Oil Sampling Error Results In Heartburn

It was a beautiful autumn day in Florida when a filtering company paid a visit to one of its customers. They were there for a few days to assist in the installation of some standard filters. Once the filtering process was complete, the customer submitted samples to a laboratory for analysis. No one was prepared for what happened next.

Much to their dismay, the particle count results came back surprisingly high. The customer and the filter company representatives were absolutely flabbergasted. No one could imagine why the results were so high, especially after all of the filtering they’d completed.

They decided to investigate what the particles were, and asked the lab to perform analytical ferrography on the oil.

Microscopic Image of Sample

When viewed under the microscope, white crystals were found throughout the sample, with the occasional appearance of red crystals.

The filtration company, stumped by these findings, questioned the customer and searched further for the answer. Quick detective work revealed that the individual responsible for collecting the oil sample had gone to his desk, emptied cherry flavored antacids from a sample bottle he had stored in a drawer, and went straight to the machine to collect the sample.

Antacids did more than relieve heartburn. This sampling error cost the client three days of overtime.

Submitted by Lana Robin, PdMA

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