Oil analysis test packages should be carefully considered. Different equipment have different test profile requirements. When determining what test packages to choose, the actual equipment and the surrounding environment should dictate what tests are appropriate.
Keep in mind that with oil analysis your goal is to increase machine reliability through improved fluid condition and early detection of possible faults that otherwise would not be obvious unless they cause machine failures.
Having an idea about what the various tests are and what they can accomplish, and taking into account the maintenance philosophy being practiced, test packages can easily be drawn up to accomplish the desired results.
For example, you may know that some equipment can be run to failure much less expensively than the cost of performing a regular oil analysis. On the other hand, on machines with smaller reservoirs where oil quality is all that would be monitored, it may be best to continue with regular, or even increased frequency, oil changes.
If you are not sure what tests are right for your equipment, it is best to consult a quality lab for assistance in this area.
When determining what test packages you need, ask yourself the following questions:
What is being monitored, themachine, the lubricant, or both? These three items require a different set of tests. Each type of machine should have a test package tailored to its needs. You should also begin a dialogue with an oil analysis lab to help you determine what test packages will help you reach your goals.
How often will samples be taken from each machine? Depending on the criticality and type of testing, frequency of sampling could range fromonce a week to annually.
About the Author
Evan ZabawskiSenior Technical Advisor, TestOil
Evan is a Certified Lubrication Specialist. Evan has extensive experience training tradesmen and professionals in a variety of fields including: lubrication fundamentals, contamination control, condition monitoring, RCM/FMEA and used oil analysis. Evan has been a member of STLE for over 20 years, serving as Chair of the Alberta Section for 8 years, and also as an instructor of the Condition Monitoring course at STLE Annual Meetings. Currently, Evan has Editor of TLT Magazine, and have served as the Editor for The STLE Alberta Section’s Basic Handbook of Lubrication – Third Edition, and contributed as one of the editors for STLE/CRC’s Handbook of Lubrication and Tribology, Volume II: Theory and Design, Second Edition. Evan has published several technical papers and am also a member in good standing of API and ASTM.