Chillers are used across a range of industries to remove heat from processes or from facilities. Some examples include commercial brewing operations that keep their entire brew houses near zero degrees Celsius or chemical processes that require a steady supply of chilled water for their processes.
Pumps are used in industrial and fleet applications to move liquids and gases. Most pumps used in industrial applications are either positive displacement or centrifugal. In both cases bearings are the component that must be lubricated and monitored. Rotary positive displacement pumps have gears, screws, lobes or vanes which are also lubricated, usually by the fluid they are pumping, whether it is a lubricant or an oil /air mix.
When companies are considering adding on-site oil analysis capability to their maintenance program with the MicroLab analyzer they typically want to know how quickly the investment will pay off for them. To help fleets evaluate the potential savings that on-site oil analysis can bring to them we developed a savings calculator that allows you to input specific information about your fleet to determine the estimated annual savings you may achieve.
The calculator considers three areas of savings potential.
Hydraulic systems are used in industrial, mobile and aviation applications to transmit power to operate equipment. They are incredibly efficient, compact, and lightweight relative to a mechanical equivalent. Hydraulic fluids transmit force in the system, and as such are carefully chosen by the system maker. Chemical stability, high flash and fire points, viscosity, and oxidation resistance are all valued, and as a result mineral and synthetic hydrocarbon fluids are selected for mobile and industrial systems, whereas functional chemicals such as phosphate esters are chosen for aviation and specialized industrial applications.
Compressed Air is considered to be the 4th utility after power, water and fuel (natural gas), and usually the one that all customers must generate and provide themselves. Compressed air is the energy of choice to power a great variety of applications across fleet and industrial applications. Since compressors are integral to providing the power for a variety of machines throughout a plant or on a vehicle, reliability and uptime of compressors is paramount.
Oil analysis is a key tool used to ensure that compressors stay up and running and that unscheduled downtime is minimized. This brief Ask the Expert video explains the parts of a compressor that are typically monitored using oil analysis, the most common failure modes for compressors, what types of tests are typically run on the oil, and what on-site instruments are best-suited to performing that suite of tests.
Monitoring turbines with oil analysis is well known and well established. All turbines, both steam and gas, have a large oil reservoir to lubricate the turbine bearings. Older designs had separate sumps for the hydraulic control of valves, whereas newer designs may have the lube oil and hydraulic sump linked together. Power plant operators new to oil analysis can be easily confused about what all the tests are. Fortunately, the industry has developed umbrella specifications for power plant lubrication monitoring, such as ASTM D4378 and ASTM D6224, and these define almost every test used to qualify lubricants for new and in-service monitoring for power plants.
Oil analysis was first employed on engines as a predictive maintenance tool, and it remains a predominant technique for insuring the reliability of engine systems. Reciprocating internal combustion engines power most of the world's mobile equipment, such as cars, trucks, buses, locomotives, mining equipment, agricultural equipment and are also common in stationary backup power generators, oil and gas exploration rigs, and pipeline compression stations.
Oil analysis is a very useful tool for gear systems. Geared systems are found across both mobile and industrial equipment. Though they are designed to be very reliable, they cause a lot of disruption and costs when they wear or break due to poor operation or contamination. Oil analysis is a great tool to detect when failure conditions are developing, and as such most gear manufacturers suggest condition monitoring, including oil analysis.
In this issue:
MicroLab Version 11 software - simplified reports, improved performance
FieldLab 58 - Improved X-ray module, new patent, new ASTM method
Case Study - City Fleet Saves $2M by Safely Extending Oil Drain Intervals
New E-guide - Ferrous Wear Measurement
A large municipality in the northwestern United States operates over 1,700 vehicles and over 3,000 pieces of motorized equipment ranging from riding lawn mowers to bulldozers. Oil changes constitute a major expense. For example, the 500 heavy duty trucks in its fleet previously had their oil changed every 2,500 miles at a cost of around $400 per change. Assuming that each truck is driven 40,000 miles per year, total oil changes on these vehicles alone cost over $3 million per year. By using oil analysis to track oil condition, the City now performs oil changes only when necessary and has reduced their total oil change costs for these vehicles to below $1 million per year. Substantial savings have also been achieved on other types of vehicles and equipment. Furthermore, the City has achieved considerable but unmeasurable savings by identifying serious problems in oil analysis and fixing them before they cause a catastrophic failure.