Oil Analysis Program
Scheduling & fulfillment of maintenance activities based on conditions is the first and most important stage in proper maintenance before failure. Possible defects & failures of equipment can be distinguished using previously measured data such as vibration, oil, and thermography data. However, maintenance department has opportunity to plan and carry out corrective maintenance or take predictive action before any failure. This will result in significant decrements in maintenance expenditures as well as spare parts.
In mechanical systems which are lubricated with oil and their components are in contact with the oil, oil condition monitoring (OCM) is an effective method in diagnosing mechanical defects. A rotor rotates on a very thin film of oil in the range of micrometers. When this film is lost, metal to metal contact happens which will result in producing high temperature and consequently catastrophic failures. Therefore ensuring the health of the oil is essential. The oil in machines, resembles to blood in bodies, indicates the health characteristics of the machine. Oil analysis gives us valuable information which are used in decision-making for maintenance and operation. In this method, a few amount of lubricant is sampled in special containers and sent to the laboratory. Then a series of predetermined tests are done which will give us valuable information about the condition of the lubricant and the equipment condition as well. This leads to minimizing failures and damages to the equipment, reducing costs, increasing productivity, reliability of machines and quality of products. Oil condition monitoring aims to monitor oil contamination, evaluation of erosion particles and monitoring the quality of oil.
Four main applications of oil analysis in the field of condition monitoring include:
1- Monitoring the oil quality (physical and chemical properties);
Does the oil still have the needed characteristics for proper functioning (lubrication, heat transfer, electrical insulation, etc.)?
2- Monitoring and control of oil contamination;
Is the amount of the oil contamination in range or not?
3- Monitoring and analysis of the wear particles in the oil;
Is there any abnormal wear inside the equipment?
4- Monitoring and analysis of gases in transformers oil (gas chromatography);
Is there any electrical or heat problem in transformer?