Proactive Maintenance Through Oil Analysis

Is Inadequate Performance Tracking Your Problem?

Does your plant celebrate the speed at which failure is repaired or the lack of failure occurrences?  Think about the purpose of your maintenance program.  Is your main objective putting out fires or are you focused on predictive maintenance?  Many plants tend to celebrate how fast a machine is repaired and put back to work and seldom put emphasis on celebrating the reduced occurrence of failure and the increased levels of machine availability.  A true predictive maintenance program should be more proactive than reactive.  Your program should emphasize routine planned activities focused on monitoring and controlling root causes, which will ultimately diminish the frequency of machine failures.

Many programs focus only on measuring machine conditions and completely miss the opportunity to measure the generated benefits their oil analysis program has produced.  Tracking such things as machine availability, replacement parts costs, labor hours on planned and unplanned activities, and lubricant consumption are also important.  In order to do this you should identify benchmarks early on so you have something to rank improvements against.

Procedures for documenting savings

It is wise to have procedures in place to document savings.  This will provide you with information that can help you and your management team set up a cost-saving program.  If a milestone is reached or if you are notified of a problem which saves a piece of equipment the value is proven.  And don’t forget to celebrate and reward these successes at all levels of your plant.

Monthly management reports

Your lab should provide monthly management reports to help you track your oil analysis program’s progress.  A good example is a sample compliance report, which is a report that tells you if all of your samples have been taken for the month.  And if they were not taken, you need to know why.  Possibly your equipment was down, maybe maintenance is being performed, or the areas around the equipment were roped off and samplers could not get to the equipment.  Reports should also help you understand why significant changes are occurring with your equipment.  How are your marginals and criticals reducing overtime; why is particle count starting to creep up?  These types of questions can all be answered if you have reliable management tracking tools.

Program review meetings with lab

Most labs have the ability to compare your oil analysis program with other programs throughout the industry.  It is a valuable “checks and balances” process that should be offered by all labs, but it generally is not.  Ask that the lab give you a phone call or come on-site and sit down with you to talk to you about your program.  You have the right to know how your oil analysis program is doing.  And sometimes you have to be the one asked the right questions.

About TestOil   

With more than 30 years of experience in the oil analysis industry, TestOil focuses exclusively on assisting industrial facilities with reducing maintenance costs and avoiding unexpected downtime through oil analysis program implementation. As industry experts in diagnosing oil-related issues in equipment such as turbines, hydraulics, gearboxes, pumps, compressors and diesel generators, TestOil provides customers with a guarantee of same-day turnaround on all routine testing. With in-house certified training professionals, TestOil offers lubrication and oil analysis training, private onsite training, certification training and exams, and educational webinars. For more information on partnering with TestOil on oil analysis programs or training opportunities visit   Contact us: 216-251-2510;

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