US mining firm reduces operational costs with Mobil SHC 630
Advanced synthetic bearing oil helps increase productivity, reduce fuel usage and enhance safety
ExxonMobil say they have helped an open pit mine operator in the US save more than $2.1 million annually by switching to their high-performance synthetic gear and bearing oil – Mobil SHC 630. The lubricant helped optimize the performance of 50 Caterpillar 793 haul trucks, leading to fuel economy, productivity and safety gains.
ExxonMobil field engineers partnered with the mine in Minnesota to identify a lubricant solution that would help optimize the performance of the differentials and final drives in the drivetrains of the 226-tonne payload trucks, particularly in cold temperatures.
The mining site in Minnesota previously lubricated these components with a conventional mineral oil. However, as the fleet evolved to include newer, more advanced Cat haul trucks, the increased horsepower and load of these vehicles caused extra stress on the drivetrain. This meant the lubricant could not protect the equipment as effectively, leading to premature wear and elevated drivetrain temperatures reaching as high as 88°C (190°F).
The ExxonMobil team recommended conducting a fuel economy test using Mobil SHC 630 in the differential and final drive compartment. The advanced lubricant is specially formulated to provide excellent high temperature thermal/oxidation resistance and low temperature performance, as well as equipment protection and trouble-free operation.
The operator reported that Mobil SHC 630 helped reduce drivetrain operating temperatures and improve fuel economy by 5.5%. The enhanced protection also helped minimize maintenance, reduce costs and enhance safety by reducing human-machine interaction by 326h.
According to ExxonMobil, these improvements helped generate a company estimated saving of more than $2.1 million a year. Based on the estimated fuel savings, the gear oil upgrade also helped reduce the mine fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 5,734 tons of carbon emissions, two tons of particulate matter and 50 tons of NOx.
‘This is another prime example of when choosing the right lubricant was the million dollar question that resulted in huge savings, as well as improved productivity, safety and uptime,’ said Pat Kelly, Americas Mobil SHC advisor for ExxonMobil.
‘With mining operators under constant pressure to cut costs and increase productivity, knowing that a simple change in lubricant can deliver such significant benefits could be a real competitive advantage.’