Ways oil analysis can help reduce your production costs
Are you looking for effective ways to manage and reduce your production costs and deliver cost efficiencies?
Unexpected breakdowns, critical gearbox fails that stop your production line, penalty charges incurred by missed deadlines and the high cost of consumables, such as oil, are just some of the main problems that can make your production costs soar.
However, what many manufacturers don’t realise is that it is possible to meet your production targets while reducing costs. Oil analysis can help you prevent production delays and avoid expensive machinery breakdowns by identifying the root causes of oil contamination.
Here are the 3 main ways regular oil analysis can help reduce your production costs:
1. You can account for downtime – we all know how disruptive unscheduled maintenance and downtime can be to both your productivity and profitability. Regular oil analysis enables critical issues to be addressed before they cause any disruption and maintenance and downtime to be planned into your production schedule.
2. You’ll only dispose of contaminated oil – contrary to popular belief, regularly changing your oil isn’t the alternative to getting your oil analysed. Oil analysis ensures that only contaminated oil gets poured away, not perfectly healthy oil that also comes with all the costs associated with safe and legal disposal.
3. You can increase machinery reliability – lubrication issues are often the root cause of the majority of mechanical problems. According to research by Shell 80% of all equipment failures are linked to poor or improper lubrication practice. Oil analysis alerts you to any increases in contaminants, oxidation and wear materials that are major causes of most breakdowns.
Regular oil analysis = 15 to 20% savings on production costs
These are just 3 of the main reasons why an oil analysis programme is such an effective way of reducing production costs and generating efficiencies (in time and money), and not simply just a tick box exercise.
Here’s an example. We’ve helped one of our customers achieve reliability improvements and replacement oil costs by making recommendations based on their oil analysis results.
After analysing earlier batches of samples, it was apparent their oil was dirty and the vast majority of it didn’t meet the relevant ISO 4406 standard. This was extremely concerning, especially on the hydraulics, and was highlighted as the main reason for the continued problems they were experiencing.
It was clear that any existing filtration system would not achieve the cleanliness targets associated with improved life expectancy and reliability.
We discussed introducing ‘off line’ filtration that would address cleanliness levels, water and potential oxidation by-products and larger particles, all of which were an issue. We subsequently decided to trial installing a ‘fixed’ filter unit on their Schumag No 3 Flying Shear Hydraulic Power Pack in conjunction with using our oil additive technology. A mobile unit was also used for the smaller hydraulics.
This approach has successfully improved the customer’s ISO cleanliness levels and addressed a number of the issues they’d been experiencing.
An oil sample was taken prior to the off line filter being connected, which returned an ISO cleanliness level of 18/17/14. A couple of weeks later, the filter was connected and a week after that, another sample was taken. The ISO cleanliness level had significantly improved and read 16/15/13. One the same day, the customer added our fortifier to their oil at 5%. A further sample was taken ten days later and a cleanliness level of 14/13/11 was recorded, even more of a significant improvement – the equivalent of an approximate 95% reduction in contaminant levels and tripled pump life.
All in all, our oil analysis schedule highlighted the issue of dirty oil, and our recommendations to use filtration and oil additive technology to clean the existing oil, prevented equipment failure and the associated costs and increased the equipment lifespan.
Discover how our regular oil analysis enabled Tarmac to continue production and avoid costly downtime at one of its sites and read our case study.