With used oil analysis, it is possible to prevent equipment failures, predict possible cost items, act more efficiently in purchasing and supply planning, and facilitate processes. Erhan Aydın, SGS Turkey-Iraq Industry and Environment Department Manager, explains how all this can be done.
Can you tell us about the scope of activity of SGS Turkey?
SGS is the world's leading supervision, inspection, testing and certification organization. Founded in Switzerland in 1878, SGS has been operating in Turkey since 1933. SGS Turkey continues to serve to support the quality, safety and integrity of the Turkish economy in the fields of Agriculture, Food and Lifestyle, Consumer Products and Retail, Environment, Health and Safety, Government and Institutions, Transitnet, Industry, Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Mining and Certification. Thanks to our broad service network, we provide services in every corner of the country, and we have offices and laboratories with high-tech equipment in İstanbul, Kocaeli, İzmir, İskenderun, Tekirdağ, Aliağa, Ankara, Zonguldak, Mersin, Basra and Erbil.
Which services do you provide with used oil analysis?
Used oil analyzes detect changes in the concentration of metals and other impurities that build up in lubricants, providing an early warning of potential problems with your machinery. Analysis of used lubricants, greases and hydraulic fluids provides you with fast and accurate information about the condition of your transformers, diesel and gas engines, wind turbines, electric generator, gearboxes, compressors, hydraulic systems and other critical machinery, while it also gives very important details about the condition of the oil. Effective monitoring of your lubricant enables the maintenance of expensive equipment to be efficiently planned in advance to avoid the risk of damage and unforeseen disruptions. The SGS OCM Oil Analysis Laboratory brings together the latest technologies for the analysis of lubricants, greases and hydraulic fluids, with expert chemists performing the analysis and engineers providing interpretation services. By examining both the physical and the chemical properties of the product, detailed information about the condition of the equipment or oil is obtained. Through the interpretation of the analysis results, necessary information is provided as to whether your machines are working efficiently and whether corrective actions are needed before major problems occur.
Can you elaborate on the oil analyzes on an industrial basis?
Let's start with transformer oil analysis from the energy industry. While transformers should produce energy uninterruptedly, they should also be maintained periodically and should not pose a danger to the environment. With our wide range of accredited tests, we can determine the condition of the oil and transformer components by detecting the flammable gases and pollution levels in the oil through physical and chemical analysis results of the oil, and we can diagnose toxic compounds such as PCBs, which pose a great danger to the health of the maintenance professionals working in the field and to the environment. We are the only laboratory with the widest accreditation in transformer oil analysis in our country.
Gas and steam turbines are high-cost equipment which work with high volumes of oil and under severe operating conditions. With routine turbine oil analysis, it is difficult to determine the varnish formed due to the degradation of the oil in the system, the amount of antioxidants in the oil and how long this oil will resist oxidation. Therefore, in addition to these routine turbine oil analyzes, we have varnishing and oxidation tests, which are among our advanced accredited tests that we strongly recommend to be performed at 6-month and 12-month intervals. Using these test results, we warn the field personnel and ensure that tons of oil continues to operate without any problems, with recommendations that will respond to the root cause.
In the marine industry, we offer totally different solutions to our customers. As you know, ships have vital equipment such as propeller shafts, diesel generators, main engine, cranes and gearboxes. These analyzes must be carried out before sailing, and it is important to closely monitor these analyzes at the port of destination. In case of a malfunction, it can cause serious financial, moral and prestige losses. Acting with the awareness of this, we offer the opportunity to perform your analyzes under the same service conditions in the nearest SGS laboratory, depending on the location abroad. In this way, we make it easier to compare the condition of the equipment with the values after the arrival, inform the relevant laboratory before the analysis, and follow the trend with analysis results to keep it under control.
In the mining industry, it is important to monitor the condition of the oil used in heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buckets as their equipment such as engines, differentials and gearboxes operate under harsh conditions. Since logistics, time and cost balances are of great importance in any downtime, it is important to monitor it with periodic oil analyzes. Likewise, for companies with vehicle fleets, taking the relevant vehicle into maintenance and/or changing its oil among hundreds of vehicles with just one oil analysis contributes to significant cost and maintenance time savings.
Lubricant analysis should be performed every 150 and 300 hours in recycling facilities, especially for garbage and biogas facilities. Severe environmental conditions (high silane and sulfur gases) can cause the oil to oxidize and deteriorate rapidly, and as a result, it can cause serious costly failures in the equipment at the point where the oil cannot perform as expected. Whether the conditions in the field are under control or not, and the condition of machines is made predictable by the result of oil analysis.
To sum up, as SGS OCM Laboratory, we:
Provide savings. Periodic oily analysis can provide an answer to the question of how long the lubricant can be used in the equipment. By analyzing the remaining useful life of the oil, we determine whether the problem is caused by the oil, environmental factors or a potential failure, and ensure that the end user uses the oil for the optimum period of time. As a result, we support both reducing oil waste for a sustainable environment and saving on oil change costs.
Deliver solutions. Based on the oil analysis results, we draw a roadmap with our extensive oil information library and expert interpretation team by blending the root cause analysis of the problem with the characteristics of the oil with the wear and contamination values. In this way, we support maintenance professionals in answering the questions of whether to take any action with regard to oil or the equipment or take a precaution against environmental conditions by scheduling a downtime, give ideas about the actions that can be taken and act together in solving the problem. Thus, we prevent the chaos that may occur in the field due to any malfunction, and at the same time, with planned maintenance, we help the team in the affected field to take the relevant action without causing any threat in terms of occupational safety.
Add value. We offer you the opportunity to follow up all your analysis results in the past 10 years and provide information about the past history of the oil and equipment via the Sofia application (https://sofia.sgs.com/) on your desktop or mobile devices. In this way, we facilitate the planning of the supply and/or back-up of the malfunctioning equipment. At the same time, we provide the opportunity to register new equipment/sample with the QR code you will create in the system and print labels for your samples. Thus, you prevent any wrong registration of the sample while informing the laboratory from which field the sample will come from. We also provide the option to design the analysis result report format as requested by the customer and receive the analysis report with its own logo.