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.

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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.

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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


Achieving Operational Efficiency Through Program Improvement

Achieving maintenance operational efficiency requires focus, smart thinking and innovation. Mammoet, a heavy-lifting and transport company, was able to identify areas and opportunities for program improvement – this included leveraging teamwork, maximizing data management, implementing shipping enhancements and taking advantage of program management solutions available.

The improvements Mammoet implemented in their program opened up the opportunity for the company to move from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance and significantly extending their oil drain intervals. Learn more by reading the case study.

Identify Issues Early

It is important to identify maintenance issues early. Mammoet, a specialist in lifting, transporting, installing and decommissioning large and heavy structures, experienced this firsthand when it noticed issues with a large crane during operation.

The company, focused on equipment uptime, preventive maintenance and sustainability, have made reliability a critical component of the business. With this pivotal focus on operational efficiency, the company turned to fluid analysis to help diagnose the problem with the crane and ensure the essential piece of equipment operated efficiently.

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

Published April 11, 2017

Extend Drains with Management Reports

Management reports matter. A POLARIS Laboratories® Technical Business Consultant (TBC) used his knowledge on customized reports to help a major oil company’s customer, VCNA Prairie Material, extend its drain intervals. The goal was to determine the optimum service interval for VCNA Prairie Material’s ready-mix fleet of trucks. These efforts exemplify the idea, “It’s not just data, it’s what we (you) do with it!”

Building a Championship Organization

At the root of every successful fluid analysis program is a program champion committed to success. From creating a project plan to assembling a sampling team, there are a number of actions maintenance professionals can take to maximize the value sampling provides.

A global leader in providing temperature control, temporary power generation and compressed air systems already had a robust maintenance program, but they decided to explore fluid analysis as a way to reduce downtime and costs.

With the leadership of their program champion, they developed into a reliability program saving between $750,000 to $2 million each year using fluid analysis. By documenting their process and program success, the team proved their value to their leadership team ten times over.

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Measuring Success


The success of a fluid analysis program is usually measured by the amount of money or number of assets saved. However, program success can also be measured through an organization’s compliance.

A global lubricant manufacturer partnered with POLARIS Laboratories® to provide oil analysis to their customers with the goal of ensuring product quality. Determined to prove their commitment to their customer’s success, the manufacturer hired business consultants to help showcase the value of their product and extend drain intervals using oil analysis. Providing this free service helped the company build long-term relationships with their customers based on mutual trust.

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New Equipment Needs Oil Analysis Protection


An industrial building service company makes sure to regularly test the oil in all of their heavy-duty trucks, including new trucks. Their maintenance staff knows all equipment experiences a period of break-in wear, and removing those particles can extend component life.

However, the first sample results from a 2015 model engine showed 255 ppm of aluminum and 198 ppm of iron. These metals are typical for early life-cycle engine break-in, but our data analyst found those quantities excessive and recommended a maintenance investigation.

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Responding to Severity Reports


No equipment is safe from the wear and tear that comes from operating in the harsh conditions of a mining site. The challenging environment, along with the extreme load variations and the high costs involved in equipment replacement, makes avoiding catastrophic failure exceedingly important.

Many mining companies turn towards fluid analysis as a means of avoiding the high replacement costs associated with these extreme conditions. In fact, routine testing helps maintenance professionals identify problems in their equipment before full scale failures occur. Utilizing fluid analysis allows managers to take control of their reliability programs.

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Tracking Sources of Contamination


It’s no secret contamination has a negative impact on machinery. The trouble is, potential sources of contamination can be found in a number of common locations. The key is knowing how to track down the source and drive action to limit the impact it has on equipment.

A leading manufacturer of engines, filtration, and power generation products, established diesel fuel quality, oil drains, engine oil, hydraulic and transmission, engine failure and cooling systems were hot button topics for their company as well as their customers. After identifying these pain points, they determined contamination was an issue they wanted to actively help their customers address and alleviate.

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