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What is Oil Analysis?


What is Oil Analysis?

Oil analysis involves doing analysis on the properties of a lubricant, wear debris, and the contaminants in it. It’s done regularly or when the need arises so as to provide accurate and meaningful information about the lubricant and the machine that it’s being used on. When you keep records of a machine’s sample results, it’s possible to know its condition and make the necessary changes if the machine is worn out, eliminating huge costs which could have occurred. You can do repairs or replace the entire machine depending on its condition. The people who mostly perform oil analysis study tribology, the study of wear and are called tribologists.

Oil analysis is divided into:

Since long ago, monitoring the condition of machines at the workplace has always been of great importance for proper maintenance of machines. When machines are working properly, operations run smoothly and accidents are avoided. While the petrochemical and power generation industries do vibration analysis, the fleet industries have always chosen oil analysis to maintain the diesel engines in shape. Other industries like the pulp and paper industries and those dealing with metals also use oil analysis.

Oil analysis has proved to produce better assessment results and most plants in different industries are using the method to monitor the condition of the machines and systems in use. This assessment has increased machine reliability and improved the performance of the company in turn. This article looks at the role that oil analysis plays in different industries.

Monitoring the Condition of Machines through Oil Analysis

The role played by oil analysis has varied over the years. In the power generation and petrochemical industries, it has been done to determine when machines need an oil change. In areas where there is a hydraulic application, it has been utilized to control contamination which leads to jamming of abrades components and servo-valves. When these two are jammed, component failure occurs prematurely.

In the fleet industries, oil analysis has mostly been used to know when additives are depleted, fuel is resulting in oil contamination, soot is too much in the oil, or when there is unusual component wear. Each application varies from the other and the information that the different applications produce is used to make varied but important decisions.

Dimensions of Oil Analysis

Fluid analysis

When you perform oil analysis, it reveals how healthy the oil is. With the analysis, the oil’s chemical, physical, and additive properties can analyzed and the decision about whether the oil needs changing can be made. Oil analysis will also help you know when an addition of incorrect oil has been made. If at one time the oil degrades abnormally, oil analysis will be used to tell whether the degradation is hydrolytic, oxidative or due to another happening.

Contamination Monitoring

Contamination contributes greatly to machine failure and degradation. In most industrial applications, moisture together with abrasive particles is the leading cause of machine wear. These particles also make the oil to lose its additives, thereby, leading to oil degradation. When contamination monitoring is done, the company is able to reduce the chances of machine failure.

Detection of Wear Debris

Machines produce particles when they are not in good condition. Debris detection helps in determining the cause of the problem and enables one to plan for maintenance and repair. This way machines operate smoothly without causing lagging of activities.

The Importance of Oil Analysis

Proactive machine care

Machine failure is something may slow down things at an organization significantly. Oil analysis helps to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Contamination takes effect slowly and will be difficult to notice until it’s too late. By looking at the results of oil analysis, the necessary changes are made, thereby, avoiding degradation, which leads to machine failure.

Making effective decisions

Oil analysis comes in handy when making operations and maintenance decisions. To make quality decisions, you have to have accurate information. Oil analysis provides you with the most accurate data of the components involved, thereby, giving you the best tool to make the right decision in operation and maintenance.

Observing reliability

Due to the importance of keeping machines in full operation, it’s advisable to have people who are tasked with the primary duty of performing oil analysis. A department should be established to perform analysis from time to time. By doing this, the clients of the company can rely on it to deliver throughout.

Therefore, employers should ensure that their employees are capable of doing oil analysis to facilitate smooth operation of machines. If you’re an employer and may want your employees to be trained on matters pertaining oil analysis, consider attending the NTT INC. seminars on oil analysis training. You can contact us if you have any questions pertaining the same.

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