Setting Objective for Oil Analysis



Topics Learning Objectives Learning Outcome
1.5 Setting the objective(s) for Oil Analysis?


To be able to define various objectives for oil analysis and do a Cost vs Benefit analysis. Able to list down various objectives for OA  and priorities according to company KPIs.  Also able to draw up a Cost vs. Benefit analysis to get buy-ins.
The objectives of Oil Analysis (OA) must be linked with your organisation objectives. Even if you are doing R&D your objectives would still be related to how you derive benefit from OA.


Let start with operational excellence. What are the objectives of oil analysis that leads to operational excellence? The focus will then be on the availability and reliability of the machine, be it engines, turbines, compressors etc. How would oil analysis support machine availability and reliability? The answer is not straight forward there are many factors in OA but ultimately they exist to support the machine.


By detecting sign of wear early through oil analysis, causes of wear can be addressed hence either eliminating the risk, or reducing the impact, extending the availability and reliability. The value of this objectives can be translated to the value of extra availability of the machine or extra useful life. Similar can be argued about the spares and parts related to the machine which can be calculated as saving on usage of spare parts.


Another popular objective is the extension of the usage of the oil. This is more prevalent for a machine with a big oil sump. It is common knowledge that oil change interval as determined by OEM is based on the worst case scenario for the lubes being exposed to contaminants under heavy load and extreme conditions. With a certain level of safety factor the oil is condemned early. Without proper CM the recommendation need to be adhered too. CM can unlocked the value and it is not uncommon that oil change intervals is more then doubled. Couple with other  oil conditioning technologies this can be stretched even further.


Like human can be exposed to toxic, diseases and virus, oil are also exposed to contamination. Detecting contaminations such as water, abrasive particles, etc. early will allow timely removal. This will reduce the risk of the oil being condemned earlier or the risk of the machine wear.


There are other objective such as fulfilling OEM warranty checklist, doing lubricant performance comparison etc. Ultimately these are all to support the availability and reliability of the machine hence supporting operational excellence. Can you evaluate value for each objectives?


OA is an investment. Like any prudent investment you need to do cost vs benefit analysis. Please choose an example of an equipment most critical for your company. Can you evaluate the Cost of OA and the Benefits?


Benefits  = ↑operating hours (proactive) +↑spares +↑lube +↓unplanned breakdown (predictive)

Cost = Equipments  +  manhour  + logistics + testing costs


You can translate the calculations into ROI, payback period, IRR, NPV whichever suits your management. What is your management preference?