Spectro Scientific Blog

MicroLab expert system interprets oil analysis report

Posted by Janet Keefe on April 02, 2018

Provides comprehensive data and maintenance actions

MicroLab Report Image.jpgThe 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.

The MicroLab user inputs information about the equipment, component and oil that is being tested and the MicroLab’s Expert System produces a report that includes all of the analytical data that a typical oil lab would provide along with a series of diagnostic statements which advises the mechanic to possible equipment issues and also indicates the oil condition.




Let’s look at a sample report:

ulab test report with callouts.pngOn the left hand column is the information about the equipment and oil being tested












ulab report diagnostic statements.pngBelow that are the diagnostic statements for the current sample directing the mechanic on what maintenance action they should consider taking.






On the right side of the report are the results for the oil analysis.

sample history for trending cropped2.png

The top section gives information about the sample – such as the date it was taken, the date it was analyzed, and the miles or time on the oil and component





color coded alarm limits cropped.png

Next is the oil condition parameters: oxidation, nitration, total base number, and viscosity. These indicate the health of the oil and whether an oil drain extension can be considered.

Parameters that indicate sources of contamination are listed next – these include contamination from soot, water, coolant and dirt.


wear metals cropped.pngNext, wear metals are listed to show if there are indications of mechanical breakdown.
The oil additives are shown in the next section to show whether the additives are being depleted which is another indication that the oil is reaching the end of its useful life.







The last section for additional tests are parameters run on other Spectro instruments such as Fluidscan, Fuel Dilution Meter, and FerroCheck to provide additional information about the oil condition

results from external devices.png

The MicroLab report shows the results for the current sample and up to 3 of the most recent historic samples for that same component.

The MicroLab expert system translates all of the analytical data into maintenance actions so the mechanic doesn’t need to understand the chemistry behind the results --- for instance, they don’t need to know that sodium and potassium are chemicals found in coolants – if sodium and potassium are in highlighted then the diagnostic statements will say something like, coolant contamination present, check for sources of coolant such as head gasket leak, oil cooler leak or EGR valve if EGR equipped.

The expert system also grades the sample results as normal, abnormal and severe using color-coded alarms. The system automatically adjusts the alarm code based on

  • Usage time on the component
  • Time on the oil
  • And break-in periods

The MicroLab is like having your own oil analysis expert on staff.

Topics: Fleets