Take Five and Submit Your Sample

In the maintenance field, timing is everything. Often times, it can be the deciding factor whether or not equipment or machinery breaks down, causing jobs to be pushed back to later dates, effecting other business. What if you could eliminate fluid sample submission from being the cause of delays? POLARIS Laboratories® offers a convenient online sample submission option – which not only saves time, but results faster sample turnaround times, eliminates unnecessary timely delays and increases equipment uptime. So, why should you start submitting samples online?

Five Minutes

On average, it only takes five minutes to submit your fluid analysis sample online via HORIZON®. Rather than filling out the paperwork by hand and sending in the sample to one of our laboratories, online sample submission requires less fields – saving you time. Additionally, submitting your sample data via your HORIZON account – where all your data from previous samples is stored – allows for automatic calculations. All you have to do is scan a barcode, enter a few fields of sample information, click submit and it’s logged in our system. Then, ship the sample with the same barcode to our laboratory and the sample is processed and queued for testing, eliminating the need for our sample processing team to enter the sample information manually.

Reduce Errors

One of the most common causes of samples being placed on hold or tested inaccurately (resulting in a re-test) at our laboratory is paperwork issues. Whether it’s handwriting errors or oil spilled on the paperwork causing readability issues, filling out the sample submission form by hand can cause many issues. As a result, these can cause the sample information to be processed and input into our system incorrectly and result in assignment to the wrong component.

Faster Results

Submitting samples online not only saves you, the customer, time but it accelerates the internal process for our team as well. We’ll recieve your sample information instantly, which results in faster processing time, less samples on hold and less tests being re-run which all mean a faster turnaround time and reduced downtime for you.

Sample Submission on the Go

Online sample submission goes hand-in-hand with our mobile HORIZON application, available for both Apple and Android mobile devices. Download the HORIZON mobile app to your smart phone or tablet and submit your sample information online, as soon as the the sample is taken. Customize your push notifications and receive alerts when specific fluid type samples arrive at our laboratory and check in on the status of your sample. It’s one less task you have to do later, helping you stay on schedule.

For more information, click here to see our detailed step-by-step instructions for submitting samples online.

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

Published March 13, 2018

What You Need to Know about ASTM D975

What diesel fuel testing do you really need?

What is ASTM D975?

We’ve recently gotten a flood of inquiries regarding testing diesel fuel for ASTM D975, but there seems to be confusion on what ASTM D975 is and how it relates to monitoring the quality of diesel fuel. ASTM D975 is the Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils. It is not one test, but rather, it is the specification that describes 13 tests and their acceptable limits, which a diesel fuel must meet at the time of delivery.

Does your fuel meet the requirements?

As a diesel fuel purchaser, you can send a sample to your laboratory to confirm the fuel meets all of the ASTM D975 requirements, but that is unnecessary. Instead, ask your fuel supplier for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) and save yourself thousands of dollars. Just be aware, ASTM D975 does reference a handful of tests that are applicable to monitor in fuels post-delivery, because several fuel properties change over time.

Could storage tanks be impacting your fuel?

If your operation uses bulk fuel storage tanks or you have fuel being stored long-term in standby generators, then we do recommend testing your fuel at least annually – but not for the full suite of ASTM D975 tests. We’ve identified two concerns for long-term diesel fuel storage:

  1. Has the fuel become contaminated?
    • Controlling contamination is the biggest challenge for fuel storage. Water and debris can enter the tank, leading to a variety of issues, including biological growth and injector damage. It’s less likely, but diesel fuel may come in contact with another fluid including oil, coolant or gasoline. These contaminates could change fuel properties, such as flash point, impact ignition quality and cause tank corrosion.
  2. Has there been a change in the fuel’s properties to withstand temperature extremes?
    • You want to be aware of how well your fuel can withstand temperature changes. If you live in an area where ambient temperatures drop significantly in winter months, you need to monitor your fuel’s cloud point and pour point to ensure the fuel will stay fluid and not clog filters. A fuel’s thermal stability is also a critical property to monitor. A fuel with poor thermal stability will experience asphaltene fall out as it is exposed to high crank-case temperatures. This can also lead to plugged filters and abrasive fuel system wear.

As a diesel fuel purchaser dependent on diesel fuel to run your operation, it’s important to know what is included in ASTM D975 and how it effects your diesel fuel quality and cleanliness.

Click here to read more detailed information on diesel fuel testing recommendations.

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

Published February 27, 2018

A Closer Look at ISO Codes

As industry maintenance practices continue to evolve and maintenance professionals realize the substantial cost saving benefits of contamination control efforts and fluid cleanliness, we find ISO codes entering our daily conversations more often. Cleaner fluids translate to reduced wear and longer component life. ISO codes are simply a ‘shorthand’ method of quantifying fluid cleanliness.

Language of Cleanliness

Fluid analysis laboratories measure fluid cleanliness with specialized equipment that categorizes particles in the fluid by size and counts the number of particles per volume of the sample in each category or size range. The sample report shows the absolute number of particles equal to or larger than each of the following sizes: 4, 6, 10, 14, 21, 38, 70, and 100 microns.

That’s a total of 8 different numbers to describe fluid cleanliness, which makes it cumbersome to compare and discuss results.

Translating Codes: What Do They Mean?

The ISO 4406 standard simplifies that data by only looking at three size ranges (4, 6, and 14 microns). It further simplifies the data by assigning codes to correspond to a range of particle counts. For example, rather than saying there are 1,890 particles 4 microns or larger, the standard assigns a ‘code’ of 18 (which includes particles counts from 1300 to 2500). A similar code is assigned for the 6 and 14 micron size range. So now the fluid cleanliness is reduced to three numbers (or codes). For example, 18/15/13. That is a much easier way to include fluid cleanliness in our comparisons and discussions.

But, this also means that without a thorough understanding of what those codes mean, we can easily jump to poor conclusions. In a simple example, a change in ISO code from 18/15/13 to 19/15/13 might lead to the assumption that the number of particles between 4 and 6 microns has doubled (since each increase in ISO code doubles the upper and lower range of the previous code). Consider if the actual particle counts at 4 microns were 2485 initially and increased to 2510; the code assigned does indeed increase from 18 to 19, but the absolute particle count is nowhere close to doubling. Conversely, if the initial count was 1310 and the next sample increased to 2490, the number of particles has indeed nearly doubled, but the ISO code has remained at 18.

Understanding ISO Code Shorthand

ISO codes are a great way to simplify our comparisons and discussions on the important topic of fluid cleanliness. But having a thorough understanding of what that ‘shorthand’ notation means, can also save us from overlooking the more subtle picture of what is happening to our fluids.

Click here to read more information on ISO codes and fluid cleanliness.

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

Published February 20, 2018

Learn How to Start Tracking Your Maintenance

So you’ve gotten your sample program set up just the way you like it. Your locations are in the system, your equipment is loaded, your kits are in-hand, your oil, coolant or diesel fuel samples have been pulled and tested. All is well and good but, that’s only half of what it takes to leverage a healthy preventive maintenance program.

Is Your Program Complete?

The other half of a successful, impactful and preventive maintenance program is making sure the right action is being taken as a result of the recommendations you receive in your reports.

  • Is your recommended maintenance getting done?
  • Are repairs happening when necessary?
  • Who’s doing the repairs?
  • How do you know if the issue was addressed?

Track Your Trends

We’ve developed a report that will allow you to answer those questions, and make sure you’re maximizing your program. With Maintenance Tracking, available within HORIZON®, you are able to see trending data over time, the results of your maintenance actions after each sample and visually see the results of your fluid analysis program. Moreover, anyone who receives reports will have all of this information, without any need for action from you. The feature is available in the Equipment Management tab in HORIZON. If you do not see this option, please contact customer service to update your account’s permissions.

Start Using Maintenance Tracking:

  • Learn how to run the Maintenance Tracking report out of HORIZON | A set of instructions has been created and gives you a step-by-step walkthrough of where to go in HORIZON to activate the feature and run the report.
  • Contact customer service | Our customer service representatives are trained on all the the features available in HORIZON and are available by phone 877.808.3750 from 7:30 a.m – 7 p.m. ET all business days or by email, custserv@eoilreports.com

It’s Never Too Late

It’s important to monitor all of your sample results, maintenance recommendations and to see if those recommendations are being carried out. It’s the best way to know if you are getting the most out of your investment and to ultimately save your equipment. And remember that it’s never too late to use this feature; whether you’ve just started your program, or have been testing with us for years, start taking advantage of this function today.

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

Published February 13, 2018

Fluid Analysis: A Safe Bet

Unexpected Equipment Repairs

Equipment failing unexpectedly results in downtime, repairs and unsafe work conditions can occur. With sudden downtime comes the need for rushed repairs in order to get the equipment back up and running. When machine or equipment operators or maintenance technicians perform unexpected equipment repairs quickly and often times, in an unsafe manner, the risk of a serious injury increases.

So, choose predictive maintenance over corrective maintenance. 

Fluid Analysis: A Safe Bet

When you can predict equipment failure through oil, coolant or diesel fuel analysis, the risk of your operators and maintenance technicians injuring themselves decreases significantly. Downtime can be scheduled in advance, eliminating the need to rush to repair the equipment.

Your maintenance team keeps your equipment up and running so you can stay on schedule and keep your business on the road to success. So, keep your operators, maintenance technicians and other team members safe by eliminating the need for rushed repairs and participating in a fluid analysis program.

 

 

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

Published February 6, 2018

Can Your Equipment “Weather” the Cold Temperatures?

Dropping Temperatures Equals a Drop in Health

Our winters in Canada, and those in other countries will agree, are often a time of increased health risks. As temperatures drop and winter sets in, so do a whole host of circulating bacteria and viruses. A virus or illness usually starts with a trip to the doctor to assess the symptoms and typically, the doctor uses both a physical exam and potential blood tests to determine how to restore our health and get us back on our feet.

Cure Your Suffering Equipment

Similar to the human body, another winter phenomenon involving cold temperatures is the health of the equipment you use to keep your business running. Mechanical problems or symptoms often arise during the cold temperatures and can cause your equipment to suffer. Similar to the steps the doctor takes, analyzing the critical fluid inside the machine allows you to understand the causes of the problems. Fluid analysis can also allow you to see what actions need to be taken in order for the equipment to get back on it’s feet and be able to “weather” future cold temperatures.

A Prescription for Coolant Analysis

Coolant analysis is one area that is often undervalued or overlooked. But, coolant analysis goes well beyond checking the freeze protection offered by the coolant in cold temperatures. In fact, more than 40% of engine failures are caused by issues that can be traced to the cooling system, the coolant itself holds clues that appear long before any imminent danger. Coolant analysis can shed light on developing problems caused by:

  • Cavitation corrosion
  • Leaking combustion gases
  • Breakdown of the coolant chemicals
  • Overheating
  • Electrical ground problems

A Clean Bill of Health

It’s easy to see that sampling coolant isn’t just a winter activity. But, just like that trip to the doctor when the sniffles set in, sometimes the best course of action is to look within and proactively, to understand what we’re experiencing with our machine health and to begin to save your equipment, before a failure happens.

Let us prove how POLARIS Laboratories® can provide these same benefits to your equipment health.

 

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

Published January 30, 2018

Kick Off the New Year With A Review of Your Program

As we move into 2018, could you answer these questions?

What was the return on your fluid analysis investment in 2017?

Did you meet the goals of your program in 2017?

Beginning a new year is a great time to reevaluate your program and its goals. Outlined below are a few aspects of your fluid analysis program that should be reviewed:

Feedback

Did you provide feedback regarding the accuracy of recommendations in the sample reports? This can be a vital part of a continuous improvement program. For those of you using HORIZON®, you are probably familiar with the “Take Action” function. This is a great place to record your findings and communicate with the data analysis team and let us know if:

  • Were the recommendations spot-on?
  • Did you find additional issues?

By providing this feedback to the lab, future recommendations will be more detailed and accurate and will start you on the path of continuous improvement. Take a moment to capture the cost savings associated to the report in the “Estimated Savings” field. This will allow you to run a report later to determine the return on investment of your program.

Training

The need for training goes beyond the person who reviews reports or oversees the program. Everyone that handles fluids, repairs equipment, obtains fluid samples or is in any way accountable for the cost of the program should receive formal training on fluid analysis.

  • Have you included proper training of personnel as part of your goals for 2018?
  • Has everyone in your organization received training?

Transparency

As we kick off 2018, I encourage you to share with all your team members the goals of your fluid analysis program and where you are today in relation to the goals. In order to maximize your current program, continue sharing the progress with your team. You will truly be surprised at how quickly you will obtain your goals when everyone on the team is aware of the progress and realizes what a vital part each of them plays in achieving the goals.

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

Published January 16, 2018

It’s All In The Equipment List

Did you know that reviewing and updating your overall equipment list is a simple way to make your fluid analysis program more effective and efficient? Cleaning, updating and organizing your equipment list can also alert you of problems early before they can turn critical or cause a catastrophic event.

Overall Review

It’s good to do an overall review of your entire equipment list often, this ensures everything is up-to-date and accurate. It’s simple to do – just follow these steps:

  1. Using the data extraction tool under the “Data Management” tab on HORIZON®, download your list of equipment.
  2. Review the list for any updates that need to be made. While reviewing your equipment, here are some things to look for:
    • Equipment that needs to be merged together
    • Equipment that needs to be marked as inactive
    • Any other information that needs updated
  3. Once you have completed your review and filled in any information that is missing or any equipment that needed merged, send the equipment list to our Customer Service team at custserv@eoilreports.com. We will work on getting those changes made within our system in time for them to be reflected in your next round of sampling.

Making Updates

One thing to note – the above steps can be used for doing an overall equipment review. At any time, you can go under the “Equipment Management” tab on HORIZON and click on “Equipment List” and make updates to your equipment within HORIZON as well.

Adding Equipment

Do you have a new group of equipment to add to your account? You can go to the Technical Library and download the Equipment List template. Once you have filled this out, send it to us and we will get everything loaded and updated in our system for you.

Staying on top of your equipment list can help you maximize the benefits of your fluid analysis program and make sure your program as efficient as it can be.

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

Published January 9, 2018

Out With The Old and In With Advanced Coolant Testing

“Out with the old and in with the new.” To help start 2018 new and free of problems – and engine failure – make sure your cooling system is operating correctly with advanced coolant testing.

Prevent Engine Failures

Approximately 50 percent of preventable engine failures can be traced back to problems in the cooling system. Advanced coolant testing can be used not only when trying to detect the root cause of cooling system issues, but can be added to testing anytime to help make sure the cooling system is working correctly before issues arise. With regularly performing advanced coolant testing on the cooling system early, concerns can be addressed before a snowball effect of corrosion, loss of heat transfer and ultimately, engine failure occurs.

Ion Chromatography

Advanced coolant testing will involve Ion Chromatography, or “IC” testing. The IC test detects degradation acids that can form naturally as the glycol breaks down with age or may form due to issues with the cooling system. The IC will also detect contaminates, chloride and sulfate that may have entered the system without you knowing of an issue. Contaminates found by IC testing can form acids and create corrosion to the system rapidly. Once degradation acids form, the glycol will continue to break down, creating more and more acids that can cause severe corrosion of the cooling system components and will lead to engine failures. Two of the most common issues seen on the engine side due to issues with the cooling system include exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) failures and oxidized oil, shortening the life of the oil and increasing wear contamination.

See Trends

Performing advanced coolant testing regularly will also let you see trending results. This will help indicate possible issues such as air leaks, combustion gas leaks, hot spots or even electrical ground issues. With the ability to trend results, an increase in contaminates or degradation acids would indicate an issue or issues are occurring in the system.

For more information, view our Technical Bulletin and reach out to your laboratory to have advanced coolant testing added to your coolant sample.

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

Published January 2, 2018

4 Reasons to Start the New Year Right

2018 is just around the corner, start off on the right foot and re-start your fluid analysis program.

If you aren’t doing fluid analysis, you should be. And you should be doing it with POLARIS Laboratories®.

We provide insights into your maintenance by testing your equipment’s engine oil, hydraulic oil, coolant and diesel fuel. Extend your drain intervals to save money in your maintenance budget by starting fluid analysis program with us. I’ve highlighted four key reasons to start your year off with POLARIS Laboratories®:

  1. Sampling on The Go: The HORIZON® mobile app places the power of the web data management application in the palm of your hand. The app allows you to quickly submit sample data and read reports from mobile devices.
  2. DataConnect: Conveniently have all your data in one system with an automatic import of your HORIZON sample data into your own data system.
  3. Trusted Laboratory: POLARIS Laboratories® is accredited in accordance with the requirements of ISO 17025:2005.
  4. 24-Hour Assistance: Our customer service representatives and data analysts are available 24-hours a day, Monday through Friday to assist you.

Learn more about managing an effective fluid analysis program by partnering with POLARIS Laboratories®.

Ready to get started? Fill out this form and we will contact you.

 

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

Published December 5, 2017