Not all automatic lubrication systems are the same – and at LH Travis we want you to know the facts so you can make the right choices for your equipment every time. Today we’re going to look at the differences between progressive and parallel lubrication systems.

Two Systems

Progressive and parallel systems are two of the most common types of automatic lubrication systems installed and serviced by LH Travis. Chances are you’ll find one or both types of systems in your own operation.

Both parallel and progressive lube systems have a pump. Lines carry lubricant from that pump to the metering valve in both types of systems. 

In a parallel system, the pump creates hydraulic pressure in a series of metering valves, sometimes referred to as “injectors.” Because the injectors operate under hydraulic pressure, the system must be pressurized and then vented. The metering blocks, or injectors, operate simultaneously but independently. This means that if the line to one injector becomes blocked, it will not impede the functioning of the other injectors. 

In a progressive system, the line from the pump leads to a master valve (or “primary valve”) and then to secondary valves located across the machine. If the lubricant line becomes blocked in a progressive system, it will cause a backup and a pressure sensor will indicate the problem. The benefit here is that this allows for single-point monitoring of the system. 

Among progressive systems, you’ll generally find two subtypes: segmented block and one-piece block. The main difference you’ll see between these two subtypes is found in the metering valve used. 

There are pros and cons to both types of automatic lubrication system, the parallel and the progressive style. Knowing the differences between the two empowers you to make an informed decision about which type is best for your applications.

When in Doubt …

Anytime you are uncertain about what lubrication system or process would be best for the equipment you use daily, LH Travis is here to help. A consultation with one of our professional technicians will quickly get you on the right track.