OEMs propose certain oil change intervals based on testing conducted during the development or certification of equipment or lubricant. If your analysis tool suggests that the oil should be changed at intervals other than those recommended by the OEM, there are a few questions to ask to figure out why.
Are the compressors functioning at the OEM-specified operating conditions (discharge pressure, flow rate, etc.) and environmental conditions (ambient temperature, ambient moisture, etc.)? If not, do the lubricant's specs and claims match those of the recommended lubricant?
Is there any risk of cross-contamination from lubricant top-ups, old oil residue, or varnish? If not, you'll need to do a root cause analysis to figure out what's causing the issue.
Why should oil change intervals be extended?
Changing your oil can be inconvenient, and doing it frequently might be inefficient for your pocketbook. You'll make fewer journeys to the service shop if you increase the intervals between oil changes. You'll save money on the cost of oil and labor for the oil change if you make fewer journeys to get your car serviced.
Furthermore, oil is a non-renewable resource, which means that it will be deleted at some point in the future. You'll help save oil as a resource and minimize your machines' carbon emissions by changing your oil less frequently. Oil change intervals that are longer might benefit both you and your automobile.
There are several hidden costs associated with an oil and filter change, which have prompted organizations to seek a more effective method of keeping oil fresh and dependable.
Filter adjustments may be approached in the same way. An oil change's real cost is determined by the following factors:
- Production downtime
- Workforce management and supervision
- Costs of storage and handling, as well as buying and quality control, are all factors to consider
If something isn't broken, don't try to fix it. Usually, a lubricant can be used for lengthy periods of time without being drained and refilled. Draining oil and replacing lubricants in a system might result in dangers such as:
- The use of the incorrect oil
- Contaminants or tainted oil are introduced.
- Contaminants that have collected in the tank/sump floors and inactive zones are re-suspended.
- Failures of human agencies
When considering the true cost and danger of an oil change, it's best to allow the oil's condition to guide your decision.
Lubrication of moving sections of a piece of equipment is required to reduce friction and metal-to-metal contact. The choice of lubricating oil for a certain machine is influenced by a number of parameters, including the following:
- Machine type
- Oil viscosity
- Volume of water
- Flash Point
- Total number of foundations
- The oil's purity
Even if centrifuge purification is used to clean it, the lubricating oil of the entire lubricating system should be replaced at regular intervals. Some add additives or develop techniques to retain the qualities of the lubricating oil to minimize the number of oil change intervals. This allows them to postpone the oil replacement date as long as possible, but replacement is unavoidable at some time.
Identifying and defining your motivation
Oil drain extensions appear to save money on the surface. However, money isn't always king, especially for contractors that value uptime. Cutting back from five to three oil changes a year over a four-year period saves money and makes you appear like a hero. An oil drain optimization program may assist owners to figure out which pieces of equipment are working the most effective and which sorts of equipment they should acquire the next year.
Large Sump Filtration and the Impact on Oil Quality
A larger sump reduces the risk of thermal issues which occurs when the temperature increases and the oil becomes ineffective. Engines with the largest sumps have the longest oil drain intervals. Every engine, regardless of make or model, is capable of achieving maximum fuel and oil economy. It's up to you to inspect and maintain your engine to ensure it runs at peak efficiency.
Keeping track of the lubricant's remaining useful life
Not all in-service lubricants have a well-defined wear rate or mean time between failure (MTBF). Variable lubricant quality, shifting contaminant ingression rates, application-dependent duty cycle, seasonal ambient conditions, and other driving factors of deterioration all contribute to this unpredictability. Many lubricants would be changed when the remaining usable life is greater than 50% of the new oil if an interval-based oil change criterion was employed with a suitable safety margin.
Lubricant Life Factors in Service
Lubricants and filters can be reduced in life due to a variety of operating situations. Proactive maintenance solutions, when used appropriately, may double or treble the life of lubricants. This is accomplished by lowering the stress on the oil and filter.
The following elements affect the lubricant's life:
- High Fuel Consumption
- Coolant Leaks
- Fuel Dilution and Fuel Quality
- Air Cleaners
- Running Conditions
- Oil Level
- Water Contamination
- Sludge and Varnish
- Makeup Rate
- Lubricant Quality
Creating Longer Oil Drain Intervals
To achieve longer oil drain intervals, follow these steps:
- Create a profile for your fleet.
- Calculate the ideal oil drain intervals and the possible cost reductions associated with them.
- Determine the level of risk associated with the recommended oil drain intervals.
- Create a test plan for a small portion of your equipment to see if the projected oil drain intervals are adequate.
- After testing, use the optimum oil drain interval.
Equipment, service severity, operating circumstances, and maintenance routines are all described in fleet profiles. Engine oil contamination varies depending on the engine model. In various equipment, the same engine may have a varied oil capacity. Fuel and oil consumption rates change depending on the kind of equipment and the severity of the service.
To appropriately estimate oil drain intervals, the capability of the oil and the engines must be considered. According to studies, a liter of fleet oil can neutralize and suspend the contaminants produced by burning 300 liters of fuel. The pollution produced by burning 500 liters of gasoline may be neutralized and suspended using high-quality premium oils.
Analyzing the Oil Analysis Reports When Deciding to Change Oil
Following the completion of an analysis, it is critical to evaluate the report and interpret the results. You can decide whether action is required based on the report. Although the report may not always specify particular issues, it does serve as a starting point for further investigation.
Each test should be labeled properly. The data is often structured in a spreadsheet-style, with numbers denoting test findings. The first thing you should do when looking at your reports is double-checked that they are truly your reports. Make sure your name, lubricant type, machine maker, and machine type are all included in the report.
Your machine's, and lubricant's conditions should also be clearly stated in the report. A rating system in the laboratory should alert you to normal, marginal, and critical levels. In addition, comments from the analyst who analyzed your data should be included in the report. These remarks will assist you in determining the severity of the situation and recommending a plan of action.
CRE MachineDiagnostic™ Program
When determining the right time to sweeten or change oil, you need to have a complete picture that shows the current condition of your machine and lubricant. Oil analysis is one of the condition-based monitoring technologies you can employ that can give you answers on the right time to change, sweeten, or filter your oil. Lengthen the life of your asset and lubricant using CRE MachineDiagnostics™ Program. CRE MachineDiagnostics™ Program has oil condition, contamination, and wear condition. Talk to our consultants to know how to establish your program.