Spectro Scientific Blog

Ask the Expert: Oil Analysis in Power Generation

Posted by Professor Dan on May 30, 2018

Uptime is one of the key considerations for all power generators. Electricity supply must equal demand at all times. Downtime, especially unplanned downtime, is very difficult to deal with and can be quite costly. Fortunately condition based monitoring can go a long way towards preventing unscheduled downtime and achieving uptime goals in excess of 98%. In particular, on-site oil analysis is a key tool used by power generators to avoid unplanned outages.

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Topics: Industrial, How to

Ask the Expert: Oil Analysis for Transmissions

Posted by Professor Dan on May 01, 2018

Transmissions are very complex systems for converting and directing power from an engine to a drive train or other end use. Transmissions are typically found on mobile equipment and consist not only of gear sets, but also brake and clutch sets, torque converters and valves. Mobile transmissions are typically broken down into two categories - highway and off highway. Off highway consists of mining equipment, heavy-duty construction equipment, agricultural equipment and other mobile equipment typically used somewhere other than on a paved road.

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Topics: Fleets

Tips for implementing on-site oil analysis for fleets

Posted by Janet Keefe on April 19, 2018

Getting started with an on-site oil analysis program for Fleets

We have worked with many fleets to bring oil analysis capability on site with the MicroLab® analyzer. The programs can be very successful in helping fleets save money by extending oil drain intervals and by identifying mechanical issues before they result in catastrophic failures.

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Topics: Fleets

MicroLab expert system interprets oil analysis report

Posted by Janet Keefe on April 02, 2018

Provides comprehensive data and maintenance actions

The MicroLab® produces a comprehensive oil analysis report in less than 15 minutes to provide a complete picture of oil and machine condition, which allows a technician to make real-time maintenance decisions while the equipment is still in the garage.

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Topics: Fleets

Ask the Expert: Chiller Oil Analysis

Posted by Professor Dan on March 20, 2018

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.

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Topics: Industrial

Ask the Expert: Pump Oil Analysis

Posted by Professor Dan on March 12, 2018

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. 





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Topics: Fleets, Industrial

Estimate your annual savings

Posted by Janet Keefe on March 06, 2018

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.

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Topics: Fleets

Ask the Expert: Oil Analysis for Hydraulic Systems

Posted by Professor Dan on February 13, 2018

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.  

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Topics: Industrial, Fleets

Ask the Expert: Compressor Oil Analysis

Posted by Professor Dan on February 07, 2018


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. 



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Topics: Industrial

Ask the Expert: Turbine Oil Analysis

Posted by Daniel Walsh on January 25, 2018

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.  

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Topics: Industrial

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