The return on investment in your oil analysis program is directly proportional to the actions taken based on the oil sample results. Failing to take appropriate maintenance actions, when the oil sample clearly indicates a situation that requires a correction, reduces the ROI of your program.
Ensuring that maintenance actions are taken requires that responsibilities within your maintenance department are clearly defined, and that those persons responsible for carrying out the maintenance actions, as indicated by oil sampling, have the authority and support to do so.
Corrective actions based on abnormal sample reports can generally be carried out within 30-60 days giving you time to schedule maintenance activities. Severe sample reports require immediate attention. If you are unable to take immediate corrective action then contact the analyst to discuss a compromise for the situation.
Most sample report recommendations are straightforward, and are designed to consider the cost versus benefit ratio of the maintenance action. Before carrying out a sample report recommendation ensure that it is practical and cost effective. When the cost of action is great, such as when the recommendation is to change the oil and the reservoir is very large, you need to take the time to contact the analyst and discuss the recommendation and any alternate options available.
If the oil analysis program is integrated into your quality system ensure that you have communicated with your laboratory target limits and the appropriate recommendations to be taken when those limits are exceeded. Remember, depending on how tightly integrated the oil analysis program is with your quality systems corrective and preventative action policies, you may have to actually carry out the analyst’s recommendations verbatim.