SOS Samples Just got better
we’ve changed labs, here’s what you need to know
Here are a few best practices to make sure you are getting the best performance from your machine:
- Sample at every scheduled PM interval whether fluid is drained or not. Sampling only at the drain intervals of fluids and lubricants with extended operating lives will not provide adequate data points. More frequent data is required to establish a reliable operating trend.
- Target PM completion (sampling) within +/- 5% of the PM schedule. Consistent preventive maintenance and sampling activities performed within a reasonable margin of error allows the analyst to compare like-samples within the historical trend.
- Sample at every drain, ie, standard PM, shorted drain interval or component change out. This helps to document maintenance and repair activities in addition to establishing a chronology for any future reference that may become necessary.
- Practice consistent sampling procedures. Samples that are pulled in the same way every time afford the benefit of consistency and repeatability. For example, if the component is equipped with a sampling port, use it every time. If a vacuum gun is required, use it every time (as opposed to the drain stream method).
- Use more comprehensive test packages for higher criticality. Basic lab analysis covers 90% + of the fluids analysis needs. However, in situations of mission-critical applications or elevated operational concerns more comprehensive testing can bring forth a higher value with a wider range of test capability.
- Perform field inspection for visible debris. Outside-sourced visible debris robs the sample of a significant portion of the intended value of the sampling program. Validating the source of contaminate (outside vs. inside) will allow proper corrective measures to be implemented.
- Utilize coolant analysis, submitting Level 2 Coolant samples every 1000 hours. Cooling systems are one of the most often-neglected aspects of equipment management. Utilizing coolant analysis by sampling cooling systems at every PM interval (using Level 2 every 1000 hours) will bring maximum value to the fluids analysis program.
- Periodically provide lab with a current list of equipment being sampled. Database integrity is of paramount importance in order to minimize any possible confusion. Accurate records not only include a list of the current equipment but also include make, model and serial numbers of the equipment.
- Periodically submit samples of new oil to establish baseline references. Establishing baseline testing references for the additive package, viscosity and oxidation allow the analyst to more accurately identify oil transfer, improper lubricant and oil degradation.
- Pull bottom and mid-point samples from bulk fuel tanks. Fuel tanks nearly always contain a certain amount of bottom sediment and water. Bottom samples allow the visual monitoring of filter-plugging sediment while mid-point samples (typically without visible debris and/or free water) allow the quality of the fuel to be more accurately monitored.
- If you have a specific concern please note it when submitting your oil sample.