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Condition Based Maintenance: Oil Analysis


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  • Community Leader

Hi all,

Recently we started a topic called "Using Condition Based Maintenance to Prevent Failures".

Today, we will be discussing one technique that can be used as part of a Condition Based Maintenance strategy: Oil Analysis.

What is Oil Analysis?

Oil analysis is a predictive diagnostic to monitor and evaluate the condition of fluids and equipment. It allows you to maximize the performance and reliability of assets by identifying problems before they become failures. This tool generates assertiveness and security in daily decision-making, allocating resources, such as time and money, efficiently.

What are the benefits of using Oil Analysis as part of my strategy?

By analysing your oil, it is possible to detect if it is contaminated with water or fuel for example. In addition to that, it will check the wear of the components. Therefore, it is possible to take actions that aim to correct the origin of the contamination and to anticipate failures arising from wear and tear. By anticipating risks, oil analysis will support you and your organisation to reduce maintenance costs, prevent breakdowns and increase the life of machines. This is because the oil analysis makes a diagnosis of the physical and chemical conditions of the lubricants, being one of the only tools that allows anticipating machine failures.

Types of Oil Analysis:

Physicochemical: This indicates the insulating capacity and the state of the oil in the equipment. In this, the color and density tests are carried out, checking for possible changes in the composition.

Spectrometry: It identifies the elemental composition of the particles in the samples. With spectrometry, the presence of metallic elements such as copper, aluminum, iron and chromium is identified.

Ferrography: Evaluates the wear of the equipment elements by quantifying and observing suspended particles present in the oil.

Contamination: It detects substances that should not be present in the oil, such as water, dust, particles from wear and tear, air, etc. It is fundamental for the performance of the equipment, since the contaminated oil represents not only a loss of productivity, but also shortens its useful life.

 

How about you? Have you used Oil Analysis before? Has this been an efficient technique for you?

 

Regards,
Raul Martins

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We currently do oil analysis at our plant and it is a great tool but like anything else you have to have competent people taking the sample correctly. I really recommend this tool. It can be used to see where your systems are lacking proper filtration.

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  • Community Leader

Hi @Superman,

I totally agree! The whole process (lubrication, samples collection, samples handling, analysis and finally actions taken based on the analysis) needs to be properly established in order to ensure a positive outcome. In order to do that, having a good and engaged team is paramount.

Yet, if such process is solid, the benefits can be extremely positive.

 

Regards,

Raul Martins

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Agree with you @Superman. There is this common mistake found in field that people in charge did not take oil properly.

They often taking shortcut to easieng their job such as taking directly from the drain plug instead of using vaccum pump, not using glove, putting the bottle and comp. in unhygeness place or taking the oil as soon as the machine off, the commulative oil will not able to take since some is still have not drop from system and also dangerous since the oil hot. Its important to have someone capable to vising the work.

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