Oil Analysis Statistics Show Frequencies of Common Problems

John Evans, Wearcheck South Africa

Oil analysis has been proven internationally as an effective method of reducing maintenance costs, improving productivity and providing peace of mind in industries that operate large fleets, plant equipment, or heavy-duty vehicles.

In recent years another factor has entered the equation: enlightened maintenance managers are becoming increasingly aware that the benefits of oil analysis can grow exponentially depending on the level of staff commitment to the oil analysis philosophy and the degree of interaction with the oil analysis company.

From a database of over half a million samples, Wearcheck of South Africa has 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. Wearcheck believes that, even if only three percent of all engines analyzed show a dangerous level of water contamination, it is not worth bypassing this test and risking the loss of expensive equipment and the associated downtime costs.

When we send out a report, we classify “non-normal” samples according to problem type, e.g., fuel, dirt, water, etc. Therefore, it is fairly easy to extract statistical information from our database. Although we have quite a few test profiles for different types of equipment, we can break them down into three broad categories, engines, clean oil systems (pumps, hydraulics, compressors, turbines and automatic transmissions) and drivetrains (gearboxes, differentials, final drives and gear systems). Some of the problem categories have been combined to make things simpler.

The three oil component categories are very broad and do not distinguish between make, model, type, application or environment; this is for all types of equipment in all types of industry. However, all the equipment is based in South Africa. Because it is of benefit to our customers to know the frequency at which problems occur in various types of components, a statistical breakout has been developed. Basically, it gives them a benchmark to gauge their maintenance programs against a broad national average. The following figures show the types of problems that oil analysis detects and how often they occur.

23.3 percent of all ENGINE samples show problems - Click Here To See Chart

18.2 percent of all HYDRAULIC samples show problems - Click Here To See Chart

20 percent of all DRIVE TRAIN samples show problems - Click Here To See Chart

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