Any plant using linear motion requires maintenance workers to regularly apply lubrication to linear guides, because insufficiently lubricated mechanical components exhibit excessive wear, performance problems and premature failure.
However, manual lubrication practices can be pricey, due to recurring maintenance-personnel wages and the cost of the lubricant itself. Such lubrication expenses are even higher for remotely located grease fittings, or those requiring downtime for servicing.
In "Boosting Reliability with Lubricating Surfaces,"
John Longo explores some of the alternatives to manual lubrication.