New Oil Analysis
New lubricating oil analysis is primarily a quality control process. It is important for lubricant blenders to verify the levels of additives and contaminants during the production phase, and equally as important for lubricant users to confirm specifications prior to use. Less than 40% of lubrication professionals test incoming oil before use. There are many good reasons for testing oil as it is delivered and portable, on-site tools make this job easy. For more information, click here.
Used Oil Analysis
An effective predictive oil analysis program based on condition monitoring through used oil analysis must determine both machine condition and lubricant condition in a timely manner. Lubricating oil may be used as a diagnostic medium which carries wear debris away from the wearing surfaces. Analysis of the wear debris can, therefore, provide important information about the condition of the internal parts of a machine or engine. In addition, the condition of the lubricant itself is important to understand. Does the lubricant meet specification? Is the viscosity correct? Is the oil contaminated with water, particulates or chemical compounds?
In a modern condition monitoring program based on used oil analysis, a sample, or in some cases several oil samples, are taken from a piece of equipment at a predetermined sampling interval and sent to the laboratory for analysis. Based on the analysis, a diagnostic report is made and a recommendation is sent to the personnel responsible for the equipment. The report may show that everything is normal, warn of a possible problem or make a specific maintenance recommendation. The entire process, from sample taking to the diagnostic report, should take as little time as possible in order to be most effective. If samples are sent to an external laboratory and days or weeks pass before the results are received back, this reduces the effectiveness of the maintenance program as equipment might have already failed before the reports come back. In many environments, such as marine or off-shore oil and gas exploration, sending samples to a laboratory is nearly impossible and certainly not practical.
In a modern oil analysis program, the data generated and collected is also used to provide periodic maintenance summaries. These reports can be statistical in nature and provide an insight to management personnel on the effectiveness of the program, efficiency of the maintenance department, repair status of equipment, recurring problems, and even information on the performance of different lubricants. The military must always have their equipment in a state of readiness, so tracking maintenance is key for these organizations. The United States Marine Corp uses portable oil analysis to maintain their fleets of heavy vehicle and has seen substantial savings from avoiding unnecessary oil changes and detecting maintenance issues before they become catastrophic.
We have been offering instruments and even complete turnkey systems for used oil analysis for 25 years. They include all the instruments necessary for the analysis of machine and lubricant condition. Based on these years of experience we have compiled a comprehensive guide to best practices, techniques and case studies. Please download our complimentary Oil Analysis Handbook.
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