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What You Need to Know About Designing an Oil Analysis Program

By Immanuel Llorens Subscribe to RSS | April 20th 2012 | Views:
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Most equipment we use today use oil to provide lubrication and prevent corrosion. Over time, machines can wear down and require maintenance because of oil deficiency or poor quality oil. Oil analysis is one important component of preventive maintenance.

Oil analysis involves the inspection in laboratories of lubricant properties, debris from wear and tear, and suspended contaminants in oil. It was first used in the US railroad industry after World War II for the preventive maintenance of locomotives. A key instrument for the advancement of oil analysis technology was the spectrograph. The spectrograph, which analyzed chemicals by separating waves into frequency spectrums, proved superior to many wet chemical methods used to analyze chemical components.

Today, oil analysis is used to check additives in oil as well as the oil itself. It compares old and new oil to determine if the old one needs replacement. It determines whether there’s a need to restore the quality of the oil to improve its performance. If there is such a need, depleted additives can be replenished, or fresh oil can be added.

Oil analysis enables you to identify equipment that needs major repairs. The results can also help reduce the frequency of oil changes. The resale value of used equipment that has undergone oil analysis increases since the equipment is in better shape.

The nature of the oil analysis program for your equipment depends on your ultimate objective for the analysis. If the analysis is to reduce your oil change frequency, you can relax the sampling program since the nature of oil remains relatively constant for some time. If it’s to detect wear and tear and/or control contamination, give importance to a good analysis program.

Oil analyzers require good laboratories to give the best results. These laboratories should be accredited with ISO 17025 which means that the laboratories use precise and accurate data, as well as good record keeping and documentation systems. Of course, the best laboratories are useless if the quality of data given to them is unreliable. You should also consider the cost, logistics and technical service when choosing an oil analyzer.

The procedures an oil analyzer follows vary with your objectives for the program. The most basic sampling program contain the following: a sampling goal, sampling location, sampling frequency/scheduling, material requirements, sampling method, potential source of interference, and safety considerations. For more details on oil sampling, read the articles at machinerylubrication.com/Meta/Tags/oil%20analysis.

Immanuel Llorens - About Author:
For more details, search oil analysis program, Oil analyzers, and oil analyzer in Google for related information.

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