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Podcast: Refrigeration Lubrication

January 27, 2012

Summit's market manager for refrigeration oil products Joe Gonzalez explains the refrigeration process and why it's important to put get the right oil for your refrigeration compressor.

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Thanks for listening.

The following are small excerpts from the fourth episode of Tribology Talk: The Science of Lubrication. To listen to the full podcast, you can download from iTunes or listen from your mobile device.

Host: Kyle Carter, Communications Director

Guest: Joe Gonzalez, Market Manager for Refrigeration Oil Products

What are some of the problems an oil needs to solve in refrigeration that it might not encounter other places? 

For the longest time the main and only oil property the end user was looking for was low wax content  and at the time naphthenic mineral oils did have a lower wax content but still they were not wax free as some marketers mistakenly called them. 

Low wax content meant low Pour Point so that oil could flow at low temperatures below freezing and still protect bearings against wear and not impede heat transfer in the evaporators by turning waxy and therefore keeping that cold storage warehouse cold to prevent spoilage. Today, we ask a lot more of these oils for this application.

What are some of the more common mistakes people make when it comes to refrigeration lubricants?

The most common mistake in making industrial lubricant applications is focusing entirely on price.  We may be forced, on occasion to compete on price, but we prefer to sell on the basis of cost benefits or what some of us call “Value Selling.” 

In refrigeration this would translate to: Less oil carryover, less bearing wear, stay in grade viscosity, longer oil drain intervals, free used oil analysis which can cost upwards of $100, great system efficiency.

They say that on average a soft drink bottling company or a brewery spends 40% of its electricity bill on its ammonia compressors.   So an energy savings of 1-3% can be a significant amount of money and this can just about pay for the lubricant purchase.


ISO 9001

Summit first received its ISO 9001 certification in January of 1996, demonstrating a commitment to quality assurance and performance monitoring. ISO 9001 certification is an international quality standard that addresses a comprehensive list of business elements, including management responsibility, order processing, purchasing, process control, traceability, handling of non-conforming product, and internal auditing. Our present ISO 9001 certification is proof of our continuing quality commitment to our customers.


ISO 14001

Summit is committed to protecting the environment, the health and safety of our employees, customers and communities where we work and live. We recognize that through integrating sound environmental health, and safety management practices into all aspects of our business ... we can offer innovative products and services while conserving and enhancing resources for future generations.


NSF ISO 21469

ISO 21469 specifies hygiene requirements for the formulation, manufacture, use and handling of lubricants, which may come into contact with products during manufacturing or processing. The international standard applies to lubricants intended for use in food production, as well as cosmetic, pharmaceutical and animal feed industries. NSF ISO 21469 Certification by an independent, third party provides Summit with a means to obtain international acceptance for their products. 

You can see a list of Summit’s ISO 21469 certified products by clicking here.