Quality is the Key at Herguth Laboratories

Tags: oil analysis

Herguth Laboratories, Inc. specializes in industrial analytical services with an emphasis on oil and grease analysis, lubrication management, fuels technology, tribology, failure analysis, forensics and applied research. The laboratory was founded in January 1980, by two brothers, Bill and Mike Herguth. Bill Herguth, Chairman and CEO says, "The mission of the corporation is to serve industrial clients with the highest quality, most responsive and innovative analytical and technical services available in the industry."

Herguth Laboratories, Inc. maintains a global client base, receiving and processing samples from around the world. They operate a modern 12,500 square foot facility located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their extensive distribution channel relies, in a large part, on the SKF Bearings Service Group. The high quality of SKF Bearings & Services is a natural extension for distribution of knowledge and analytical services to the end-user.

Herguth Laboratories, Inc. provides services in accordance with the following standards and licenses: 10 CFR 50 Appendix B - Nuclear QA Program, ANSI - Nuclear QA, ISO-9002, MIL-Q9858A, Nuclear Materials Handling License and U.S. Customs Approved.

Performance and accuracy of data are ensured at Herguth through the employment of a number of quality assurance methods. Internally, they manage results with Statistical Quality Control (SQC), Blind Samples, Internal and External Audits, Automatic Reruns on out-of-tolerance data, and sample–specific alarm and caution limits. They are doing round robins with other laboratories, oil companies and standards organizations. These programs are in place to provide assurance that all data reported is unimpeachable. Quality measurements are carried out using a Quality Deficiency Report (QDR). A QDR is generated every time a defect is identified in the system. Defects can be discovered by customers or by internal audit controls. The resolution steps included in the QDR process are Discovery, Deficiency, Incident Resolution, Root Cause, and Re-occurrence Prevention. These steps assist in following the issue through the required stages to closure. Based on the deficiency tracking systems, Herguth Laboratories, Inc. claims an accuracy of 99.9991% delivery of satisfactory service.

Maintaining a high level of competency in such a diversified field and client base requires a hands-on approach by senior management. Senior management works in the operation every day of the week, plus commits substantial time and resources to technical societies such as ASTM and the STLE. Research Associates who are leaders in their fields, including Douglas Godfrey of Wear Analysis, Dr. Ray Ryason of Tamalpias Tribology, and Dr. Sidney Phillips, Camatx, are key to Herguth Labs in satisfying all of the requirements that come from being a market–driven company.

According to Bill Herguth, "Users of industrial analytical services are in a great position to get rapid, high quality analysis as we enter the new millennium. In a large part this is due to the sophistication of the analytical instrumentation and software. It is ironic though, that with all of the new technologies for lubricant management and analysis, the most common problem experienced by users is still contamination! Abrasive dirt leads the list, with water being a close second, as the top problems. Some industries have made great strides in correcting the basic housekeeping problems while others continue to struggle."

The grease/bearing analysis report (available through the Internet) pictured shows a typical problem Herguth Labs deals with every day. The client suspects the bearing has a problem. In oil lubricated systems this is usually discovered in the oil analysis sample first. Problems with greased bearings are usually detected by vibration analysis, increased operating temperature or simply noise. The customer must be sure of the root cause of the problem in order to institute an appropriate action plan, so they send it to Herguth Labs for failure analysis. Well, in this case the root cause was the #1 enemy of any lubricant, "contamination."

For more information on Herguth Laboratories, contact Linda Perry at 800-645-5227, www.Herguth.com.

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