Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Sept Oct 2013

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 21 of 67

OIL ANALYSIS By Pat Henning, Spectro Inc., R ay Garvey, Emerson Process M anagement Benefits of Analysis The Route-Based Oil P Personnel who carry out machinery health inspections at industrial plants today generally follow pre-defined inspection routes. This "walking-the-beat" approach has proven to be effective for analysis of vibration and infrared thermography because the information derived from on-the-spot, real-time inspections and data collection is extremely useful. These inspections are also economical in many situations where having permanently installed equipment on each asset would be too costly. Until now, these pre-defined machinery health inspections have not included route-based oil analysis in order to determine lubricant properties quantitatively. It just was not possible previously to perform this type of analysis at each point along the route within a minute (or two at the most). Now, with the development of certain handheld tools such as the FluidScan Q1100, it is feasible to obtain critical, quantitative oil parameters within a short time right at the sampling point (see Figure 1). As a result, it is possible to envision a routebased oil analysis protocol. Route-based oil analysis is a big step beyond visual Figure 1. Route-based oil sampling inspections by maintenance personnel as they go through a plant along a pre-determined route to perform greasing or topping-off of lubrication systems. Of course, technicians should still observe the machinery visually while walking a route, but on-the-spot oil analysis can be done very quickly with good accuracy and with repeatable results. Walk-around analysis provides immediate feedback and the ability to retest right in the field if needed. In many cases, it is not even necessary to use a sample bottle. Route-based oil analysis adds even greater value because the information provided from a structured database is always correct and 20 September - October 2013 | consistent. No time is wasted, and no human error is incurred, since the route automatically associates reference information with each designated sample point. By consistently identifying the correct reference oil and asset sample point with a test, the walk-around infrared spectrometer operator can achieve far better repeatability and accuracy than can typically be achieved in a commercial laboratory. Many commercial labs do not have the ability to consistently identify the exact lubricant and other pertinent information related to each test sample. That information is generally not available in the practice of their business. Today's portable instruments used for route-based oil analysis are able to outperform lab instruments because the information available at the point of the test identifies the Figure 2. Visual observations collected and assigned to appropriate test methods, analysis samples on a route parameters and alarm limits for each lubricant sample on a sequential route. Simply stated, routebased oil analysis allows technicians to do a better job of oil analysis and get it done quickly because their instruments are programmed to always select the correct protocol and reference information for each point along the route. Six elements must normally be addressed for a technician to conduct a route-based analysis with a portable analyzer in an industrial plant or around a fleet of mobile equipment: 1.Create a structured database. 2.Populate the database with route information associated with the oil and equipment in the database. 3.Select a preferred inspection route. 4.Transfer route information into a handheld analyzer. 5.Apply route information in the analyzer during in-field analysis. 6.Upload measurements and findings to the database.

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