The Benefits of Fluid Analysis for OEMs

OEMs often use fluid analysis to enhance their product offerings. Partnering with an accredited laboratory, they can help their customers obtain the most value out of their equipment.

Whether an OEMs’ customers want to extend both oil and equipment life, increase equipment resale value, or reduce overall maintenance costs, they have a resource to help improve their maintenance program.

This is not the only value fluid analysis provides to OEMs.

  1. Warranties. The use of fluid analysis allows OEMs to address warranty claims made by their customers.
  2. Equipment Service Support. Oil analysis is often included as part of the service package for both OEMs and dealers’ customers.
  3. Early Failure Detection. This allows OEMs to have an earlier indication of when equipment moves into failure mode
  4. Increase Resale Value. The use of a fluid analysis program has proven to increase equipment resale value.
  5. Brand Awareness. Fluid analysis programs help OEMs enhance the value of their brand in the eyes of their customers.

OEMs who work with a fluid analysis provider offer additional value to their end-users. This added value helps them advance their brand as well as build credibility as their customers’ maintenance partner.

Have questions about the value of fluid analysis for OEMs? Contact us at to learn more.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
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Published January 31, 2017

The Why, When and How of Diesel Fuel Testing

Diesel fuel testing is important for program health. This proactive maintenance approach can help you prevent engine failure, contamination and fuel dilution, among other types of equipment damage.

Why should I test diesel fuel?
Testing your diesel fuel can help you avoid engine failure, minimize the number of expensive repairs performed, and ensure the quality of the fuel. Additional issues to consider include:

  • Injector damage
  • Water and sediment contamination
  • Bacteria, fungi and mold
  • Reduced combustion efficiency
  • Impact of seasonal changes
  • Increased corrosion of fuel components
  • Plugged fuel filters
  • Smoking
  • Injector valve sticking
  • EPA compliance

When should I test diesel fuel?
When you should test depends on what equipment you’re using, the performance issues you’re experiencing, and the methods of storage you’re utilizing. To help you decide when to start testing, run through this list of questions:

  • Is my engine experiencing performance issues?
  • Should I perform basic testing on bulk delivery shipments?
  • Could contamination, sabotage or vandalism have occurred?
  • Are my bulk tanks being tested twice yearly?
  • Am I blending or treating my diesel fuel?

How can I start testing?
Taking action is simple. Our team can help you determine what you should test and when you should test in order to maximize program success.

If you have any questions, contact us at

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published January 23, 2017

Throwback to 1988

Flashback to 1988 when “Rain Man” first appeared on the silver screen and Ronald Reagan was serving his last full year as president. I was serving in the U.S. Army and stationed in Germany in an air defense unit. At that time, I held the rank of sergeant with a military occupation specialty (MOS) of 63Y20, Track Vehicle Mechanic.

The two images below are forms DA 1045, the official form used if you wanted to suggest any changes to the Department of the Army. I filled out and submitted these forms in March of 1988 with a suggestion that the army change their maintenance practice on M163A1 and M163A2 Vulcan Air Defense Guns.


The M163 series included 20mm Gatling Cannons mounted on the very popular M113 series armored personnel carriers. The maintenance practice at the time was to replace the oil and filters in the engine, transmission and all gear boxes on a 90 day interval, without consideration for hours on the oil. This time based interval of 90 days seemed to be a potential waste of lubricants, filters, labor and the added burden of waste disposal.

My suggestion was simple, rely on oil analysis results to determine the proper oil drain interval. We were already using the Army Oil Analysis Program (AOAP) to monitor the condition of components, why not use it to monitor the condition of the oil?

Since I submitted those reports, the industry has proceeded to evolve and, for many, using oil analysis to optimize drain intervals is now a common practice. Advances in technology have made handwritten reports, such as these, a thing of the past. I can only imagine how much easier my job would have been had I access to all of the tools available today.

If you’re interested in learning more about my experiences or how to optimize drain intervals by using oil analysis, feel free to email me at or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published January 16, 2017

Wall of Saves


One of the big focuses for the employees at POLARIS Laboratories® is, “Why do we do what we do?” The answer is easy. We save equipment.  We test oil, fuel and coolant and provide maintenance recommendations on the results. This keeps our customer’s equipment and their businesses operating smoothly. Everything we do comes back to the end goal of helping our customers.

One of the ways that we keep this idea in the forefront is by posting all of the equipment saves reported to us by our customers on our “Wall of Saves”. 2016 was a great year with 385 saves posted to the wall. A few of our favorites from the past year include:

  • We found fuel dilution in the diesel engine of a large crane. The customer saved $11,500 by replacing a fuel pump instead of having to do a complete engine rebuild.
  • By identifying elevated wear in the transmission of a combine, the owner only had to replace a small gear. This prevented the need for a $75,000 transmission overhaul.
  • Water was found in a dump truck hydraulic system due to a fill cap being left off. A cap replacement and oil change saved this customer $7,000 and caught the issue before a spongy hydraulic system put any people at risk.

How has using oil analysis helped your company? You can share your story using the actions taken feature of HORIZON® or contact our data analysis team directly using the call number on your report. We’d love to add your big win to our wall of saves!


Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings. 
Let us prove it to you. 

Understanding Maintenance Types


Reactive: Something just broke, we need to fix it.

Preventive: Experts and manufacturers say something might break. We need to fix it when they say to fix it.

Predictive: Our technologies say something is about to break, so we need to fix it.

Proactive: Technology says something is about to break. We need to fix it and figure out what caused it.


The terms reactive, predictive, preventive and proactive maintenance are used a lot. Unfortunately, there is some confusion about where these terms should be used.  Here is a guide to the proper use of these maintenance terms.

Reactive maintenance is reacting to a situation as it occurs.  It is the most basic type of maintenance. There is virtually no thought put into this type of maintenance, and is the least cost effective – allowing extended downtime, unplanned outages and overtime to occur.

Preventive maintenance involves schedules and routines.  The manufacturer recommends a lubricant change at 400 hours, so the lube change is scheduled to occur as close to 400 hours as possible.  This is fairly easy to implement and is far more cost effective than reactive maintenance. However, it takes no outside influences into account, thus there is still unplanned downtime.

Predictive maintenance allows technology to look at each system and component individually and apply maintenance as it is needed.  This can be expensive to set up and develop. However, once the program is established and maintained with properly trained and educated personnel, it will save far more money over time than a preventive maintenance program.

Proactive maintenance takes predictive maintenance further, figuring out there is a problem and then asking: What caused the problem? Could it have been prevented? How can it be fixed? The question is then pushed to resolution.  It is predictive maintenance with an added RCA component.

Have questions? Contact our data analysis team directly using the call number on your report.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Saving.
Let us prove it to you.