Efficient Plant April 2020 - 19

feature | lubrication strategies
TIME- VS. CONDITION-BASED
Most OEMs specify an oil-change interval for new equipment. For
the large part, these recommendations are very conservative, with
good reason. No OEM is going to recommend a two-year (or longer)
oil drain if there is even the remote chance that, in doing so, the
equipment may fail, resulting in a warranty claim. The old (incorrect)
adage that "new oil is cheap insurance" is still held near and dear by
many OEMs.
OEM oil-change intervals can often be safely extended by as much
as two to five times, provided a quality lubricant is used and the
health of the lubricant is monitored. To ensure that oil or grease is fit
for continued use, fluid analysis should be used. Critical tests such as
acid and base number, oil oxidation, and oxidation potential, as well
as additive heath, can all be measured and should be used to change
behaviors from time-based to on-condition oil changes.
Online oil-quality sensors can also be effective in helping to time
oil changes based on fluid health. Unlike the algorithms used by
many automotive manufacturers to signal the time for an oil change,
these are actual sensors that use changes in fluid conductivity or permittivity to detect changes in base oil and/or additive chemistry. By
monitoring oil health in real-time using a sensor, the data can also be
correlated with the operational aspect of the component in question.

APRIL 2020

EP2004flube.indd 19

The importance of contamination control also cannot be overlooked in extending and optimizing oil drains. Common contaminants, such as particles (particularly catalytic-wear metal particles),
water, aeration, and excess oil temperature, affect how quickly a
lubricant will degrade. In fact, simply keeping the oil clean and dry
can often provide a 50% to 80% time extension in oil life, more than
enough to pay for the additional cost of contamination-control hardware. Likewise, a drop in oil temperature of 18 F (10 C) can effectively double the life of an oil.
Environmental awareness, energy reduction, and carbon footprint
have become part of the daily lexicon of life. We cannot continue to
do the things we did in industry ten or even five years ago. Waste
elimination, conservation of precious resources, and good corporate
citizenship will all be required as we build more plants and increase
production. Next time you change the oil or grease a bearing, think
"is there a better or more sustainable way to do this?" Future generations will thank you. EP
Mark Barnes, CMRP, is Senior Vice President at Des-Case Corp., Goodlettsville, TN (descase.com). He has 21 years of experience in the fields
of lubrication management, oil analysis, and contamination control
and has published more than 150 technical articles and white papers.

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http://www.descase.com http://www.ludeca.com http://www.ludeca.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant April 2020

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