Q. Can used oil analysis really diagnose oil-related issues before they become a problem?
Absolutely. Like a blood test, used oil analysis gives critical insights into the condition and performance of the lubricants being used in a machine, helping detect any issues before major damage is done.
Q. What kind of issues do you look for?
In hydraulic systems, for example, a lubricant has to deal with compression and shear stresses. This can trigger molecular breakdown, reducing the oil’s ability to lubricate and protect. It is also essential to guard against lubricant oxidation as this can cause corrosion, a build-up of damaging lacquer and changes in viscosity. Lubricants can also be contaminated with process materials, water, dust and wear debris, which can trigger pump failures and increase filtration costs.
Q: Is oil analysis very time consuming?
That depends on the package you are using. Our new Mobil Serv™ Lubricant Analysis program uses the latest technologies to make the sampling process as quick as possible. For example, we have eliminated the need for manual sample labelling by introducing pre-labelled bottles with QR codes and a unique number identifier.
Our customers are already seeing the benefits. Recently we were able to help an alumina production plant reduce time spent on oil analysis by nearly 200 labour hours, with related savings of US $9,600.
Q: What benefits can operators expect?
Done correctly, monitoring tests can help you track lubrication trends and spot any problems, such as changes in viscosity.
These insights can help you act, and monitor results. This can help increase productivity, reduce downtime, improve equipment reliability and reduce lubricant consumption.