Having oil analysis done on a regular basis establishes a baseline of normal wear and can help indicate when abnormal wear or contamination is occurring. A detailed analysis of an oil sample is a valuable preventive maintenance tool. In many cases, it enables identification of potential problems before a major repair is necessary and has the potential to reduce the frequencies of oil changes.
Oil analysis reveals information that can be broken down into these three categories:
Lubricant Condition: The assessment of the lubricant condition reveals whether the system fluid is healthy and fit for further service or ready for a change.
Contaminants: Increased contaminants from the surrounding environment in the form of dirt, water and process contamination are the leading cause of machine degradation and failure. Increased contamination indicates it is time to take action in order to save the oil and avoid unnecessary machine wear.
Machine Wear: An unhealthy machine generates wear particles at an exponential rate. The detection and analysis of these particles assist in making critical maintenance decisions. Machine failure due to worn out components can be avoided. It is important to remember that healthy and clean oil leads to the minimization of machine wear.