides systems design options that have never before been available.”

The new, modular system is available in both carbon steel and 316 stainless steel for use in highly caustic environments, including those that are washed down with caustic solutions.

Also, the MDL-50 series provides the flexibility of a “hybrid” system because it can be easily converted to dispense either grease or oil without having to abandon the original investment in dual-line components.

Long-term benefits, short-term payback — Hanley noted that conventional dual-line systems with monitoring capabilities cost users in excess of $100 per point to incorporate monitoring hardware, plus installation expenses. “Using the new modular dual-line approach with critical points grouped in zones, users can monitor everything tied to that valve, up to 360 points, for less than $1,000,” he said.

He added that, with modular dual-line systems dispensing grease, significant reduction of lubricant usage is required – sometimes a reduction of 90%. “This not only saves on grease costs but also virtually eliminates the high costs of grease disposal.”

Hanley added that while the savings of lube oil will not be as great as that of grease, by ensuring that a constant supply of clean oil in the required amount and intervals also will greatly improve bearing life, which is the most important payoff of the modular system.