Integrated Lubrication Analyzer

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 16:47

Proactive maintenance is the new watchword for costconscious machinery and equipment operators. Mining companies need greater reliability, enhanced efficiency and 100% uptime for their equipment and machinery. The ability to predict failures and take preventative measures has become vital in ensuring the continuity of mining operations. At the same time, there is an ever-increasing pressure to reduce maintenance costs, particularly on lubricated equipment. One of the main challenges in equipment maintenance is making the right decisions regarding filter and oil changes, or having to shut down the equipment for an inspection. In order to get it right, those maintaining the equipment require precise and timely information about wear particles, lubricant contamination, and lubricant degradation.

Spectro’s integrated lubrication analyzer bridges the gap between the equipment and the laboratory by integrating all key condition tests into one solvent-free portable unit that can be operated on site. The company’s system analyzer combines particle counting, filtration and an elemental and infrared spectrometer and viscometer. The maintenance team now has a better way of keeping high value assets running at peak efficiency by testing machine conditions (wear), and checking for contamination and lubricant condition, using only a small amount of oil and without the need for any class of solvents. This solution provides mining companies with a point-of-use analysis tool that can impact operations in several ways. The system enables operators to operate machinery and equipment more efficiently, resulting in improved safety, reduced downtime, increased component life, optimized replacement part utilization and reduced fuel and oil consumption. In addition, the lubricant analyzer also enhances equipment upkeep, helping those performing maintenance to identify and measure lubricant contamination and component wear, thus enabling them to eliminate unnecessary overhauls or inspections, reduce operational failure or field repair, and optimize lubricant service intervals. Moreover, the analyzer allows mine managers to refine cost assessments and controls, to improve record-keeping and to identify faulty operator practices.

Some of the lubricant analyzer’s most remarkable elements are: comprehensive fluid analysis that uses an integrated software approach; an easy-to-use touchscreen interface that provides step-by-step guidance and minimizes training for busy maintenance personnel; one central repository for all infrared spectrometer data, with flip-top cell tests for TAN/TBN, water content, soot, oxidation and mixed up fluids using IR technology; a particle counter that employs a Filtration Particle Quantifier (FPQ) for solvent-free particle estimation, and which can handle the dirtiest and wettest samples; metal wear analysis for abnormal wear conditions, which uses XRF technology and comes in a solid briefcase that is battery operated, allowing the analyses to be carried out in any geographical location.

The versatility of the integrated lubricant analyzer allows those carrying out maintenance to perform tests for all types of lubricating fluids and asset compartments without the need for cleaning fluids, hazardous materials, dilution or special sample preparation. The system’s access to embedded fluid reference libraries provides reliable and updated information for faster and more informed decision making. Machine condition monitoring based on oil analysis has become an important, if not mandatory, maintenance practice at many of the world’s surface and underground mines.