In these videos, Daniel Walsh explains how oil analysis is used to maintain various assets common to industrial and fleet customers, such as engines, compressors, gearboxes, chillers, hydraulic systems and turbines. 

Hydraulic Systems

Hydraulic systems are typically used in industrial, aviation and mobile applications to transmit power. The hydraulic fluid is the lifeblood of these systems and, as such, must remain clean and dry for these systems to function properly. In this video, Dan discusses common failure mechanisms for hydraulic systems and explains what to look for and test for to insure your hydraulic system continues to operate as designed. For more details on hydraulic oil analysis, please click here.




Pumps are used in virtually all industrial settings to move fluids from one location to another. Many pumps are small and inexpensive and are not good candidates for oil analysis. Other pumps can be large, expensive, and critical to keeping operations running smoothly. These pumps can benefit greatly from regular oil analysis to detect failure modes early and prevent unplanned downtime. In this video Dan discusses what parts of the pump are most vulnerable to failure and what series of tests should be run on typical industrial pumps. For more details on pump oil analysis, please click here. 


Compressed Air is considered to be the 4th utility after power, water and fuel (natural gas), and usually the one that all customers must generate and provide themselves. Compressed air is the energy of choice to power a great variety of applications across fleet and industrial applications. Since compressors are integral to providing the power for a variety of machines throughout a plant or on a vehicle, reliability and uptime of compressors is paramount. 

Oil analysis is a key tool used to ensure that compressors stay up and running and that unscheduled downtime is minimized. This brief Ask the Expert video explains the parts of a compressor that are typically monitored using oil analysis, the most common failure modes for compressors, what types of tests are typically run on the oil, and what on-site instruments are best-suited to performing that suite of tests. For more details on compressor oil analysis click here



Chillers are used across a range of industries to remove heat from processes or from facilities. Some examples include commercial brewing operations that keep their entire brew houses near zero degrees Celsius or chemical processes that require a steady supply of chilled water for their processes.

Chillers typically operate either by the absorption/refrigeration cycle or by vapor compression. The absorption/refrigeration cycle is not widely used in industry these days so we will focus our attention on chillers that operate using the vapor compression technique. In this method, heat is absorbed by the refrigerant liquid, which causes it to boil and change from the liquid to the gas phase. The gas is then compressed back into a liquid as the heat is removed from the process. For more details on chiller oil analysis click here



Oil analysis was first employed on engines as a predictive maintenance tool, and it remains a predominant technique for insuring the reliability of engine systems. Reciprocating internal combustion engines power most of the world's mobile equipment, such as cars, trucks, buses, locomotives, mining equipment, agricultural equipment and are also common in stationary backup power generators, oil and gas exploration rigs, and pipeline compression stations.  

Engine oil must be changed before it reaches the point at which it can no longer adequately perform its intended functions within an engine. On the other hand, changing oil too soon or too frequently can have a huge cost impact and environmental impact. Oil in RICE (rotating internal combustion engines) becomes progressively contaminated, the rate of which can vary based on load factor, duty cycle, age, environment, and fuel types. For more details on engine oil analysis click here. 



Monitoring turbines with oil analysis is well known and well established. All turbines, both steam and gas, have a large oil reservoir to lubricate the turbine bearings. Older designs had separate sumps for the hydraulic control of valves, whereas newer designs may have the lube oil and hydraulic sump linked together. Power plant operators new to oil analysis can be easily confused about what all the tests are. Fortunately, the industry has developed umbrella specifications for power plant lubrication monitoring, such as ASTM D4378 and ASTM D6224, and these define almost every test used to qualify lubricants for new and in-service monitoring for power plants. For more details on turbine oil analysis click here


Gear Boxes

Oil analysis is a very useful tool for gear systems. Geared systems are found across both mobile and industrial equipment. Though they are designed to be very reliable, they cause a lot of disruption and costs when they wear or break due to poor operation or contamination. Oil analysis is a great tool to detect when failure conditions are developing, and as such most gear manufacturers suggest condition monitoring, including oil analysis. For more details on gearbox oil analysis, please click here



Transmissions are very complex systems for converting and directing power from an engine to a drive train or other end use. Transmissions are typically found on mobile equipment and consist not only of gear sets, but also brake and clutch sets, torque converters and valves. Mobile transmissions are typically broken down into two categories - highway and off highway. Off highway consists of mining equipment, heavy-duty construction equipment, agricultural equipment and other mobile equipment typically used somewhere other than on a paved road. For more details on transmission oil analysis, please click here