Lisa Williams, Ametek Spectro Scientific’s technical solutions specialist discusses reliability and problem-solving strategies working with end-users.
STLE member Lisa Williams is a results-focused solution provider working in reliability engineering and tribology for the past 13 years. Specializing in lubricant analysis, she currently serves as a technical solutions specialist on the product management team at Ametek Spectro Scientific. She holds STLE’s Certified Lubrication Specialist™ (CLS) certification and also holds the Level I Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA I) and Level II Laboratory Lubricant Analyst (LLA II) certifications with the International Council of Machinery Lubrication. She currently serves as vice chair of the ASTM D02.CS96 Committee for In-service Lubricant Testing and Practices and served as the technical lead on two ASTM standards for in-service grease sampling and analysis, ASTM D7718 and ASTM D7918. Williams holds a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry from York College of Pennsylvania and a master’s of business administration from Elizabethtown College.
Point of care solutions provide the maintenance team with accurate answers about equipment when needed. This is especially important when teams are working in 24/7 operations. Waiting for data to come back in days or weeks to make important decisions is not viable.
Oil analysis is essential to identify problems so they can be corrected before they cause equipment to go down for major repairs. A multinational mining firm was using an outside lab for oil analysis, but there were some real limitations with this approach:
- The cost of this approach limited the number of samples that could be analyzed.
- In addition, the four-day lead time to receive the results created the risk that damage could occur before results were obtained.
- Further, unpredictable delays or interruptions in shipping to the off-site lab can have huge impacts to keeping critical machinery running.
They overcame this problem by creating an in-house lab based on the SpectrOil 100 rotating disk electrode (RDE) atomic emission spectrometer and the Spectro FTIR oil analyzer. The mine can now obtain oil analysis results in only 12 minutes, and the reduced cost per sample has made it possible to increase the number of samples analyzed by nearly a factor of ten. In its first year of operation, the in house lab has identified savings of over a million dollars in downtime and over a million dollars in repairs with several of the larger incidents generating savings that completely paid for the purchase price of the instruments.
How can on-site oil analysis benefit municipal fleets? Our expert, Dan Walsh, illustrates how on-site oil analysis programs can positively impact municipal fleets.
Oil analysis is a core practice recognized within the reliability professional community to improve machine reliability and save money. Many companies and organizations already employ some type of oil analysis program within their maintenance practices.
A large municipality located in the northwestern United States operates a fleet of over 1,700 vehicles and over 3,000 pieces of motorized equipment which it uses for critical everyday functions. As you can imagine, maintenance on this equipment is expensive with oil changes alone costing in excess of $3 million dollars annually when done at set intervals. The municipality recognized that they could save millions of dollars by using oil analysis on their fleet to extend oil change intervals as well as identify and fix serious problems before they cause a catastrophic failure.
Point of care oil analysis is now established and accelerating as companies find reliability improvements and cost savings.
In a recent reliability survey, between 60 to 70% of industrial facilities employ oil analysis as an important component of their reliability programs. Oil analysis gives a snapshot of machinery health, preventing unnecessary oil changes and predicting equipment failures before they happen. Most organizations draw oil analysis samples and ship them off-site to be analyzed in a laboratory. The results are sent back anywhere from days to weeks depending on location and industry.
Point of care oil analysis (today’s on-site oil analysis) has grown rapidly in the last three years as leading companies in power generation, mining, food production and industrial manufacturing invest in tools and software solutions to insource at each production site. Benefits experienced by these early leaders indicates that this trend will accelerate more now, despite current challenges. Here are 5 reasons why organizations across the world are investing in point of care solutions:
The Beginner's Guide to Trending Parameters for Machinery Wear on the LaserNet 200 Series
Establishing alarm limits and condemnation levels for large machinery wear particles is a common topic discussed among reliability professionals. Equipment manufacturers are often not forthcoming with this information since each piece of equipment potentially generates wear at a different rate. Trending and monitoring deviations from trends is the recommended way for developing alarm limits and condemnation levels on the component. As part of the MiniLab system, the LaserNet 200 Series is a powerful tool to trend particle counts, classify wear particles and monitor ferrous debris levels.
What is lubricant mix-up?
Lubricant mix-up describes any situation where the lubricant, new or in service, does not meet the exact specification requirement.
A Major Municipal Laboratory's analysts regularly perform Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG) measurements on wastewater samples from various industrial plants and apartment buildings. In the past, these measurements were all performed with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 1664B, which requires about 20 minutes of handling time per sample and 24 hours total to produce results.