Get Connected: Data Integration Platform Partnerships

DataConnect, a free service offered by POLARIS Laboratories®, allows customers to integrate their fluid analysis data into their existing maintenance management platform, such as an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) or business analytics system. Integrating data allows customers to view critical information within a single platform to make informed maintenance decisions, including auto triggering work orders, online sample data submission, equipment list updates and more.

This service uses a secure Application Programming Interface (API) and is easy for customers that have the time, resources, and skills to pull data from the API and integrate with their existing preferred maintenance management platform. For others, a ‘turnkey’ solution may be desired.

For the ‘turnkey’ solution, this is where POLARIS Laboratories® Integrated Partners come in. The partners, working with POLARIS Laboratories® and the end user, develop the integration from the API and the customer’s system.

Today’s existing integrated partners fall into several different categories:

  • Equipment OEMs
  • Telematics Services
  • Maintenance Service Providers
  • ERP/CMMS service providers
  • On-Board Sensor Providers

If your company falls in to one of the above categories, or any additional category pertaining to equipment reliability and monitoring, we would love to talk with you about becoming an integrated partner. We see this as a benefit of promoting your company and increasing your revenue stream while also promoting the services offered by POLARIS Laboratories®. Most importantly, we see this as providing value-added service solutions to our mutual customers.

If you are interested in learning more about POLARIS Laboratories® Integrated Partner solutions, please contact:

Randy Clark, Manager of Reliability, at rclark@polarislabs.com.

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Published May 3, 2022

Go Green with POLARIS Laboratories®: New QR Sample Labels

In the coming months, POLARIS Laboratories® will focus on improving its environmental footprint. With a constant increase of fluid analysis users submitting samples online through HORIZON®, users are less dependent on paper sample label forms to provide the laboratory with equipment, component, manufacturer and fluid information.

As a laboratory, POLARIS Laboratories® operates under a Lean environment. This means we are constantly looking for improvements to eliminate waste – whether it be energy waste or actual paper waste affecting the environment.

Launching in July 2022, as part of our Green Initiative to help protect the planet, POLARIS Laboratories® will provide users the option to order QR-code only sample jar labels. These labels are small 2″ x 1″ labels that function similarly to the sample jar label found on the Sample Information Form today – just without the paper.

More information on these new QR-code only sample jar labels is to come. Stay tuned!

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Published April 18, 2022

Canadian Shipping Advancements

Shipping samples to the laboratory in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is now more convenient with new postage options for customers operating in East and West Canada.

POLARIS Laboratories® has recently added additional shipping options for customers shipping samples to and from Canada. This option, through a partnership with Loomis Express, includes a prepaid mailing envelope, up to 10 samples and provides shipping within 1-2 business days from all shipping points in Canada.

Order your sample kits now!

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Published April 5, 2022

Case Study: Connecting Fluid Analysis with Equipment Maintenance

By utilizing POLARIS Laboratories® secure data integration API, DataConnect, a major coal producer connected their HORIZON® fluid analysis data with both their ERP system (SAP) and Power BI. By connecting their maintenance data, the customer is able to get a holistic view of their entire maintenance program, automate work orders and gain powerful insights into their program.

Read the Case Study

Oil Analysis: Why You Need it Now More than Ever

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 the oil 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
  • Increase component life hours

Why Testing Now is Crucial

In today’s world, there’s another reason for oil analysis and why you need to do it now more than ever. Over the past many months, lubricants have been and continue to be in short supply. This is being caused by increased demand, additive shortages, logistics delays and a shortage of delivery drivers. Unfortunately, many companies are on allocation and only receiving partial amounts of their lubricant delivery. If you can’t get the lubricant supply you need, it might be a good time to look at how to get more out of the lubricant you already have.

Condition-Based Monitoring

Oil analysis is the tool to extending and optimizing drain intervals without compromising your equipment reliability. Many customers are still doing a preventive maintenance (PM) program, rather than a condition-based monitoring program. Often times, when a used oil sample is sent to the laboratory, the oil has already been disposed of. Now is the ideal time to look at moving to a condition-based monitoring program and let the laboratory’s data guide you on how much farther you can safely go with the lubricant you have in service. Ultimately, optimizing drain intervals reduces cost and waste, and helps lower maintenance costs when done correctly.

So, with finished lubricants in short supply right now, plus the ever increasing price of crude oil in today’s world (which ultimately raises the price of finished lubricants) one of your best options might be to consider extending your oil drains with “extended drain comments” from the data analysts and subject matter experts at POLARIS Laboratories®.  Please see below an example of a used oil analysis report with “extended drain comments”:

Click to View the Entire Report

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Published March 14, 2022

Tips to Confidently and Safely Extend Your Oil Drains

Short on lubricants? Lubricant supplier has your company on volume allocation?

Want to save on costs? Want to keep equipment running?

Look no further than the lubricants you have on hand.

Lubricants can be safely extended past the recommended oil drain. This requires testing of the lubricant to verify its physical properties and to evaluate its ability to continue properly protecting the equipment. A routine, consistent Fluid Analysis Program can determine any unusual wear pattern in the equipment, identify and control any contamination present and determine the suitability of the lubricant for continued use.

Therefore, if you follow the appropriate guidelines and participate in fluid analysis, you can squeeze a little more from your lubricants during these challenging times. For additional information on how to successfully achieve this, take a look at this infographic:

Five Tips to Optimize Oil Drains

If you would like additional information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact POLARIS Laboratories®.

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Published February 15, 2022

Submit Daily Component Meter Readings with Your Samples

With POLARIS Laboratories® data integration solution, DataConnect, you can sync your sample data and submit samples through your CMMS. DataConnect now comes with a feature to sync daily component meter readings from your maintenance management system or telematics with your sample data.

Before this new functionality, POLARIS Laboratories® provided sample schedule reports in HORIZON® based on an assumption of the number of days it would take to reach your ‘sample due date’. Here’s an example: your last sample was performed at 2,000 hours and your sample interval is 500 hours, we would forecast, based on interval days that you provided, the date the next sample was due (sample interval 500 hours, equipment operated 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, number of days to reach 500 hours = 88 days, hours on component at last sample + 88 days = next sample date).

In a perfect world, this would suffice for optimal use of your maintenance data, but very few companies run equipment on a predefined number of hours per day. In reality, run time is dependent on many factors.

When you connect your data together through DataConnect and provide the laboratory with daily meter readings, we can forecast your next sample due date with much greater accuracy. Our team is working on additional functionality to send you alerts when your equipment is approaching the next sample due date based on these real-time meter readings.

We’re on the journey to help you achieve optimal equipment reliability – are you? Get started with DataConnect today.

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Published February 10, 2022

International Shipping Made Easy with POLARIS Laboratories® Europe

If the last two years have taught us anything, it is that shipping fluid analysis samples internationally has become more challenging. These challenges come from changing regulations around Brexit as well as COVID-19-related issues with sending and receiving shipments in these arduous times.

Solving these international shipping problems has been a key factor for POLARIS Laboratories in Europe. We strive to allow the seamless continuation of our customer’s analysis programs and the timely, cost-effective delivery of all samples to our laboratory located in Poznan, Poland.

Because our facility is located within the EU Economic Zone, this alleviates any Brexit-related customs issues and costs when shipping samples to a UK-based laboratory. Additionally, for any UK-based customers, we have a collection point located in the UK, which removes any complexities and additional costs for customers when using POLARIS Laboratories® for their fluid analysis programs.

What’s more, we also have strategically located sample collection points in Antwerp, Cologne and Istanbul – which allows customers located in these markets to send in samples locally. All our collection points utilize a global courier for next-working-day delivery of all samples from each collection point to the laboratory.

POLARIS Laboratories® offers larger customers the opportunity to utilize our own courier accounts, which further eases the complexity and costs associated with shipping samples to our laboratory.

Video: Fluid Analysis in Europe

When you switch to POLARIS Laboratories®, you save time and money – not only on shipping samples, but also on maintenance & reliability budgets as a whole.

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Published February 3, 2022

Monitoring Extended Life Coolant with Testing

Using heavy-duty Extended Life Coolant (ELC) within your equipment means the coolant can reach a longer service life, according to coolant manufacturer guidelines. However, issues may arise during extended use. As these issues persist, the coolant’s ability to properly protect internal components can diminish over time.

Monitoring Coolant Properties and Conditions

Coolant manufacturers recommend monitoring engine coolant properties while in the system. Condition monitoring is a key tool and can assist with reaching the indicated lifespan of the coolant and identifying preventable problems like:

  • Contamination
  • Dilution
  • Evaporation
  • Degradation
  • Mechanical issues

Early detection of these problems with regular coolant sampling will provide maintenance personnel with proper recommendations and suggested corrections to address abnormal fluid conditions and can result in fewer failures.

Monitoring ELC with Testing

Monitoring ELC corrosion inhibitors require different test methods compared to test methods used for conventional supplemental corrosion additives (SCAs). Proper laboratory testing and fluid information are important when submitting ELC samples to the laboratory for routine testing. Some ELC formulations that only contain carboxylic acid corrosion inhibitors may utilize a different curve for determination of glycol concentration and ELC fluids require additional testing to monitor carboxylic acid. Understanding the proper testing needed, performing regular fluid analysis and making proper adjustments will assist with reaching the coolant’s extended lifespan.

Learn More About ELC Testing

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Published January 21, 2022

Case Study: Extending Oil Drains with Micropatch Testing

When looking at options available to extend oil drain intervals, a U.K.-based power generation company contacted Delta-Xero® (a fluid systems manufacturer) to assess their new filtration systems as a potential way to remove or reduce contamination levels, optimize oil drain intervals and realize better cost and environmental savings on the company’s operating units.

Download the case study below to see how the power generation customer utilized micropatch testing on their samples to better understand the condition of the oil, and with close monitoring and regular sampling, was able to extend the oil drain interval from a weekly change of around 150 hours, to an operating time of 650 hours on average. This has resulted in a significant decrease in the amount of oil changes required on each engine, as well as significant savings on the labor involved, and the associated disposal costs of the used oil from each change out.

Download the Case Study