Web Exclusive: Oil analysis made easy

By |  October 24, 2011

The Shell LubeAnalyst oil analysis program from Shell Lubricants is designed to help customers improve equipment and vehicle reliability and reduce maintenance costs. The program provides an online user interface that offers a worldwide sample history and failure trends on various types of equipment and engine types. The program offers a scientific approach to preventive maintenance.

Oil analysis is one of the most effective ways to monitor the condition of equipment and lubricants. Taking a proactive approach to preventive maintenance helps assess whether fluids and equipment are performing as intended, helping determine the appropriate change intervals for lubricants. A regular oil analysis program helps customers build a historic database, allowing them to watch for trends in a variety of areas. The Shell LubeAnalyst program offers easy-to-use software that allows customers to view and track test results and view offline management information.

“Analyzing used engine oil after every oil change provides an early warning system that may ultimately help lower customers’ total cost of operations,” says Walt Silviera, North American Technical Manager, Shell Lubricants. “By leveraging the results of the Shell LubeAnalyst program, customers can identify equipment problems before major downtime or expensive maintenance is required.”

Used-oil samples provided through the Shell LubeAnalyst program can reveal whether contaminants such as water, coolant, fuel or dirt are getting into the oil, indicating head-gasket leaks, leaking fuel injectors or other problems. Spectro-chemical analysis detects the presence of wear metals in the oil, and unusually high amounts of wear metals could be a sign of abnormal wear. The analysis also measures the oil’s viscosity, base number (reserve alkalinity) and fuel-soot level.

The knowledge gained from the Shell LubeAnalyst program results can help optimize oil drain intervals, increase equipment reliability, minimize unscheduled downtime, and more precisely track operating efficiency and maintenance practices. This combination can contribute to lower total operating costs and help customers plan and schedule maintenance in advance.

Having the ability to quickly review and track the results of oil analysis testing helps end users make informed decisions about their lubrication practices.

Leveraging a worldwide database of sample history and failure trends on a vast inventory of components provides insights that can help predict future problems based on real information. Moreover, the service can provide information on whether the proper oil is being utilized and whether the proper oil-drain interval is maintained for specific operating conditions and equipment duty cycle.

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About the Author:

Darren Constantino is an editor of Pit & Quarry magazine. He can be reached at dconstantino@northcoastmedia.net.

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