All samples should be taken at operating temperature (hot) and the oil should be well mixed.
In general engines are sampled every 10 000 km while transmissions, drive trains and gearboxes are sampled every 20 000 km. In hours, this translates to every 250 hours for engines and every 500 hours for transmissions, final drives and hydraulics. For industrial applications the oil sample interval is decided during the consultation period by Wearcheck and the engineers involved.
A badly taken sample and insufficient information supplied to Wearcheck with the sample.
We believe that all of our tests are a necessity, and not a luxury. Some oil analysis companies offer a reduced service at a reduced cost, offering customers a choice of the level of service desired. This is not Wearcheck's philosophy. From a data base of over half a million samples we have formulated test profiles for every type of equipment found in industry covering every eventuality, and all samples are subject to the complete range of tests. Even if only three per cent of all engines analysed show a dangerous level of water contamination, it is not worth bypassing this test and risking equipment worth hundreds of thousands of rand to save a few rand on oil analysis. It is this philosophy that enables us to offer customers true peace of mind.
The PQ (Particle Quantifier) gives a bulk iron reading irrespective of the particle size. It is able to detect particles that are too large for the spectrometer to pick up. The higher the PQ index, the more serious the problem. A high PQ would automatically indicate that a microscopic particle examination must be carried out as an in-depth test to evaluate the severity of the wear problem. In serious cases a high PQ could also initiate a ferrogram to determine whether a component needs to be dismantled.
The definition of normal varies from machine to machine depending on its workload and the environment in which it operates. Oil analysis interpretations are based on trends rather than specific limits.
Again, because the same component behaves differently under varying conditions. For example a truck engine operating on long hauls between major cities will have a different wear profile from the same engine which is being overloaded in a stop-start off-road operation like a quarry. Trend analysis is a far more effective measure of abnormalities than wear limits.
There are too many variables to be able to determine wear rates accurately. For example, you need to have precise oil consumption figures to be able to apply the relevant mathematical formulae, and these are seldom available.
A diagnostician is only as good as the information supplied to him or her. The better the quality of information the diagnostician has to work with, the more accurate the diagnosis will be. Feedback on one sample is essential for the diagnosis of the next sample.
Read the diagnosis carefully and phone the Wearcheck diagnostician if: a) you are in any doubt about what action to take, or b) if you find abnormalities after carrying out the recommended action and are not sure what to do next. Never dismantle a component without first consulting a Wearcheck diagnostician.
We know that most of our customers don't want to interpret their own data. These customers need only read the interpretation of the chemical and physical results provided in the diagnosis. The readings are included on the reverse of the report for those customers who are interested in seeing them.
Yes, because a problem could develop towards the end of the warranty period, which could cause a failure outside the warranty. Oil analysis can provide solid evidence for warranty claims. Many major manufacturers such as Caterpillar and Komatsu realise the value of oil analysis and insist that it be conducted during the warranty period.
Yes, although trend analysis cannot be applied if this is a one-off test, oil analysis will detect excessive wear and major contaminants such as fuel dilution and dust entry. A ferrogram or a filter examination will help pinpoint specific problems on all components.
Yes, the two forms of analysis complement each other. Oil analysis will detect contamination before vibration monitoring detects contamination-related wear, and analytical ferrography can detect abnormal bearing and gear wear in the very early stages.
Ferrography accurately pinpoints problems that have
been highlighted by oil analysis. Because it is an in-depth examination of
particles generated from the problem area, it enables diagnosticians to identify
the wear mechanism and its severity and make the decision whether to dismantle
or not. Oil
filter analysis can also highlight any abnormal wear.
Yes. Ideally, field screening tests that indicate the presence of fuel dilution or sludging should be done all samples. The samples still need to be sent to Wearcheck for complete analysis to measure the levels of other contaminants and wear metals.
No. Engine manufacturers in Europe, Japan and the USA design engines for specific purposes. They are all high powered and they all need different types of lubricants. You might have been able to use one oil in the past, but this is no longer the case.
Yes. However, because of their high cost, the benefits of using them should be balanced against the expense, taking into account the cost of the lubricated component, the application and the working environment. Synthetic oils generally protect components from high temperature operation but cannot protect them against contaminants like dirt or water.
Yes. Good bypass filters do remove more debris than standard flow filtration. This can result in lower wear metal readings and emphases the need for trend analysis.
Yes. All filters should be examined before they are thrown away. If the indications are unclear, the filter should be sent to Wearcheck for analysis.
Oil analysis can predict abnormalities before they become a major problem. Metal you can see and feel is the result of progressive damage in the well advanced stages. When you consider that active wear particles are as small as 15 microns while the average human hair is 40 microns thick, it is clear that if the wear particle is visible to the naked eye, substantial damage has already been caused.
Wearcheck performs oil analysis, filter analysis and ferrographic analysis. Kits are available for all three tests.
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