Maintenance is defined as the measures and practices taken to maintain the condition of the equipment as designed or within acceptable limits. When the current state cannot be maintained and when the equipment lost its function fully or mostly, the downtime is called failure. Institutions and organizations have adopted and implemented strategies such as maintenance after failure, preventive maintenance, condition-based maintenance and reliability-centered maintenance to reduce failures and downtime. In this article, we will discuss the subject of Oil Analysis in Predictive Maintenance.
Blood test is one of the recommended tests when we have an ailment in any organ of our body. The blood test and the analyzes are examined, evaluated and a treatment method is determined. Lubricant is the blood of the equipment, and it contains critical information. These analyzes are determined according to the equipment used. In light of the information we need, the contamination levels of the lubricant, basically the water, pollution, fuel, etc. contained in the lubricant, wear levels, viscosity and additive information can tell us about whether the integrity of the equipment is preserved, whether the right oil is used or whether the wrong oil is added, what the oxidation (aging) levels are, and this information and the information for root cause analysis helps maintenance engineers and technicians to decide on the maintenance plan to be applied for their equipment.
Let's take a closer look at these benefits:
a) Occupational Safety
Fields requiring high occupational safety, steam and gas turbines, transformers are critical equipment. Periodic monitoring of turbine and oil is required as downtime must be minimized and production must be kept at maximum level.
b) Reducing Equipment Damage and Maintenance Cost
Each equipment may go through structural deterioration and may lose functionality. It is ensured that the root causes, which are the primary causes such as oil degradation, contamination or abnormal wear, etc., are identified and taken under control, and problems such as labor and part costs are prevented with corrective applications.
c) Avoiding Unnecessary Part Replacement
By performing oil analysis on the parts that are changed periodically and by monitoring the wear values, equipment savings are ensured by preventing the replacement of parts before the end of their life.
d) Improved Equipment Life
Downtimes and malfunctions are prevented by identifying and eliminating the root cause of failures in prior through oil analysis. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt an effective oil analysis program.
e) *Appreciated Equipment
In the used equipment market, a machine with a full lubricant history typically has up to 10% higher trade-in value than the same machine without such a history.
f) Improved Operational Safety
In the following period, by having statistical data together with the oil analysis of the equipment; improved maintenance plans are determined, previous failures of the equipment are listed, root causes are identified and eliminated so you can set your own limits and targets.
g) Unnecessary Oil Change and Sustainable Environment
With oil analysis, the remaining life of the oil can be determined, unnecessary oil changes can be prevented, thus making a great contribution to a sustainable environment.
In conclusion, we can keep it under control as much as we can measure. Therefore, we must include periodic oil analysis in our maintenance plans.
*Source: Machinery Oil Analysis – Larry A. Toms Allison M. Toms