Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication November-December 2022

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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6 | November - December 2022 | www . I n a recent plant reliability survey, 60% to 70% of industrial facilities consider oil analysis an important part of their reliability programs. Oil analysis gives a snapshot of machinery health, preventing unnecessary oil changes and assisting in predicting equipment failures. is article will take a detailed look into using data to decrease maintenance costs and increase the bottom line. Being able to extend oil drains or even shorten them to eliminate failures can be an easy way to reduce maintenance costs, but data must be available that allows for making those decisions. is article will address the role of key performance indicators (KPIs) in predictive maintenance, how to gather useful data that aligns with KPIs and review a few case studies where onsite labs were able to use data to take advantage of warranty periods, justify keeping assets after warranty and extend the interval between oil drains to reduce oil consumption. Oil Analysis Introduction Lubricant analysis is much like a blood test for humans. By trending the correct param- eters like blood pressure and cholesterol, the patient gains an understanding of overall health. Deviations in those trends over time indicate that action needs to be taken. e same concept can be applied to machinery health when looking at the three key areas of oil analysis: wear, contamination and chem- istry. Using data in these three areas can lower overall maintenance costs, reduce unplanned downtime and increase asset life. Within a plant setting, oil analysis is often paired with several other technologies that encompass the Condition-based Maintenance (CBM) Program. e most common technology seen is vibration analysis. Typically, vibration anal- ysis picks up on faults just a little bit later in the failure progression process than oil anal- ysis, which is why they are typically paired together. Infrared thermography and motor circuit analysis are also used from time to time. Pairing technologies together gives confidence in the results and helps the engineer make crit- ical decisions (if needed) to take a machine offline or remove it from service. Figure 1 shows a typical machine failure curve. e diagram illustrates that oil anal- ysis tests like viscosity, elemental count and particle count are useful parameters to trend even when equipment condition is considered satisfactory. Any issues detected would still be early enough in the failure process to perform the necessary maintenance far in advance of an actual failure. is keeps the cost of

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