Extending Component and Equipment Life

In the same way early detection is used in human health to spot damage to the body, early detection is an important part of maintaining equipment health. Embracing predictive maintenance technology is an essential part of maintaining healthy equipment, lowering the time spent performing maintenance and reducing costs.

Utilizing the reliability model and concepts associated with this method helps maintenance teams extend their component and equipment lifecycles. A leading pharmaceutical company utilizes the predictive maintenance methodology and the four major predictive technologies to improve the reliability of their maintenance program. Using the method, the team tests compressors, hydraulic systems, bearings, gears and other components

Read the Full Case Study


Unexpected maintenance slowing you down?

Unexpected maintenance seems to always happen at the worst possible time. Whether you have a tight deadline to make or a limited budget, performing unexpected maintenance is never fun. At POLARIS Laboratories® we like to encourage our customers to make the switch from ‘reactive’ maintenance to ‘preventive’ maintenance in order to prepare for these unwanted surprises.

Relying on reactive maintenance does little to save you money or time. While responding in real time may seem like the easiest route, it too often results in extended downtime and unforeseen (not to mention expensive) maintenance costs.

Many of the issues causing downtime can silently build up in your machine over an extended period of time. Instead of waiting for the worst to happen, you can utilize the information obtained through oil analysis to spot an abnormality in your machine or vehicle. This allows you to plan a machine’s upkeep and maintenance schedule on your own terms.

While making the switch may seem difficult, this change is actually easy to implement and has the capacity to completely transform your maintenance system. You would be surprised at the impact focusing on preventive maintenance can have on both your program’s reliability and the mindset of your maintenance team.

Preventive maintenance allows you to take control of your maintenance practices, saving you time and money. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can improve your maintenance program, check out this case study or contact us today!


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

Changing Ourselves to Drive Customer Success

POLARIS Laboratories® embraces change because it is the only way to continuously improve the value of our oil analysis. Some changes are driven by feedback from employees, but often it’s the voice of the customer that drives us to become better.

Each month we send surveys to customers to discover what we are doing well and what needs improvement. Recently, survey comments requested more information in our results comments to help maintenance programs diagnose what is causing abnormal conditions in their equipment.

We took a closer look at our report comments. Wear and contamination comments contained quite a bit of information on potential causes and how to correct the problem, but fluid property comments lacked some of these details.

Our customers pointed out a valid area to improve, so improve it we did. Comments on viscosity, acid number, base number, pH, oxidation and nitration now include more details and possible root causes.

Our ultimate goal is for customers to be confident they are making the right maintenance decisions based on their analysis results. Expanding the report comments is one way we’re helping customers save their equipment.

Log into HORIZON and open a recent report to see the expanded comments for yourself.

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

Correcting Glycol Concentration

Proper glycol levels in coolants have become necessary to control an adequate boil point in today’s high-temperature engines. A coolant that’s properly formulated at 50% antifreeze can raise a coolant’s boil point another 12°F to 15°F. By comparison, the cooling system pressure cap increases the system pressure up to 16 pounds, which can raise the coolant’s boil point by 2.7°F at sea level.

When glycol levels are out of balance, some companies simply drain and replace the coolant. However, as much as one-third of the fluid, even rinse water, can remain in the engine block and passages and will dilute the new coolant. If the glycol percentage is the only coolant concern, it is easier to readjust the coolant using this simple mathematical equation to ensure a proper coolant dilution.

Learn more about getting a coolant analysis program started with POLARIS Laboratories®.

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

Overcooling Is as Detrimental as Overheating

It’s common for
maintenance personnel watch for conditions that can cause overheating in their engines. Did you know that overcooling causes just as much damage to an engine as overheating?

Overcooling most commonly occurs when the coolant bypasses a defective water temperature regulator and flows directly to the radiator preventing the engine from reaching normal operating temperature. Your coolant system is a vital one – but typically the most neglected and least understood.

How-To-Prevent-Your-Engine-From-OvercoolingOur Data Analysis Team at POLARIS Laboratories® has identified just four tasks to add to your routine maintenance to help prevent overcooling and ensure the health of your coolant system.

Learn more about getting a coolant analysis program started with POLARIS Laboratories®.



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

What drives POLARIS Laboratories each and every day?

Everything we do at POLARIS Laboratories is rooted in helping people save time and money. Together, we look for proven strategies to get the most out of your equipment. Our people breathe life into our mission every day and are truly dedicated to your success.

Q&A with Keynote Speaker David Cripps

Cripps-Head-ShotThe 2015 POLARIS Laboratories Customer Summit has an amazing lineup of speakers to demonstrate how oil analysis helps drive
action inside their maintenance programs.

Likewise, keynote speaker David Cripps, chief engineer for HERTA Racing, will bring a unique perspective to the summit. POLARIS Laboratories® sat down with Mr. Cripps for a preview of what’s in store for Customer Summit attendees.


POLARIS Laboratories: At what moment did you realize the money- and equipment-saving potential of oil analysis?

David Cripps: In racing, the key performance area we’re concerned with is drag, and there’s a tremendous amount of drag within the mechanical components. Lots of R&D goes into finding bearings and coatings that minimize the drag. Mostly, it’s accomplished by lowering lubricant viscosity as much as possible without lowering the life of the equipment. Oil analysis is an important piece of the process – especially when evaluating the wear on the equipment.

PL: What is the one piece of advice you wish every oil analysis user would follow?

DC: Data is king. It’s extremely important. People will acquire loads of data thinking they’ve done their job. But data processing is what’s important. You need a data reduction process – to collate it. You need to paint longer-term pictures, to refine the data.

PL: What’s the best oil analysis “save” you have experienced?

DC: That’s actually a story I’m going to talk about during the Customer Summit. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll give you a quick preview: Assume nothing.

PL: How did you end up coming to Indianapolis, and what do you think of the city?

DC: [Former IndyCar driver] Dick Simon personally invited me to work for him in Indy. He was a great guy and he had a growing racing team. That’s when I began laying down roots in the city. 20 years later, Indianapolis has changed a lot. It’s an impressive, well-run city. The downtown went through a huge renovation, and now it’s a clean, attractive place people want to hold events at, like this summit. The city is more than just racing – there’s a good cross-section of business with a little bit of everything.

Hear more from David Cripps during the 2015 POLARIS Laboratories Customer Summit. Register for the summit before July 16 and save $200. 

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

Published July 6, 2015

What does your coolant color really tell you?

There was a time when we could use the color of the coolant to help determine the type of coolant formulation in the equipment. The majority of the heavy-duty engine coolants in the market would have been a conventional formulation. The only difference was in the type and amount of inhibitors but they were still compatible with one another. Some brands were a nitrite/silicate/borate blend while others might be a nitrite/molybdenum/silicate/phosphate blend. Sustaining the coolant simply meant maintaining the SCA level. Maintenance on the fluid was relatively easy as long as there weren’t any mechanical or contamination issues present.

Today, there seems to be a coolant for every color under the rainbow, and we can no longer base the coolant formulation by color alone. The color of the coolant cannot be used to determine the formulation. Testing the coolant and fluid properties will help determine the type of coolant inhibitors present in the formulation so you can maintain that fluid properly. The coolant formulation will be based on the type of coolant inhibitors in the fluid for prime metal-pitting protection.

The most commonly known coolant formulations on the market today are Conventional, Organic Acid Technology (OAT), NAPS (nitrite, amine, phosphate, silicon free), Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT), and Universal. The conventional formulations will use inorganic inhibitors. The OAT formulations will use organic acid inhibitors and may use a combination of nitrite and molybdenum in the formulation. The NAPS formulations will only use organic acid inhibitors. The HOAT and Universal formulations will use a combination of inorganic and organic acid inhibitors. Mixing different coolant formulations may dilute the inhibitors to a point that the coolant inhibitor won’t be adequate to protect the equipment. Coolant formulations are constantly evolving to help extend coolant drains and to maintain equipment longer.

Proper-Coolant-FormulationIt’s easy to become overwhelmed when trying to understand the multitude of variation among formulations, but it can actually be broken down quite simply. Take a look at our list of five considerations for selecting and using the proper coolant formulation.

Learn more about getting a coolant analysis program started with POLARIS Laboratories®.



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

Published March 2, 2015

New EZ Label is Available

We’ve been listening.

“This form is too complicated.”
“Do I really need to provide all this info?”
“There has to be an easier way to submit samples.”

Based on the customer feedback we’ve received over the years, we have improved our sample labels to make it quicker, easier and simpler to submit sample information, which reduces the likelihood of errors. You can request the new label be sent with your next sample jar order.

During the process of redesigning our sample information forms, much research was conducted internally and externally to thoroughly understand:

  • how customers complete the sample forms
  • how samples are packaged and shipped to us
  • how samples and paperwork are cleaned when fluid leaks during transit
  • how sample details are entered into our systems

We also tapped into our customers to serve as beta testers and confirmed the new label really does make it quicker and easier to submit samples.

The new label includes detailed HORIZON® instructions to simplify adding or updating equipment and submitting sample information online. This allowed us to simplify the required information on the form and reduce the paper size. In addition, the sample jar label features a coating to improve its resistance to absorbing oil.

Customers may or may not have access to the Internet all the time, so we left a very simple component and sample information form on the label. If a paper copy needs to be sent in with the sample, the form can be detached from the label and easily wrapped around the sample jar.

The label’s new features could benefit all our customers, so I encourage everyone to make the switch and reap the benefits. You can view the new label and how to fill it out by downloading our instructions. When you’re ready to try the EZ Label at one or more of your locations, contact our Customer Service team at custserv@eoilreports.com or 877.808.3750.

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

Setting Limits on Fluid Properties

Earlier this month, I talked about how we set limits for wear metals and contaminants. There is one final group of results Data Analysts examine to determine the health of oil, fuels, and coolants: fluid properties.

Fluid properties are the physical and chemical features that allow the fluid to perform as it was designed. Viscosity, Acid Number, Base Number, Oxidation, Nitration and Additives are the main fluid properties examined by fluid analysis.

These properties don’t have much in common. Different tests are used to determine if the fluid still has the ability to protect equipment. Viscosity needs to be run at different temperatures to match the operating conditions of the equipment, ICP is used to quantify the metals found in common additives, oxidation and nitration are measured using FTIR, and acid number and base number need to be run using different titration methods to get the measurement we desire.

Just like wear metals and contaminants, the actual flagging limits depend on what the fluid is, the equipment the fluid is being used in, and what application the equipment is doing. These factors all can change the maintenance recommendations from the Data Analysts, which is why it is important to provide as much information about the sample as possible.

To learn more about the challenges facing each fluid property and how we set our flagging limits, please download this technical bulletin.

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