Oil Analysis & Other Solutions

Oil Analysis

According to bearing and lubrication experts, up to 80% of all bearing failures are lubricant-related. So it’s no secret that oil health or condition, and equipment reliability are inseparably linked. When there’s a problem with the oil, it negatively impacts the equipment, and when there’s a problem with the equipment, it impacts the oil. The benefits of routine oil analysis for rotating equipment used in critical applications are many and cannot be overstated. Routine oil analysis is one of the most effective reliability-centered and predictive maintenance tools available, and when used properly, allows users to:

  • Detect & Prevent Hidden Problems Before They Occur
  • Increase Oil Service Life & Optimize Change Intervals
  • Improve Component Life & Equipment Reliability
  • Reduce Equipment Downtime
  • Improve Plant & Worker Safety
  • Reduce Oil & Parts Consumption
  • Reduce Maintenance Costs
  • Reduce Waste Oil Disposal & Environmental Impact

While oil analysis is a valuable tool for most industrial rotating equipment, it is an absolute must for oil-injected rotary screw air compressors.  The rotary screw’s unique design makes the compressor and its oil/fluid extremely vulnerable to its environment (inlet air quality) and operating conditions (temperature, pressure & duty).  Two identical compressors operating side-by-side, using the same oil, and ingesting the “same” air from just a few feet away, can experience a dramatic difference in oil life, reliability and maintenance costs.

The OEMs’ one-size-fits-all “time-based” oil changes (typically 8,000 hours) relies on an imaginary number, created by those highly motivated to sell you more oil, and that ignores the real-life impact environment and operating conditions have on oil performance and usable service life. The OEMs’ time-based or “preventative” oil changes are outdated and a poor fit for rotary screw compressors, as they virtually guarantee the oil either gets changed too soon – wasting considerable time and money, or too late – after damage from oil degradation has already begun. Oil analysis is the one and only way to accurately determine when it’s “time” to change the oil change in rotary screw air compressors. And when used properly as a tool for condition-based maintenance, enables compressor users to save time and money and improve the reliability and uptime of their air compressors.

Separators, Filters & Coolers:

More Ways to Save!

Next to the compressor’s oil, the most costly and time-consuming regular maintenance items are the compressor’s air-oil separators and filters.  The compressor OEMs consider these items “consumable” and recommend they be regularly replaced, just like their oil (notice a theme here) based on some arbitrary time interval. But despite what they want you to believe, these items, like the compressor’s oil, are best replaced only when needed based on their actual condition or pressure-drop.  And just like the oil, high quality replacements are readily available for significant savings if you know where to find them.  Likewise, the compressor’s oil cooler and compressed air aftercooler are also impacted by the oil, very expensive to replace and cause excessive downtime when they fail.

Because Fluid Metrics has a lifetime of experience in the compressor industry, and because our customers regularly ask if we can help them save on these items as well, Fluid Metrics supplies high quality replacement air-oil separators, oil filters, air filters and coolers for a fraction of the cost of the OEMs’ over-priced “consumables”.