Efficient Plant March 2018 - 31

feature | lubrication strategies
New vehicles are now designed with
tighter bearing tolerances, higher engine
performance outputs, greater fuel mileage,
and longer engine warranties than their
predecessors. The old standby 10W30
mineral oil, requiring an occasional manual
dipstick check, has been replaced with a
new standardized synthetic 0W5 oil that is
continually monitored by the car's onboard
computer system. In the past, oil changes
were based on a 3,000-mi. (5,000-km) or
3-mo. calendar interval, whichever came
first. In today's vehicle, interactive onboard
sensors indicate to the driver exactly when
to perform an oil change. This constant
oil-condition monitoring has resulted in
significantly extended change intervals,
sometimes by as much as 300%.
Modern vehicle sensors don't just tell
the operator when to change the oil, they
collect an array of related data such as user
driving patterns, oil operating temperature,
pressure, moisture content, oil oxidization,
distance travelled, time since last oil change,
and other data such as engine power delivery and fuel usage. The on-board computer
learns and adjusts to the driver's habits
using algorithms to adjust engine tuning in
real time for optimal performance. Should
an engine failure occur, all sensor data is
available for download and analysis by the
automotive technician. In addition, this data
can also be compared to vehicle fleet data to
establish vehicle system design faults.
Closed-system monitoring sensors for
lubrication systems and lubricants have
been available for decades. They are used
to monitor simple changes in bearing and
lubricant condition state such as temperature change, lubricant flow-rate throughput,
lubricant pressure, actual and differential
pressure drop across filters, fluid levels (lowhigh levels), and lubricant moisture content.
An analog sensor would sense a change in
state and activate a switch wired to set off
an operator alert on the machine panel in

the form of a light or buzzer. Typically, the
operator would then cancel the signal and
ask maintenance to troubleshoot the alarm
and reset the switch.
Recent advances in sensing and dataacquisition technology now allow for open
systems that can upload multiple signals
into a smart data-management engine, on

MARCH 2018

EPRS Maintenance Tech.indd 1

or off site. The data can then be run through
a series of algorithms designed to determine
possible causes and remedies and send a
directive back to the maintenance-management software to print a work order and/or
notify any authorized personnel connected
by smart phones or computers anywhere in
the world. The same signal data can also be

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant March 2018

Efficient Plant March 2018 - Cover1
Efficient Plant March 2018 - Cover2
Efficient Plant March 2018 - 1
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Efficient Plant March 2018 - Cover3
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