A new report published today calls on engineers to implement regular oil analysis as part of a preventive maintenance programme.
'Oil contamination – The origins, treatment and analysis of contaminated oil in hydraulic systems' reveals that, although 80 per cent of all hydraulic failures on machinery can be traced back to contaminated oil, effective analysis is often overlooked due to the time and resource required to implement.
It also reveals that only 20 per cent of unplanned downtime can be identified through component monitoring. The report goes on to highlight that where oil analysis is used, too much faith is placed in the commonly used traffic light system, which generally leads to recommendations being ignored unless the analysis states immediate action is required.
Authored by Chris Gray, expert in oil contamination at Bosch Rexroth, the report not only looks at the different types of contamination and how they occur, but also offers a guide to filtration techniques and how this can form part of effective asset management.
"For many maintenance and production engineers, there simply isn't the time or resource to conduct the regular checks needed to identify issues before it becomes too late," Gray said. "All-too-often, oil analysis is not completed or the schedule falls by the wayside as more critical issues take priority. This has meant that the lack of regular oil checks carried out by engineers has become a major cause of hydraulic failure.
"With this report, we hope to de-jargonise oil analysis and its reporting, empowering engineers to really understand the information they have access to, helping them make informed decisions about their maintenance regimes."