Bhaskarudu Peddakotla

Bhaskarudu Peddakotla, Consultant – Construction and Mining Machinery, suggests that machine owners should implement condition monitoring and thereby become self-reliant in maintaining their assets and enhancing their operational/productive life.

Oil sampling in machines involves testing the oil from various compartments such as the engine, transmission, hydraulics, differential and final drives, swing devices, etc. at regular intervals to find out wear metals, contaminants, and physical properties.

Oil sampling is necessary to get the maximum life from the machine with consistent availability and healthy utilization, so that its overall operating cost will be under control. There is scope to extend oil change intervals, particularly hydraulic and gear oils, without affecting the life of the components.

Operating cost mainly depends upon asset utilization and productivity. Utilization can be healthy only when the machine is available consistently, which, in turn, is possible only when we undertake a thorough monitoring of the machine, which includes oil sampling.

Oil sampling for maintaining consistent machine availability
Oil sampling in a machine is much like the health check-up one takes to help prevent the onset of any major health issue. Similarly, lube oil sampling at regular intervals will help us know the condition of major assemblies like engine, torque convertor, transmission, hydraulics, differential, final drives, steering system, etc. In case of any problem, it can be addressed right away and thereby prevent the machine from a major failure.

Furthermore, through oil sampling, we can improve the operational and maintenance practices by fine tuning operator skills, preventing dust entry inside the components, maintaining oil storage and transfer system cleanly, and doing oil and filter changes as per the schedule. All these actions help maintain machine’s availability.

Bhaskarudu Peddakotla

Tests carried on oil during sampling
Oil analysis and tests depend on the various compartments of the machine such as the Engine, Transmission, Differential, Final Drive, Swing Device, etc. Some of the oil analysis tests are as follows:

Viscosity: It is necessary to maintain the required oil film thickness between moving components. It is important that the viscosity be measured at 100 degree Celsius, as working temperature of most of the oils will be around 100 degree Celsius. There is no use of measuring viscosity at room temperature.

Viscosity Index: This is the change of viscosity relative to change in temperature. But as long the viscosity at 100 degree Celsius is monitored, the Viscosity Index doesn’t carry much significance in used oils.

Oxidation: This normally happens with age, high temperature, water entry, etc. Oxidation leads to increase in viscosity (oil is unable to flow in narrow places of moving parts), depleting additives due to acid formation, etc.

Soot: Soot formation happens in the engine oil due to incomplete burning of fuel. Excess soot formation leads to rapid wear of engine parts.

Sulfation: This happens mainly in the engine oil due to excess sulphur in the fuel, and due to fuel particles mixing with water during combustion (improper functioning injector, poor compression pressure etc). Even though engine oils contain neutralizing agents, exceeding of sulfation beyond a certain limit causes corrosion of internal parts.

Other chemical parameters: TAN, TBN, ZDDP (additive depletion)
Fuel Dilution: Due to fuel dilution in engine oil, the viscosity drops, and oil cannot maintain the required film thickness between moving parts which leads to direct contact between parts, resulting in rapid wear,

Coolant: Coolant is mixed with oil due to cylinder head cracks, head gasket failure, cooler internal leakage etc. Coolant contamination leads to sludge formation and faster wear. Coolant can mix with other oils where the cooler or heat exchanger is provided in the system.

Water: Water dilution occurs due to condensation, pressure washing, etc. If water mixes with any oil, it leads to corrosion.

Silica: Silica normally enters due to poor intake piping, improper seating of air filter elements, loose/missing caps, poor maintenance of oil storage and oil transfer system. If silica mixes with any oil, it will lead to rapid wear of the components.

Wear Metals: The presence of metals like copper, iron, chromium, aluminium, lead, tin, manganese, nickel etc., can be traced in used oil. Excessive finding of any metal or combination of metals will give a clue to trouble in the component(s).

In addition to the above tests, other tests like particle count, patch microscope test, etc., are also carried out. Experts in the field and machine manufacturers can guide customers with the proper solutions as per their machine types.
Benefits of oil sampling
  • Consistency in machine availability
  • Healthy utilization
  • Longer machine life
  • Lower operating cost
  • Higher productivity
  • Better resale value
Saving on lubricants cost
It is proved that regular monitoring of hydraulic oils and final drive oils, the change interval can be extended to the extent of 200% of the standard recommendation. Normally, oil cost accounts for 5 to 6% of the machine’s total operating cost (excluding fuel but including all repairs and overhauls). So, any additional life obtained beyond the standard recommended period is a saving for the owner, and that too without affecting the machine’s life.

There are many incidences of saving engines, transmissions, differentials, final drives, and hydraulic components by identifying wear metal and contaminants at the initial stage and preventing major failures. The cost incurred for oil testing will be much less than the amount spent on account of premature and sudden breakdowns. Sudden, unexpected breakdowns can adversely affect the entire production chain, and sometimes, the situation may even demand engaging a rental machine to meet production target, which would increase costs for the machine owner.

Value-added services by service providers & equipment manufacturers
To get the real benefit, oil sampling has to be looked at as a preventive maintenance activity and should be done at regular intervals. Inconsistency and improper sample collection, delay in testing and report submission, and ignorance or delay in acting on abnormal findings, will not only dilute the purpose of this condition monitoring activity, but will also waste the time and money spent. Further, any oil sampling test done post breakdown of the machine will be considered as a part of the post-mortem.

It is the moral responsibility of the service provider to support and guide the customer for effective implementation of condition monitoring that includes oil sampling and analysis. Their services should include the following:
  • Educating customer maintenance team on each and every process from sample collection and report analysis, to troubleshooting and fixing the issue identified.
  • Ensuring that sampling is done at regular intervals, as decided mutually.
  • Interpretation of oil sample report and advise for proper troubleshooting and fixing the identified problem, if any.
  • Undertaking testing and providing the report in the shortest time possible (preferably within a week of sample collection), as delay in the sampling report can aggravate the problem, since the machine will be in running condition and the purpose of oil sampling will be lost.
  • Supporting customer in extending oil change intervals through regular monitoring as this will help in minimizing maintenance cost.
  • Training operators to fine tune their operating skills.
200,000 Hydrogen Engine Vehicles to be Sold in 2035
The engine technology in H2 ICE vehicles is similar to diesel engines, enabling use of existing knowledge, design and production machineries, and the vehicles can deliver high power, work with impure fuel, work in dusty conditions, and refuel

Read more ...

Wirtgen Group making sustainable road construction tangible
‘The Future in Roadbuilding – Smart. Safe. Sustainable’. This was the motto of the joint appearance by the Wirtgen Group and John Deere at Bauma 2022. With more than 97 exhibits – including 37 world premieres – and dedicated exhibition spaces

Read more ...

Alltech presents asphalt plant UNIBLACK; unveils paver Unisurface
Alltech, one of India’s leading manufacturers and exporters of road and civil construction machinery, offers cost-efficient products which are transported worldwide. Its powerful UNIBLACK plants of 80 to 240 TPH guarantee optimum quality

Read more ...

Wacker Neuson Group highlights zero emission, digitization, innovation
The Wacker Neuson Group presented its zero emission offerings which included a number of machines and services such as special zero emission financing and solutions in the field of charging infrastructure. “With our zero-emission

Read more ...

Apollo Inffratech JV with Parker Plant to Offer Power Packed Asphalt Batch Plants
Apollo Inffratech – India’s fastest growing construction equipment manufacturer- has recently incorporated a JV company called Parker Plant India Private Limited, which will manufacture various Parker equipment starting with Asphalt Batch Plants of all

Read more ...

The Making of Intelligent Compactors
With competition set to heat up in the compactor market, a customer’s choice of brand is likely to be determined by the innovative features, design, and technologies like telematics being offered by the OEM – features that increase fuel efficiency

Read more ...

The Wirtgen Group at Bauma: The Future in Roadbuilding – Smart. Safe. Sustainable.
In Munich, the Wirtgen Group presented sustainable and pioneering solutions for the road construction industry and demonstrated its outstanding powers of innovation. The industry’s trendsetting technology leader, and second-largest exhibitor

Read more ...

Dynapac Launches Light Compaction Range
Dynapac heavy-duty compaction machines are being used for infrastructure development across the globe by infra companies, contractors, civil engineers, and road construction project managers

Read more ...

Volvo: Introducing Biodiesel Compatible Machines
All our machines are Biodiesel compatible andsssss shifting to biodiesel helps you save 20% in the cost. The bigger machines can use B20, while the smaller ones like compactors can use B7. For machines with B20, the service intervals for the engine will be reduced

Read more ...

CASE construction expands range with new backhoe loaders, soil vibratory compactors, excavators, and motor graders
CASE Construction has introduced a series of new products like the 770 NXe 49.5hp, the 770 EX Plus, & 851 FX CP backhoe loaders, the 1107EX Soil Vibratory Compactor, the CX220C LC-HD Excavator, and the 845C Motor Grader. Says Puneet Kumar Vidyarthi

Read more ...

Vibrant introduces 180 tph plant for road construction
VIBRANT introduced 180TPH Hot Mix Asphalt Batching Plant in EXCON, which has received good response. As NHAI has made stringent the commissioning of large stretches of Roads on a timely basis, the scope for Larger Capacity plants are seeing

Read more ...

SDLG develops new range of wheel loaders and motor graders to deliver higher productivity
SDLG is offering a new range of wheel loaders and motor graders such as the L Series, 7-tons L975F wheel loader, and the 5-ton L958H wheel loader. Says Surat Mehta, Head of SDLG Business in India, “We are offering the 7-ton wheel loader to meet demand

Read more ...

Wacker Neuson launches Large Plates for Heavy-Duty Applications
Wacker Neuson’s range of medium and large reversible plate compactors have built-in Compatec, Remote Control, and multi-direction functions. The Plate Compactor models DPU4545Hech, DPU6555Hech, and DPU80r are not only powerful for doing faster compaction

Read more ...

Hamm HC Series: Advanced Engine Technology and Best Compaction for Earthworks
Since August 2021, Hamm has supplied new compactor models from the HC series to the Indian market. The machines, weighing 11t, are available with or without a drum drive. All machines fulfil the requirements of the CEV Stage IV. At 90 kW (121 HP)

Read more ...

Dynapac Machines Reconstruct Runway of Shah Amanat International Airport at Chattogram, Bangladesh
Replacing the old runway of Shah Amanat International Airport, Chattogram with a new paved and diligently reconstructed runway was a challenging task. It was the only runway available at the airport and was also used by the Bangladesh Airforce

Read more ...

Volvo CE India Displays new Block Handler (BH) Crawler Excavator, Excavator with Vibro Ripper, Soil Compactor, Track Paver, and Asphalt Compactor
For EXCON, Volvo CE India lined up an interesting mix of time-tested, quality machines and brand-new exciting equipment. On display was a new model - the EC300DL Block Handler (BH) Crawler Excavator which is custom-built for the quarry

Read more ...

Ammann Exhibits its wide range of equipment & plants
At Excon, Ammann displayed its wide range of asphalt batching plants which are known for their superior productivity, efficiency, and cost effectiveness. These technologically superior and higher capacity products are being widely used across India

Read more ...

Mahindra Unveils Disruptive Product Innovation - the brand-new ‘G75 Smart’ Motor Grader
At Excon, Mahindra’s Construction Equipment Division (MCE) announced the expansion of its road construction equipment range with the launch of the brand-new Mahindra RoadMaster G75 Smart - ‘Profit Ka Partner’

Read more ...

Lintec & Linnhoff and Gainwell Sign New Manufacturing Partnership for Make in India
Lintec & Linnhoff Holdings (LLH) and the Gainwell Commosales Private Limited (formerly Tractors India Private Limited) have signed a strategic manufacturing and distribution partnership agreement at Excon to cement an even greater presence

Read more ...

BEML Displays Heli-Portable Dozer BD50 HST and Equipment with Latest Technologies
BEML displayed construction equipment models of different capacities embedded with the latest technologies at Excon. Products included models BD85 and BD50HST in the Dozer category, model BG505I and BG405A under Motor Graders with emission norms

Read more ...

×
Sign-up for Free Subscription
'India Construction Week'
Weekly e-Newsletter on Construction Industry
Get the latest news, product launches, projects announced / awarded, government policies, investments, and expert views.
Click here to subscribe.
×