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WHYPULLOILSAMPLES
Oilanalysisisaquickandeasywayto
gaugethehealthofequipmentbylooking
atwhat'sintheoil.Samplingandanalyzing
oilonaregularbasisestablishesabaseline
fornormalwearandcanhelpindicate
whenabnormalwearorcontaminationis
occurring.Inaddition,oilanalysiscan
indicateiftheoilisstillfitforservice.Isan
oilchangereallynecessary?Alotof
moneycanbesavedinextendingoil
changeouts.

Oilthathasbeeninsideanyrotating
equipmentforaperiodoftimereflectsthe
conditionoftheequipment.Becauseoilis
incontactwithinternalcomponents,any
microscopicwearparticlesor
contaminantsfoundinthemachinewill
alsoshowupintheoil.Theseparticlesare
sosmalltheywillremainsuspendedintheoil.

Byidentifyingandmeasuringthese
particulates,yougetanindicationofthe
equipmentwearrateandofanyexcessive
contamination.Usingoilanalysiswill
identifycomponentwear,lubricant
conditionsandoverallcomponent
operatingconditions.
WhyIsOilAnalysisImportant?

Preventequipmentfailure
Selecttestingthatmonitors
equipmenthealthand
identifiespotential
catastrophicconditions
Extendequipmentlife
Selecttestingthatmonitorsoil
contaminationandequipment
wearrates
Extendlubricantlife
Selectteststhatmonitor
lubricantserviceability

Management,operations,
engineering,andfinancial
personnelshouldadoptthe
conceptthat:Maintenance
DoesntCost,ItPays.

AISESteelTechnology
Magazine
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WHYISPROPERSAMPLINGIMPORTANT?
Samplingisthemostimportantpartofany
lubeanalysisprogramandthequalityof
yoursamplesisvitaltothesuccessofyour
program.Allofthesophisticatedoil
analysistools,techniquesanddiagnostic
processesaremeaninglessiftheoil
samplefailstoeffectivelyrepresentthe
actualconditionoftheoilinservice.
PullingARepresentativeSample
Properoilsamplingiscriticaltoan
effectiveoilanalysisprogram.Withouta
representativesample,youroilanalysis
programwillfail.Therearetwoprimary
goalsinobtainingarepresentativeoil
sample.

Thefirstgoalistoensurethatthelocation
youarepullingfromwillberepresentative
oftheoilinthesystem.Thisinformation
relatestosuchcriteriaascleanlinessand
drynessoftheoil,depletionofadditives,
andthepresenceofwearparticlesbeing
generatedbythemachine.

Thesecondgoalistominimize
contamination.Itisimportanttomake
surethatthesampledoesnotbecome
contaminatedduringthesampling
process.Thiscandistortanddisturbthe
data,makingitdifficulttodistinguishwhat
wasoriginallyintheoilfromwhatcame
intotheoilduringthesamplingprocess.

WhyIsItImportantToPullA
RepresentativeSample?

1. Toensurethereisasmuchinformation
permilliliterofoilaspossible.
2. Tominimizecontamination.

Propersamplingproceduresbuildthefoundationofan
effectiveoilanalysisprogram.Withoutgoodsampling
procedures,timeandmoneyarewasted,andincorrect
conclusionsmightbereachedbasedonfaultydata.
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WHATEQUIPMENTTOINCLUDEINSAMPLEPROGRAM
Alltoooften,maintenanceprogramsfocus
onsamplingmoreequipmentratherthan
samplingattheoptimumfrequency.
Whenoptimizingsamplingfrequencies,
thebestwaytostartistodecidewhich
machinesshouldbesampled.Itsbetterto
becommittedonthemostcriticalassets
thantoperformineffectiveoilanalysison
allofthem.

Whenyoustartimplementinganoil
analysisprogram,youneedtodecide
whichequipmentintheplanttosample.
Thiscanbeadauntingtaskbutitcannot
beoverlooked.Supervisorsand
managementneedtotakethetimeto
identifythetargetedequipment,write
detailedprocedures,establishroutes,and
samplingschedules.

Equipmentcriticaltoplantoperations
shouldbeidentifiedfirst.Thisequipment
oftendoesnothaveabackupunitto
replaceitwhenitisnotinservice.In
addition,majorrepairsandoverhaulof
criticalequipmentoftenrequirea
completeplantshutdown,substantial
manpowerandsubsequentlossof
productionactivities.

Criticalequipmentinplantstypicallyhave
thesecommoncharacteristics:
Theyrequireveryhighcapital
investmentandareexpensiveto
maintainandrepair.
Theyareengineeredforlongservice
liveswhenoperatedwithindesign
specificationsandinapredictable
environment.
Manyarequitelargeandaremadeup
ofseveralindividualcomponents.
Downtimeisquiteexpensivesince
productionisusuallyhaltedwhen
unexpectedproblemsorasystem
failureisexperienced.

HowToSelectEquipmentForSampling

Establishcriticality
Whatwillhappenifthisequipmentfails?
Repaircost
Whatwillitcostifthisequipmentfails?
Maintenancehistory
Hasthisequipmentbeenpronetofailure
inthepast?
Safetyconcerns
Willasafetyhazardresultfrom
equipmentfailure?
Currentpractices
Arewespendingtoomuchon
maintainingthisequipment?
Currentperformance
Arewegettingthemostoutofthis
equipment?
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WHATFREQUENCYSHOULDIPULLSAMPLES?
Manypeopleregarddrawingoilsamples
asanastimeallowsactivityandfailto
reapthebenefitsthistechnologyhasto
offer.Itshouldbetakenseriouslyandbe
performedwiththeutmostcareand
diligence.Itisnotenoughtosimplyfilla
bottlewithoilfromthesystem;youmust
performthistaskproperlytoaccurately
trendthedatayoureceivebackfromthelab.

Thereisnouniversalformulafor
determiningoilsamplingfrequency,but
mostexpertsconsidermonthlysampling
tobeoptimumforcriticalmachinery.
However,whenmakingthisdecision,itis
importanttoconsidertheobjectivesof
theoilanalysisprogram.Iftheonly
objectiveistoperformconditionbasedoil
changes,thesamplingfrequencyshould
bedeterminedrelativetothelubricants
expectedservicelife,whichisdefinedby
theOEMrecommendedoilchange
frequencies.

Inmostsituations,thisisnottheonly
objective,oreventhemostimportant
one.Therealvalueofoilanalysisisits
abilitytoserveasaproactivecondition
monitoringtool,allowingforthedetection
andquantificationofparticle
contamination,moisture,foreign
lubricantsorfluidsandassessingoverall
lubricantcondition.

Inadditiontothecriticalityoftheasset,
onemustconsiderhowthemachine
wouldbeeffectedbyanunacceptable
amountofcontaminationandthe
likelihoodofacontaminationorother
abnormalcondition.Ifoilanalysisisused
asapredictiveconditionmonitoringtool,
thebiggestconsiderationisthelikelytime
periodbetweendetectionandfailure.
Obviously,thesamplingfrequencymust
beshorterthanthisperiodtobe
successful.

IdealSamplingFrequency

EquipmentCriticality
ExtremelyCriticalWeekly
CriticalMonthly
NonCriticalQuarterly
EquipmentHistory
Equipmentpronetofailureshouldbe
sampledmoreoften
EquipmentVulnerability
Equipmentwithariskofoil
contaminationshouldbesampledmore
often
Loadvariations,hightemperatures,
operationalfactorsneedtobe
considered
NewOil
Samplebulkoilshipmentsand
equipmentdirectlyafteroilchangeto
ensureproperlubeisinuse.
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LOCATINGIDEALSAMPLEPOINT
Routineoilanalysissometimesrequires
theuseofspecializedhardware
permanentlyinstalledinthemachineor
componentfromwhichanoilsamplecan
beextracted.Itisextremelyimportantto
installthesamplevalveinanideal
location.

Thebestlocationforextractinganoil
samplefromasumporreservoirisas
closetothereturnline,gearset,or
bearingaspossible.Youalsoneedtomake
surethereisenoughroomsurrounding
theterminationpointofthehardwareyou
havechosentouse.Maintaininga
distanceoftwoinchesfromanystaticor
dynamicsurfacewithinthecomponent
putsyouontherightpathtoaquality
sample.Hardwarethatextendstoofar
intothemachineriskscontactingmachine
surfacesandcausingdamage.
Hardwarethatterminatesonorcloseto
thesurfaceofthemachineorcomponent
riskscollectingcontaminantsthatcan
skewthedataandresultinunreliable
analysis.

PointstoRemember:

Sampleshouldbegoodrepresentation
oftheoilinthesystem
Samplinglocationandmethodmustbe
consistent
Neversampleonadeadleg
Takesampleswhileequipmentisrunning
Yoursamplelocationshouldlenditself
toacleansample
Asamplinglocationshouldbeidentifiedtoallowfortroublefree,
repetitiveandrepresentativesamplingofthehealthoftheequipment
andthehealthofthelubricant.Thissamplingmethodshouldallowthe
equipmenttobetestedunderitstypicaloperatingconditionwhile
maintainingasafesamplingmethodforthetechnician.
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WHOSHOULDPULLTHESAMPLES
Establishingeffective,userfriendlyoil
samplingprocedureshelpstobuildanoil
analysisprogramthatcreatesvalue
throughbettermaintenancedecisions.
Oneaspectofareputable,selfsufficient
oilanalysisprogramthatisoften
overlookedistraining.Thepersontaking
thesampleisjustasimportantasthe
personinterpretingtheresults,but
insufficienttrainingoftenleadstothe
sampletakerbeingtheweakestlinkinthe
predictivemaintenancechain.

Trainedtechniciansthatunderstandhow
importantqualityoilsamplingprocedures
arewillbekeyinmaintainingaprogram.
Oilanalysisisascience,andthetestsare
onlyasaccurateasthesampletheyare
performedon.Improperoilsamplingcan
leadtoafalsepositive,whichresultsin
shuttingdownequipmentunnecessarily.
Evenworse,itcanleadtoafalsenegative,
whichcanleadtoanunidentified
equipmentfailure.

Thereareseveralcompaniesthatoffer
excellenttraininginlubrication
fundamentalsandpracticesandmostwill
bewillingtocometoyoursiteifyouhave
enoughpeopletofillaclass.Donotforget
toincludesupervisorsandmanagers.They
needtobeonboardandbeawareofwhat
isrequiredandthebenefitsthatcanbe
achievedbyimplementinganoilanalysis
program.

Oilanalysisisaneverchanging
technologyandtoreapitsbenefits,one
mustcontinuallyreceivequalitytraining.
Trainingoptionsmayinclude:

Classesand/orcertifications
Tradeshowsandconferencesare
anotherwaytohelppersonnelstayon
topofrecentadvancesintheirfield
Departmentbudgetshouldreflectthese
educationalopportunitiesfromyearto
year.

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HOWWILLSAMPLESBECOLLECTED
Thewayasampleiscollected,the
accessoriesusedandproceduresfollowed
dictatehowinformativetheoilsamplewill
beandhowbeneficialtheanalysiswillbe.
Thatiswhyitisofgreatimportancethat
thesamplebetakencorrectly.Iftheoil
sampletakenisnotrepresentativeofthe
oilinthemachinethentheresultsofthe
oilsamplewillnotaccuratelyreflectthe
conditionofthatcomponent.Theresult
willbeanincorrectdiagnosisbasedon
incorrectanalysisbecauseofapoorly
takensample.
Whichsamplingmethodisbest?
Thatreallydependsonthesystembeing
sampled.Forgearboxesandotherbath
lubricatedsystems,aminimesstype
samplingvalvewithapitottubeisthe
usuallythebestoption.Thisapparatus
usesafixedtubewhichcanbecutto
lengthandpositionedinadesirable
locationinthesump.Thisissimilartothe
droptubemethodbutiteliminatesthe
mostcommonproblemsassociatedwith
droptubesamplingwhichareinconsistent
placementofthesamplingtubing,the
excessivesamplingpathwayvolume,and
overalldifficultyortimerequirementto
collectthesample.Theuseofaminimess
andpitottubeminimizesthesampling
pathwayandensuresaconsistent
extractionpoint.

Droptubesamplingreferstotheuseofa
flexibletubewhichisinsertedintothe
sumpbyhand.Thismethodmayproduce
validresults,buttodosoyoumustbe
verycarefulandyoumustbeawareofthe
potentialproblems.Whiletheminimessis
certainlythepreferredmethod,droptube
samplingisanacceptablealternative.
Mostothersamplingmethods,suchas
drainportsampling,willnotyielduseful
resultsandshouldbeeliminatedfrom
yoursamplingprogram.

Forhydraulicsystemstheprimarysample
pointshouldbeonapressurizedportion
ofthesystemupstreamofsystemfilters.
Allpressurizedsystemsoffereasy,
consistentsamplingiftheyareproperly
fittedwithsamplinghardware.Thesame
Iftheoilsampletakenisnotrepresentativeoftheoilinthe
machinethentheresultsoftheoilsamplewillnot
accuratelyreflecttheconditionofthatcomponent.
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typeofminimesssamplingportcanbe
utilizedalthoughnopitotisrequired,and
ifthesamplebottlecapisventedthereis
noneedforavacuumpump.

Toaddresssafetyconcerns,itisdesirable
tousealowpressureportionofthe
systemsuchasthepumpcasedrainora
bypasscircuit.Theselocationsoffereasy
sampling,safepressures,andconsistent
dataaboutthepumpsandthefluid
cleanliness.
Forothercirculatingsystemsitis
reasonabletosamplefromthepressurized
portionofthesystem(afterthepumpand
beforethefilter),butitmaybebetterto
samplefromreturnlines.Bysampling
fromthereturnline,youcangethighly
concentratedweardebrisinformation
makingtheoilanalysisaverysensitive
predictiveconditionmonitoringtool.

Whatistheproperprocedureforeach
method?

Fordroptubesamplingtherearequitea
fewcommonmistakes,butawellthought
outanddocumentedprocedurewill
ensurethebestresults.Alwaysuseanew
pieceofsampletubing.Inanysampling
procedure,alwaysbeginbyflushingthe
samplingpathwaywithapproximately3
timesthevolumeofthepathway.

Techniciansoftenchoosetousea
dedicatedwasteoilbottleforflushingthat
islargerthanthesamplecollection
containerssotheycantypicallycomplete
asamplingroutewithouthavingtoempty
thewastebottle.Theproperlengthof
tubingshouldbepredeterminedsothat
youcaneffectivelyinsertthetubeendin
themiddleofthereservoirwithout
touchinganything.Ingeneral,thetube
endshouldbeatleasttwoinchesfromthe
bottomofthesump,twoinchesfromthe
Samplesshouldbetakenfromturbulentorlivezones
withintheoilsystem.Pullingasamplefromthedrainvalveis
notanaccuraterepresentationoftheconditionofthe
machine.Wearparticles,contaminantsandwatersettleto
thebottomofthesump,thusmakingthissamplefullof
historicaldataanddifficulttotrendasyoucontinueto
samplefromthislocation.
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sides,twoinchesbelowtheoillevelandat
leasttwoinchesfromanymovingparts.
Thiscanbedifficulttoaccomplishwithout
threehands,butifyouuseaone
handedpumpitiseasier.

Forsamplingfrompressurizedsystems,
theextractionissimplerbecausea
vacuumpumpisnotrequired,andif
tubingisnecessary,onlyashortlength
needbeused.Ifthesampleistobe
obtainedfromahighpressurelocationin
thesystem,additionalstepssuchasthe
useofapressureregulatormaybe
requiredforsafety.
Aswiththedroptubemethod,beginby
flushingthesamplevalveandtubingwith
3timesthepathwayvolumetoawasteoil
containerbeforecollectingthesampleto
beanalyzed.Anotherhardware
requirementforpressurizedsamplingisa
ventedsamplebottlecap.Ifsuchacapis
notavailable,youcanattachthesample
bottletoastandardvacuumpumpto
allowthebottletovent.

Whilethereareseveralacceptable
samplingmethodsforeachmachine,there
isusuallyonebestway.Thebestsampling
methodswilltypicallyrequiresomework
upfrontinthatyouwillusuallyhaveto
installsamplinghardware,buttheend
resultwillbewellworthit.Usingfixed
hardwareinstalledinthecorrectlocation,
willprovideconsistent,validdatawith
whichyoucanmakegooddecisionsabout
machineandlubricantcondition.Withthe
samplelocationselectedandtheproper
hardwareinstalled,allthatisleftisto
documentadetailed,stepwiseprocedure
thatwillensurethesamplewillbetaken
correctlynomatterwhotakesit.

Thebestsamplingmethodswilltypicallyrequiresome
workupfrontinthatyouwillusuallyhavetoinstall
samplinghardware,buttheendresultwillbewellworthit.

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IDEALSAMPLEPOINTSBYEQUIPMENT
TOP5SAMPLEPOINTSFORGEARBOXES
Gearboxes
Breather/
Fill Cap
Dipstick
Tube
Inspection
Cover
Drain
Sight
Glass
2
4
5
3
Sample
Valve
1
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IDEALSAMPLEPOINTSBYEQUIPMENT
TOP3SAMPLEPOINTSFORBEARINGS
Bearings
Breather/
Fill Cap
Drain
Sight
Glass
2
3
1
Sample
Valve
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IDEALSAMPLEPOINTSBYEQUIPMENT
Top4SamplePointsforReservoirs
Reservoirs
Breather
Drain Sight
Glass
Sample
Valve
Hatch
1
2
3
4
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IDEALSAMPLEPOINTSBYEQUIPMENTUSINGASAMPLETUBE
How To Use Tubing Sampling
Sample
Tubing
Clean
Rod
Measured
Depth
Clean
Weight
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HowToSample
SamplePumpMethod
Cutnewsampletubetodesiredlength
o Sampletubelengthshouldbethesameeachtime
sampled,considerrecordinglengthforeachcomponent
Insertsampletubeintosilverdiskontopofpumpsothatthe
tubeprotrudesfrombottomofpumpapproximatelyinch
Tightensilverdisktosecuretubing
Removesamplebottlecapandsecurethebottletothesample
pump
Insertsampletubeintodesiredsamplelocationsothattipof
tubingisinthemiddlephaseoftheoil
Pullavacuumonthepumpbypullingthepumphandle1to3
times
Allowthesamplebottletofill(youwillnotneedtocontinueto
pullhandletomaintainsampleflow)
Holdpumpuprightwhiletakingsample
Whenthesamplebottleisfull,loosenthesamplebottleto
releasethevacuumandstopthesampleflow
Removethesamplebottleandrecapthesampleimmediately
Removetheusedsampletubingfromthepumpanddiscardand
donotreuse
Wipethesamplepumpwithacleanclothtoremoveanyoil
DrainValve/BallValveMethod
Openvalveandallowoiltoflowuntilanywaterorsedimentis
flushedfromthevalveandpureoilbeginstoflow
Removecapfromsamplebottleandfillbottletocapacity
Replacecapimmediately
Closevalveandreplacecaporplug
WhenToSample
Whileequipmentisatfulloperatingtemperatures
Duringoperationifpossible
Directlyaftershutdown
WhereToSample
Sampleshouldbegoodrepresentation
oftheoilinthesystem
Samplinglocationandmethodmustbeconsistent
Neversampleonadeadleg
Takesampleswhileequipmentisrunning
Yoursamplelocationshouldlenditself
toacleansample
ShippingSamplestotheLab
Wipesamplebottlestoremoveresidualoil
Fillindateandanyoilchangeinformationonpreprinted
samplelabels
Affixlabeltobottleandplaceinsamplemailerorsturdybox
Shiptolabusingpreferredcarrier

SAMPLINGPROCEDURES
CHE C K L I S T
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ABOUTTESTOIL
TESTOILisafullserviceoiltestinglaboratoryownedbyInsight
Services.Since1988thelaboratoryhasbeenprovidingfast
andreliableoilanalysisresultsacrossallindustriesthroughout
theAmericas.
Thefirmscomprehensiverangeofoilanalysisservicesassists
reliabilityengineerswithconditionmonitoringand
identificationofmachinewear.
TESTOILemploysasophisticateddiagnostictechnologythat
assiststheirMachineConditionAnalystsinmakingequipment
andlubricationconditionassessments.
Fix The Weak Link Today!
SamplingBestPractices
Alertproductionthatyouareinthearea
Wearrubbergloves&otherpropersafetyattire
Keepallsamplepointscappeduntilreadytouse
Flushasamplepointbeforesampling
Cleanasamplepointbeforesampling
Nevercloseavalveinthemiddleofasample
Alwaysusecleantubingforeachsample
Useapropersamplebottle
Capsamplebottleimmediately
Makesurebottlecapsaretight
Properlylabelasamplebottle
Shipsamplesthesamedaytheyarecollected