Used oil analysis is a scientific method for determining the condition of an oil and the condition of the system in which the oil was used. It is very similar to the analysis of blood in humans. Certain conditions present in oil can be directly traced to abnormalities in the lubrication system, just as blood tests detect physical illness. This science can be applied to any system that uses oil as a lubricant. Problems with engine, hydraulic, gear case, and compressor systems can all be diagnosed through oil analysis.
Physical and chemical tests are available to analyze lubricants. These tests can pinpoint levels and sources of contamination and quantify any loss of oil additives. This information provides maintenance managers with a "look" inside the lubrication system and allows them to "see" its condition.
Oil analysis allows maintenance managers to track the condition of components by trending particle counts, wear metals, or element levels in the sample, and tracking the rates-of-wear of critical components. Tracking the rate-of-wear of pumps, motors, bearings, and valves allows maintenance managers to predict when a component would likely fail and schedule equipment repairs before the component actually fails. Scheduling equipment repairs, rather than reacting to a failure, allows a plant to have replacement equipment available or parts in stock and technicians on hand to minimize or avoid downtime. Fluid analysis data trending also allows a plant to schedule preventive maintenance servicing on a schedule that best suits the company’s manufacturing load. Accurate fluid condition data allow maintenance managers to change oils and coolants only when a change is required, extending the time intervals between changes. This in turn, reduces maintenance costs, lubricant consumption and disposal costs, and increases productivity and machine uptime.
ISO certified, employing state-of-the-art technology, and staffed by a technical and science team whose members average more than 20 years of experience in oil analysis, our OilChek® oil analysis laboratory helps us deliver on our promise of Assuring Machine HealthTM.
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