6 Steps to Effective Program Management

Today’s oil analysis capabilities offer a great deal more than just monitoring component health. With today’s technology, along with performing the proper tests, we can monitor the condition of the oil, see if it is suitable for continued use, reduce the amount of used oil disposal, adjust maintenance intervals and strategies, adjust component replacement schedules, improve forecasting and budgeting and increase component life hours.

So how can we be sure to maximize the return on investment from oil analysis?  Well, in my opinion, I believe it needs to encompass the following six steps to be a “world class – best practices” fluid analysis program.

1. Selecting a Quality Laboratory

  • Accurate, reliably and timely
  • Certifications and accreditations
  • Consistent turnaround time
  • Testing capabilities
  • Relevancy of maintenance recommendations
  • Information management tools
  • Facility locations

2. Determine Program Goals

  • What are the goals? Is it to extend oil drain intervals, reduce failures, extend equipment life expectancy, control maintenance and lubrication costs, just to name a few
  • Whatever the goal(s), if you do not establish these goals upfront, and do not have the appropriate testing set up to match these goals, your program will never reach its full potential

3. Create Detailed Equipment List

  • Equipment list information should be submitted to the laboratory before oil samples are ever submitted for analysis
  • Consider the following when compiling the list: Unit Type, OEM, Model Number, Lubricant Manufacturer, Lube Type/Grade, Filtration Type/Size, Sump Capacity and Sampling Interval
  • Read more about adding and edit equipment in HORIZON® here.

4. Identify Resources Available

  • Data Manager – a “gate keeper” to manage and store the data, who ideally is a person with good computer and internet skills
  • Sampler – an “oiler” who is trained on sampling devices/techniques, selects the appropriate testing, takes representative samples at specified intervals, and follows the proper procedure for submitting all of the required information along with the sample to the laboratory

5. The Importance of Time

  • Once taken, sample(s) should be shipped immediately to the laboratory
  • Upon receiving the laboratory report, findings must be evaluated and work order(s) issued, so data analyst’s recommendations will be acted upon as soon as possible, and then findings are communicated back to the laboratory

6. Report to Management

  • Management speaks in the language of “dollars and cents”, so you need to communicate the “savings” to upper management in terms of reduction in oil costs, uptime reports, failure reductions, etc., and ultimately perform/document cost savings due to oil analysis. Read more about finding that “Aha” moment and realizing ROI here.

Find out more about our solutions to effectively managing your program.

Maximize asset reliability and regain control of your production schedules with an effective fluid analysis program by POLARIS Laboratories® . . . it costs so little to protect so much.

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

Published October 22, 2019

 

Why Too Much Coolant Corrosion Inhibitor Can Be Harmful

What are coolant corrosion inhibitors?

Coolant corrosion inhibitors help decrease the corrosion rate of metals within your equipment and help maintain other coolant properties. The coolant manufacturers will determine the type of coolant corrosion inhibitors utilized in their product. The main types of inhibitors are:

  • Inorganic based (IAT)
  • Organic based (OAT)
  • Azoles

What coolant should I use?

The coolant you use while maintaining your equipment should utilize the same type of inhibitors as the coolant formulation that’s already in your system.

Here are some ways to make sure your fluid is able to properly protect your equipment:

  • Testing with test strips (see technical bulletin below)
  • Using fluid analysis laboratories
  • Following recommendations on how to maintain inhibitor for the specified fluid type

We know low corrosion inhibitors for heavy duty applications leave our equipment vulnerable to corrosion but, why is too much a problem?

Even though heavy duty equipment will require a higher level of inhibitors compared to light duty equipment, a specific range must be maintained for proper protection. Adding too much coolant corrosion inhibitor to the cooling system, no matter what type of inhibitors are utilized in the fluid, will impact other coolant properties. The pH and specific conductance will increase which will lead to corrosion concerns.

Another concern is the coolant’s saturation point. When the saturation point (where no more inhibitor can be absorbed in the coolant) is reached, the inhibitors will drop out and a precipitate will form. The precipitation will cause plugging of the coolant passage ways.

When this occurs the coolant will no longer be able to prevent corrosion of the metals that come in contact with the coolant.

What a coolant corrosion inhibitor drop out means

A major function of the cooling system will be impacted due to the drop out of coolant corrosion inhibitors. This important function is coolant flow. When the coolant cannot effectively circulate through the engine due to precipitation restricting coolant flow we lose our capability for heat transfer. Without proper heat transfer we will experience engine overheating and may cause further engine damage. Both scenarios of too little or too much coolant corrosion inhibitor will negatively impact your equipment and overall decrease your equipment’s reliability. Maintaining the correct coolant corrosion inhibitors in the recommended ranges per coolant manufacturer recommendations will provide the best protection for your equipment.

Below are some technical bulletins with additional information on coolants, coolant test strips and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

Coolant and Cooling System Maintenance

Coolant Test Strips

Benefits from High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

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

Published October 8, 2019

Case Study: Filter Debris Analysis

Identifying the Root Cause of Problems with Filter Debris Analysis

Routine fluid analysis can help to monitor equipment conditions and extend component life. But, by going the extra step and performing Filter Debris Analysis, and other tests to analyze particles found within the filter, you can identify harmful debris, identify the root cause of the problem and save the replacement costs.

Filter Debris Analysis, Analytical Ferrography and Micropatch testing was performed on one customer’s sample and the results were able to help identify the root-cause of consistent failure of a gearbox. Learn how this POLARIS Laboratories® customer was able to save more than $250,000 by performing the testing.

Download the Case Study

Seeing The Savings

  • Cost of Filter Debris Analysis, Micropatch and Analytical Ferrography testing: ~$500
  • Savings earned by saving the gearbox component: $250k
  • Return on Investment achieved: 500:1

 

Keeping Your Generators Compliant with NFPA 110

NFPA 110

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) Standard 110 is the standard for testing emergency and stand-by generators. This standard outlines ways to prevent the disruption of critical loads in case of emergency. The standard also lists the tests necessary to fall within compliance with the authorities who have jurisdiction (AHJ) for code enforcement. However, the NFPA 110 only provides a recommendation on the tests that should be performed; they are set by the following entities:

Diesel generator systems are used for backup electric power.

  • Manufacturer’s Recommendation
  • Instruction Manuals
  • NFPA 110 Chapter 8 Minimum Requirements
  • AHJ (Authorities Having Jurisdiction) Requirements

Are your generators compliant?

Testing the diesel fuel in stand-by power generators is critical for the safety of those who may be in need of emergency power. The tests necessary to remain compliant with the standards set by the NFPA for your area may vary, but the frequency of testing should be monthly to ensure that the stand-by generators will work up to spec if called upon.

Contact POLARIS Laboratories® today to learn more and to get diesel fuel testing set up for your stand-by power generators today!

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

Published August 29, 2019

Learn Why Reliability Matters

W Edwards Deming once said, “Learning is not compulsory; it’s voluntary. Improvement is not compulsory; it’s voluntary. But to survive, we must learn.”

And, POLARIS Laboratories® is ready to help you learn…about the future.

We partner with program champions from companies all around the globe and, together, we have helped them save more of their equipment. Yet, the world is advancing rapidly so we’re committed to helping our customers leverage new innovation, creativity and strategy to improve their programs. By embracing change through proven telematics and connectivity capabilities, maintenance professionals have embarked on a continuous journey to Unlock Reliability.

Now, just imagine how effective your fluid analysis program could be if you could successfully automate the information you receive and then transform those untapped recommendations into business intelligence. Come, let us show you. This will be on full display for three days at our fifth annual Customer Summit in Indianapolis from November 18-20, 2019.

Whether you’re looking to huddle with companies that have proven successes, dive deeper into your program’s performance or learn best practices to design a strategy that transforms information into intelligence, our fifth-annual Customer Summit will provide the keys you need to drive operational performance. With three days of reliability insights, 16 learning sessions, three training workshops, one free program review for current customers and countless hours of peer-to-peer networking, this program is designed not only for you … but a few of your colleagues, too.

 

Here are a few key day-by-day highlights from this year’s conference:

  • Day 1:
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes laboratory tour at POLARIS Laboratories’ headquarters
    • Interactive networking reception to help you connect the importance of identifying a reliable root cause to common equipment failures
  • Day 2:
    • Compelling look into why the future is now when it comes to reliability
    • Recognition of our annual Program Champion Award finalists
    • Relaxing dinner and reception at an upscale, car storage facility where you can slide behind the wheel and marvel at the engines of these classic, exotic, luxury cars
  • Day 3:
    • Insights on how to turn early savings into lasting success as you expand your program to involve new locations and testing capabilities
    • POLARIS Laboratories’ commitment to the next generation of fluid analysis through connectivity

Join us and learn why reliability matters! The road to fluid analysis success starts right here at the 2019 Customer Summit!

Learn more about the robust agenda and topics, exclusive laboratory tour, hotel accommodations, fees and more. Seating is limited – and hotel rooms are equally limited – at The Alexander Hotel! Clear your calendar November 18-20 and join us in Indianapolis at the 2019 POLARIS Laboratories® Customer Summit, Unlock Reliability.

 

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

Published August 27, 2019

VIDEO: How to Take a Grease Sample

Grease analysis allows you to tap into new information about your equipment health and reliability. Taking action from the recommendations on your grease analysis sample report means you can:

  • Monitor consistency
  • Identify contamination, oxidation and wear concentration
  • Optimize your drain intervals

Each grease analysis sample kit includes the materials you need to take a grease sample and send it into the laboratory – including a spatula, plunger, syringe, grease sampler, shipping tube and envelope.

Grease Sampling: Easy as 1, 2, 3 … 4, 5
  1. Remove the plunger from the syringe.
  2. Use the narrow end of spatula to collect sample (~2 g) and fill the syringe with the grease.
  3. Use the syringe to fill the grease sampler.
  4. Place the cap on the grease sampler.
  5. Place the grease sampler into the provided shipping tube.

It’s that easy! Watch the video to learn how to take a grease sample from your equipment using our easy-to-use, cost-effective grease sampler.

How To Take a Grease Sample with a Grease Sampler

Click to watch

How To Take a Grease Sample with a T-Handle

Click to watch

Tips for taking a grease sample:

  • Send in a baseline reference sample
    • This allows us to compare results of used grease to the new grease
  • Fill the syringe with as much grease as possible
  • Collect your grease sample from the active zone in your equipment
Ready to learn more or start analyzing your grease?

Learn more about grease analysis, why it’s vital to a comprehensive fluid analysis program and what the tests identify by downloading our Grease Testing + Analysis FAQs.

Contact your account manager or submit our contact form to add grease testing to your fluid analysis program.

Tips for Understanding Coolant Component Types

POLARIS Laboratories® has over 32 component types to select from for samples pulled from the cooling system. This can become overwhelming. Why are there so many options when the sample is pulled from the cooling system? The reason there are so many options is because a coolant component type represents:

  • The type of inhibitor packaged used for cavitation protection
  • The type of glycol
  • If the sample is new, a concentrate or in-service
8 Common Formulations

There are at least eight common formulations to select from. Once the formulation is determined, the base glycol will need to be selected. After the formulation and glycol base are selected, there are three options to select from to determine if the sample is a baseline or in-service. This is why there are so many options when it comes to selecting the appropriate coolant component type.

The antifreeze formulation can be provided by the Coolant Manufacturer. Anyone submitting samples, purchasing and maintaining cooling systems should know the type of antifreeze utilized in their fleet. The antifreeze information will help indicate if the coolant formulation meets OEM specifications. OEMs specifications will help regulate what formulation is compatible with equipment, seals and hoses. New, advanced equipment technologies and a competitive coolant market will also help drive the different combination of coolant inhibitors being utilized. A mixed OEM fleet may require different antifreeze formulations on-site to meet specifications or a single antifreeze formulation may be acceptable for all OEMs in the fleet.

Selecting the Correct Formulation

Selecting an accurate formulation of antifreeze for the equipment is important. If antifreeze information is unknown and submitted to the laboratory for testing, we default to consider it a conventional ethylene glycol. If the test package evaluates all possible inhibitors we test for, we will be able to determine what type of antifreeze formulation may be in the system. The coolant component type will determine how the results are analyzed and what recommendations are applied on the final report.

To help understand component types and learn the steps for how to select the correct coolant component type, view our Technical Bulletin, Selecting Coolant Component Types.

 

 

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

Published July 9, 2019

VIDEO: Adding Equipment in HORIZON®

 

Adding one or more components to your equipment list in HORIZON® is easy! Making sure your equipment list is up-to-date is essential for your program to be a success. Check out the our new video for step-by-step instructions on how to add and edit your equipment in HORIZON.

Click to watch

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

Published  June 24, 2019

Eliminating Costly Equipment Downtime

In the construction industry, we see harsh operating conditions, extreme load variations and high-dollar costs with equipment replacement. That’s why fluid analysis a key to meeting the high demands of your customers – on schedule.

Heavy-Duty Equipment Environments

Construction equipment is often exposed to extreme, uncontrollable environmental factors for long periods of time, yet is still expected to maintain optimal performance levels. Contamination and wear are imminent and can halt production in a heartbeat, when left unchecked.

Condition Monitoring

Monitoring the condition of both the fluid and the unit through fluid analysis identifies wear-causing contaminants and their effect on component performance. Monitoring the condition of coolant along with engine oil creates a clearer picture of what’s occurring in the engine. Sampling frequency should be based on the unit’s criticality to production, as well as the costs involved in replacement or repair.

Read more about our solutions and testing recommendations for the construction industry:

Maximize asset reliability and regain control of your production schedules with an effective fluid analysis program by POLARIS Laboratories®. It costs so little to protect so much.

 

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

Published  June 11, 2019

 

The Key to Unlocking Reliability in Your Program

Everyday at POLARIS Laboratories®, we’re dedicated to helping our customers save more of their equipment. As the industry has advanced, POLARIS Laboratories® has kept up by unleashing the potential for maintenance programs everywhere. We’re achieving these results by empowering maintenance professionals, automating the information they receive and transforming untapped recommendations into business intelligence.

This Year’s Summit

We’re all on this journey together. And, we see this path leading us to greater emphasis on reliability. We know reliability is the key to solving maintenance challenges smarter and faster. That’s why this year’s Customer Summit theme is Unlock Reliability. This unique, peer-to-peer experience is designed to help your company capture and apply the elements of a successful oil analysis program, integrate data better and solve reliability challenges.

As part of the evolution of fluid analysis at our summits – Driving Action, Champion Impact, Connected Performance and Elevate – Unlock Reliability keeps our customers focused on how to turn data into information into intelligence. At the summit, more than 100 customers and partners will convene to learn how to bridge a traditional fluid analysis focus with a futuristic view of empowering the overall user experience and manage more effective maintenance programs.

Unlock Your Maintenance Potential

Whether you’re looking to huddle with companies that have proven successes, dive deeper into your program’s performance or learn best practices to design a strategy that transforms information into intelligence, our fifth-annual Customer Summit will provide the keys you need to maximize your oil analysis program and continue to drive operational performance.

We have coordinated every aspect of this event to best fit your team’s needs and ensure that you make the most out of your summit experience. Taking place in Indianapolis from November 18-20, this three-day, 19-session event offers a one-of-a-kind experience for you and your team.

Are you ready to take the next step to realizing reliability?

Check out our Customer Summit website to learn more about the robust agenda and topics, exclusive laboratory tour, hotel accommodations, fees and more. Be sure to take advantage of our early registration discounts.

Come learn why reliability matters! Clear your calendar in November and join us in Indianapolis at the 2019 POLARIS Laboratories® Customer Summit.

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

Published May 23, 2019