Equipment rarely fails without first sending signals. The question is, are you looking for the signals? Utilizing an oil analysis program is one of the best ways to find those early indications of equipment failure.
The process involves taking a small sample of oil from the equipment’s lubrication system, comparing it to a clean stock sample through a series of laboratory tests, and examining the results to ascertain the “wellness” of machinery and oil.
Oil analysis plays a major role within the context of proactive maintenance and asset condition management. It reflects a highly effective and inexpensive means of deciding when to change lubricants based on condition. This also helps predict incipient bearing failure so that appropriate action can be taken.
Think of it like this. When a doctor wants to assess the condition of your health, he or she may order a blood test. Similarly, oil analysis, sometimes referred to as “wear-particle analysis,” is a mature condition-based maintenance approach used to determine the health of a machine and its lubricating oil.
Much has been written about the benefits to be gained from a proactive oil analysis focusing on the root causes of lubricant degradation and system wear that leads to failure. The benefits are documented and clearly defined by a number of leading organizations.
Yet, despite its availability and proven track record since the 1940s, oil analysis is still misunderstood and overlooked as a proactive strategy in many of today’s industrial plants. Relatively easy to set up, this type of program should be implemented in any facility that purchases, stores, dispenses, changes, uses, or recycles lubricants as part of its manufacturing or maintenance process.
RedVector’s latest Asset Condition Management Course, Setting Up an Oil Analysis Program, teaches how and why you should institute an oil analysis program and partner with the right laboratory. Plus, discover how to choose equipment to sample, what tests to use and how to train your personnel.
For more information, view the new RedVector Course, Asset Condition Management: Setting Up an Oil Analysis Program