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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

Advancing Fluid Analysis with Data

Recently, POLARIS Laboratories® changed how we apply flagging limits to our particle quantifier (PQ) test results. Changes to flagging limits happen fairly regularly as we get new information and reach new data accumulation milestones. The change to the PQ is noteworthy for several reasons, but first let me explain a little more about the test.

PQ is a relatively new test in the oil analysis industry, so there isn’t a lot of historical data to examine. Also, unlike most other oil analysis tests, the results are an “index” with no unit of measurement (like microns or millimeters). Flagging limits are set on the index, and our data analysts compare the test results to the flagging limits to determine severity level and maintenance recommendations.

Until now, the flagging limits were limited to the type of component, like engine or differential. The size, configuration or application was not considered because there wasn’t enough historical data to affect the maintenance recommendations.

After offering PQ testing for several years, we have accumulated enough data to go beyond component type and make maintenance recommendations based on component manufacturer and model, like we do with the majority of our other tests. As you can imagine, contamination does not affect equipment made by different OEMs the same way, so being able to flag PQ by manufacturer and model is expected to improve the accuracy of our maintenance recommendations.

We’re proud of our flagging limits because of the time and effort that goes into this kind of data-driven analysis helps our customers identify wear early, safely extend fluid drains and save money. If you have any questions about PQ or our new flagging limits, please don’t hesitate to call (317.808.3750) or email.

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

Published April 23, 2015

Know Your Sample in a 360 View

Two weeks ago, I spent a week in San Francisco with nearly 150,000 marketing professionals at the annual Dreamforce Conference hosted by Salesforce, the world’s leading customer relationship management company. The themes from their sessions were engaging and consistent almost to a fault.

Know Your Customer. Test, Adjust and Learn. Optimize Performance. The Journey Is the Reward.

At one point, I had to step back and do a double-take on the Dreamforce app to be sure I was not attending an oil analysis conference. The parallels surfaced in nearly every presentation. In the new information age, industries – and companies – everywhere strive to capture compelling and reliable information and recommendations to improve their business.

In the oil analysis industry, this is more critical than ever. After all, 2015 starts now. Companies that are diligent in scheduling predictive maintenance to be proactive and remain productive are the same companies that will race past the competition after New Year’s Day. Do you want to explain to your manager in January why you’re starting off the new year with downtime ruling the day and service objectives off-target simply because of equipment failure? What’s more, leaving your customers under-serviced and underwhelmed will simply encourage them to consider alternative solutions going forward.

Wouldn’t it be more effective for you – and your company – if you knew the operating condition of your equipment before it was too late? When companies routinely conduct analysis on their equipment and consistently take action on the results and recommendations, they are able to reap the benefits of their oil analysis program. Be proactive, and you know what your equipment needs and when. In short, you have replaced preventive maintenance with predictive maintenance. This drives change – and keeps your customers informed and happy, too.

How do you want to kick-off 2015? Certainly with uptime ruling the day. A 360-view of your equipment can help extend the lifecycle of your equipment, maximize operational performance and increase uptime. These savings are real and when you look in the rear-view mirror, you’ll find some loyal and committed customers too.

From experience, I know 150,000 marketing professionals are not waiting until next year to deploy new strategies and ideas after their motivating experience at Dreamforce. So, don’t wait for 2015 to change how you manage your oil analysis program. Start today. Download our groundbreaking Taking Action! Fluid Analysis Assessment workbook and determine where and how you can take your program to the next level.

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

Published October 28, 2014

How We Set Flagging Limits

In the Data Analysis department, one of our key responsibilities is to answer any questions customers have about fluid analysis. A lot of our calls are about what results mean. Does the fluid need to be changed? What could be causing that strange noise? We also get questions asking for testing recommendations for a specific application or issue being seen. However, the hardest questions to answer are about our flagging limits. The only easy answer for these questions is: “It’s complicated…”

Our process for defining flagging limits is actually something that we are quite proud of. It can be difficult to provide our limits because they are very dynamic and specific to the information provided about the equipment, fluid, and application. For example, one engine in your fleet may have different flagging limits than another because our limits are customized based on the specific equipment manufacturers and models. Limits are also affected by the rate of change from prior samples. Individual severities may change based on other results that are flagged. These are just a few scenarios that affect limits, but I think you can begin to understand some of the complexities surrounding our limits.

We’d like to clear up some of the confusion by publishing a series of articles to address the more common questions surrounding flagging and alarm limits. What aspects of your report flagging have you been curious about? Post your questions in the comments section of this blog so we have an opportunity to reply and use your questions to guide the topics of our articles.

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