Goal Setting Through Oil Analysis and Your Return on Investment
by David Doyle, CLS, OMA I & II
General Manager, Tribology

With the ability to effectively report data in relation to total asset care trending analysis has the capability to move from a one-off reactive exercise to an overall proactive plan to improve return on investment. By means of the proper management and reporting tools goals, targets and measurables can be established to effectively improve return on investment. Below are examples of areas that can be targeted for setting and defining goals to make your fluids analysis program a true success.

Eliminate root cause for failures by establishing thresholds to monitor

Contaminants are a primary root cause of failures. By establishing maximum limits for contaminants such as water, coolant, fuel, varnish, particulate and dirt, the root cause of many failures are eliminated. By applying routine analysis these levels can be monitored to ensure they stay within an acceptable limit. This approach prevents the need for more costly and time consuming corrective action. Current baseline values for contaminants and related failures can be ascertained, targets established for keeping contaminants below root cause levels and improvement in a reduction of related failures can be measured against a determined goal.

Reduce equipment downtime and increase equipment reliability

The impact of unplanned equipment downtime can have a significant economic effect. Setting a goal to reduce downtime with proactive follow-up of routine testing can allow an operation to plan downtime more effectively and reduce overall downtime. A baseline measurement of downtime and associated costs can be established, then targets can be set and measured based on defined goals.

Warranty protection

Any operation with a significant investment in new equipment would want to protect the warranty service that supports this investment. Tracking warranty claims is easy enough, but how many of the claims are substantiated through oil analysis is a valid goal that would realize a return on investment.

Optimize lubrication performance

When it comes to the service life of lubricants one size does not fit all. There are variation in work environments, access to service and maintenance, and equipment age. These and other factors will affect lubricant service life and the formulation most suited to the job. By setting targets for performance maintenance caretakers can optimize their lubrication costs with equipment performance.

Extend equipment life

Budget constraints and business conditions can affect decisions associated with capital purchases. With using oil analysis as a measurement tool equipment owners can track equipment health in order to establish goals for extending equipment life and planning capital purchases.

These are just a few examples of goals that can be established through trending analysis. Partnering with your lubricant and laboratory provider can help decide what goals can most effectively improve equipment performance and the bottom line. Targets can be set and measureable established to track progress towards these targets. This is where partnering with your service provider turns the average data into something more dynamic with measureable results.