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Increase machine uptime and save money with oil analysis

Increase machine uptime and save money with oil analysis

Oil analysis is a critical component of predictive maintenance, allowing for the early detection of potential problems and abnormalities in machinery. By regularly analyzing oil conditions, maintenance teams can anticipate failures and optimize machine performance, reducing downtime and extending equipment life.

A study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found that oil analysis is one of the most effective predictive maintenance tools available.

How can oil analysis be used as a predictive maintenance tool?

Oil analysis is a process of testing lubricating oil to determine its physical and chemical properties, as well as the presence of contaminants. This information can be used to assess the condition of the machine that the oil is lubricating and to identify potential problems before they cause a failure.

Oil analysis can be used as a predictive maintenance tool by monitoring the condition of the oil over time. Trends in the oil analysis data can be used to identify potential problems, such as:
• Wear and tear on machine components
• Contamination of the oil with water, dirt, or fuel
• Degradation of the oil due to oxidation or other chemical reactions
• By identifying these potential problems early, corrective action can be taken to prevent a failure. This can save money and downtime in the long run.

A study found that oil analysis can reduce the risk of machine failure by up to 70%.

How often should oil analysis be performed?

The frequency of oil analysis will depend on many factors, including the type of machine, the operating environment, and the criticality of the machine to the operation. In general, oil analysis should be performed more frequently for critical machines and machines that operate in harsh environments.

A good starting point is to perform an oil analysis every 500 to 1000 hours of operation. However, the frequency may need to be adjusted based on the results of the oil analysis and the specific conditions of the machine.

Oil analysis can save an average of $10,000 per machine per year.

What tools are used to measure the properties of oil?

A variety of tools are used to measure the properties of oil, including:

• Viscometer: Measures the viscosity of the oil, which is an important property for lubrication.
• FTIR spectrometer: Identifies and quantifies contaminants in the oil.
• Atomic emission spectrometer (AES): Measures the concentration of metal particles in the oil.
• Ferrous Density Meters: Detect ferrous wear particles in the oil.
• Karl Fischer moisture analyzer: Measures the water content of the oil.

When should I call for help?

If you are not comfortable interpreting the results of an oil analysis, or if you see any abnormal results, you should call a machine lubrication expert for help.

In a study conducted by Reliability Maintenance Solutions Ltd. on hydraulic systems, implementing oil analysis as a predictive maintenance tool resulted in a 60% reduction in unscheduled downtime and a 45% decrease in maintenance costs. This underscores the significant impact that regular oil analysis can have on operational efficiency and cost reduction.

Here are some specific examples of when you should call for help:

• If the oil viscosity is outside of the acceptable range.
• If there is a significant increase in the concentration of metal particles in the oil.
• If there is a presence of water or other contaminants in the oil.
• If you see any other unusual results, such as a change in the color or appearance of the oil.

Oil analysis is a cornerstone of predictive maintenance, offering a glimpse into the internal workings of machinery and enabling the early detection of potential issues. By employing oil analysis strategically, organizations can significantly enhance equipment reliability, reduce maintenance costs, and minimize unplanned downtime.

Notable resources used in this blog post:
Machinery Lubrication
National Institute of Standards and Technology
• Predictive Maintenance: A Practical Guide by R. Keith Mobley
• Oil Analysis for Predictive Maintenance by James P. Fitch
• Interpreting Oil Analysis Reports by Reliability Maintenance Solutions Ltd.

This article is for educational purposes only and does not replace professional consultation. Always refer to manufacturers’ guidelines and consult with lubrication and maintenance experts for advice tailored to specific operational needs.

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