Q1. If vibration analysis is carried out on industrial gearboxes, does analysis still need to be carried out?
A1. Yes, the two forms of analysis complement each other. Oil analysis will detect contamination before vibration monitoring detects contamination-related wear, and analytical ferrography can detect abnormal bearing and gear wear in the very early stages.
Q2. What is the importance of in-depth testing, for example filter or ferrography analysis?
A2. Ferrography accurately pinpoints problems that have been highlighted by oil analysis. Because it is an in-depth examination of particles generated from the problem area, it enables diagnosticians to identify the wear mechanism and its severity and make the decision whether to dismantle or not. Oil filter analysis can also highlight any abnormal wear.
Q3. I've been studying wear metal for years, I can tell if there is abnormal wear by cutting the filter. Why do I need to measure the metal in oil?
A3. Oil analysis can predict abnormalities before they become a major problem. Metal that can be seen and felt is the result of progressive damage in the well-advanced stages. Considering that human hair is about 40 microns thick, it is clear that if the wear particle is visible to the naked eye, substantial damage has already been caused.
Q4. How can I be proactive in my maintenance practices?
A4. Do you know that oil tells a story and provides a working history of your engine? With oil analysis, you can get a look inside your engine and get the story without taking the engine apart. Be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to protecting your investment.
Q5. Can oil analysis predict engine failure?
A5. Yes. Oil analysis provides vital information as to the condition of both the oil and the engine being tested. It can detect wear and contamination problems that, if left unchecked, can severely effect engine performance or cause failure.
Q6. What causes oil pressure to drop?
A6. During normal vehicle operation, oil is vital to ensure leak tightness between the combustion chamber and the crankcase. The oil pressure indicator shows how well this is being done. An unusual drop in oil pressure can result from either lower engine oil viscosity due to dilution by fuel (injector problem or use at low load); too little oil in the lubrication system (due to an oil leak, excess oil consumption or failure of the oil circulation pump); or even mechanical wear.