In-service Oil Analysis for Condition Based Maintenance
by Philippine Resources - March 12, 2023
The practice of in-service oil analysis or used oil analysis started over a century ago on locomotive engines. Now it is one of the most important components of condition based maintenance (CBM), a practice of assessing a machine’s condition by periodically gathering data on key machine health indicators to determine maintenance schedules. Billions of dollars are spent every year replacing machinery components that have worn out due to insufficient lubricant performance. Knowing how to interpret changing lubricant properties can increase both the uptime and the life of mission critical assets. The existence or amount of debris and particles from wearing parts, erosion and contamination provide insights about the issues affecting performance and reliability.
Lubricants, fuels and other key fluids analyses provide critical early warning information indicative of machine failure. By analyzing and trending data, one can schedule maintenance before a critical failure occurs. The results are higher equipment availability and productivity, lower maintenance costs, lower total cost of ownership (TCO), fewer outages, optimal equipment performance and a greener operation.
What is In-service Oil Analysis?
Lubricating oil is the life blood of oil wetted machinery. In-service oil analysis can provide information about machine wear condition, lubricant contamination as well as lubricant condition (Figure 1). Reliability engineers and maintenance professionals can make maintenance decisions based on diagnoses of oil analysis results.
Machine wear analysis is essentially the analysis of particles in the oil. Machine wear can be classified into adhesive (sliding) wear, abrasive (cutting) wear, fatigue wear, and corrosive wear. A full suite of wear particle analyses includes measure of particle count and distribution, particle shape and morphology, wear metal and alloy elements and the presence of large ferrous particles. Over the years different techniques and instruments have been deployed in the field or in commercial laboratories but essentially they all provide the information mentioned above. Even though all wear particle analysis techniques can be applied to different types of assets, specific issues are different for industrial rotating machines than from rotating engines. Reciprocal engines tend to generate fine wear particles and engine oils can be dark due to soot (nano-sized carbon particles as combustion byproduct). Elemental analysis is primary or sometimes the only analysis performed in a commercial oil lab that assesses engine wear conditions because concentrations of different wear metal elements indicate wear severity of moving parts in an engine. Slower moving rotating machines, such as gearboxes, tend to generate larger wear particles. As most of them are made of steel, large ferrous particle analysis is fairly common and easy to perform on oils from these assets.
Contaminants in oil can be in solid or liquid form. Solid contaminants such as sand and dirt are commonly monitored by particle counting and sizing techniques. Liquid contaminant for industrial rotating machines is mostly water. For diesel or gas engines, however, it can be water, coolant or fuel. A fairly common fluid contaminant across all asset types is the accidental or purposeful use of an incorrect lubricant when topping off old oil. All contaminants can significantly reduce the useful life of the oil and increase machine wear. They need to be prevented proactively with proper seals and filtration systems and they need to be monitored regularly.
Monitoring lubricant degradation helps one decide if the oil is no long fit for use and if it needs to be changed. One key oil property is viscosity. The viscosity is typically measured at 40C for rotating machines and at 100C for engines. For oil in rotating machines, oxidation and acidity of the oil (Total Acid Number or TAN) are monitored to determine if the oil is still fit for use and to prevent corrosion. For engine oils, oxidation, nitration, sulfation and total alkaline additive reserve in oil (Total Base Number or TBN) are monitored. For natural gas engine oils, TAN is monitored along with other engine oil parameters.
Benefits of In-Service Oil Analysis
The key benefits of in-service oil analysis are maintenance cost savings and productivity increases from increasing the uptime of running machines. Machines run longer if the right oils are used and if the oils are dry, clean and fit for use.
Oil mix up is one of the most common lubrication problems contributing to machine failure. Putting the right lubricating oil in a machine is a simple task that can improve machine reliability. Checking the viscosity, brand and grade of incoming oil and checking for contamination of alien fluids help to reduce the chances of oil mix up and keep the machines running at optimal efficiency.
In order to keep the oil dry, clean and free of contaminants, seals and filtration systems need to work properly and oils should be checked regularly. Sand and dirt in oil cause the generation of abrasive wear. Moisture in oil causes corrosion. Fuel or coolant in engine oil changes viscosity and causes the generation of adhesive wear. It is necessary to keep the lubricating oil clean and dry at all times.
To keep oil fit for use, oil conditions are to be monitored regularly to make sure the oil is used within its performance specification. A well balanced oil analysis program shall monitor machine wear condition, oil contamination and oil degradation. Key parameters are measured regularly and their trends are closely monitored. If one or more parameters exceed the alarm limits or a change in the trending rate is detected, reliability engineers are alerted and maintenance actions may be needed to resolve potential problems.
The cost savings from a well-executed oil analysis program come from reducing production loss from unplanned down time due to catastrophic failure as well as decreasing repair costs and eliminating unnecessary oil changes. In a power plant or paper mill, the cost savings mainly come from reduced machine down time and repairs. In a mining site with hundreds of hauling trucks, the cost savings mainly come from eliminating potential engine failures. For a municipal transportation fleet, however, the cost savings from oil analysis are due to reduced material, labor and recycling by extending the oil drain intervals.
The Spectro Scientific Minilab series meets your requirement for comprehensive in-service oil analysis needs, simple test protocol, fast and easy to operate.
For inquiries, please contact : (1) Joey Guyo email: email@example.com, hp: 09175855395 (2) Odra Ocampo email: firstname.lastname@example.org, hp: 09177053842. QES will have its 2nd technical seminar on “Eliminating Downtime Through Machine Condition Analysis”, this Q2’23, it is FREE of charge, kindly contact us for details. Spectro Scientific is distributed by QES Technology Philippines, Inc., email: email@example.com
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Philippine Resources - December 07, 2021
QES Technology Philippines, Inc. Continuously Provides Complete Solutions to Successfully Sustain Mining Industry
Photo: SciAps XRF X-200 for mining site exploration (Philippines) and SciAps LIBS used by NASA for Mars exploration The year 2021 has been the transition from the pandemic-stricken year 2020 towards economic recovery and full adaptation on the ‘new normal’, as the mining industry successfully sustained and continues to move forward with the country’s mineral riches.  In line with this, QES Technology Philippines Inc. offered its technical support to private mining sectors and government bodies, for assistance on X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzers. QES catered both sales and services of handheld and benchtop ED-XRF. On August 2021, QES completed their newly renovated Demo Room which houses demo units for benchtop ED XRF (SPECTRO CUBE), Arc Spark OES (SPECTRO MaxX), handheld XRF (SciAps X300 and X200), handheld LIBS (SciAps Z200C+) and other equipment/instrumentations. These are available for demo from Monday-Friday office hours at their head office in Page 1 Bldg., Acacia Ave., Madrigal Business Park, Muntinlupa City, still in compliance with standard health protocols. QES Technology Philippines, Inc. Demo Room at Page 1 Bldg., Acacia Ave., Madrigal Business Park, Muntinlupa City In partnership with Southgreen, QES assisted Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in pioneering the first regional installations of handheld XRF analyzer for Region VI and Region IX. A 3-day SciAps XRF X-200 virtual product training was conducted for the first time and ended successfully in coordination with MGB Central Office. The SciAps handheld LIBS Z-200 C+ was also purchased by a private sector used for Research and Development also catering the C requirement in alloy and geological samples. This is also the equipment used by NASA for the Mars exploration project. The use of “XRF guns” as termed by geologists, have dramatically improved the method of exploration so this is now a must-have tool for site projects exploration and face sample evaluation. This year’s milestone, also a solid indication that the Philippine Mining Sector is thriving, is QES’s record breaking sales of fifteen (15) and still counting units of benchtop ED-XRF analyzer Spectro XEPOS. QES has established and continuously dominates the sales, service, and calibration of ED-XRF analyzers in the Mining Industry from Isabela to Tawi-Tawi, through the Spectro XEPOS which has always benchmarked the ED-XRF analyzers in the mining industry known for its simple, accurate, and efficient analysis. One of the major strengths of QTP is the availability of regional technical support. Two engineers are based in Cebu, one in Clark, three in Manila and one in Surigao to fulfill the response time promised to customers. Along with that is the digitalization of equipment maintenance and repair tracking, QR code sticker is now a standard to new equipment installations and being rolled out to existing ones. The end-users can now conveniently scan the QR code using their phone or tablet and it will present the maintenance history of the equipment. The end user can also take photo of the QR code send it to their purchasing department so they can verify the parts are already installed to close the related transaction with ease. To assure continuous growth and learning, QES joins the 2021 ANMSEC and organizes webinars on Nickel Ore Mining particularly on exploration, sample preparation, calibration (for end users), and complete mining solution. You may scan below to visit/join their official Facebook group to keep update on their incoming webinars.  Conoza, Adrian (Jul. 9, 2021). “Sustaining the Philippine mining industry under balanced interests”, Retrieved from https://www.bworldonline.com/sustaining-the-philippine-mining-industry-under-balanced-interests/
Philippine Resources - November 01, 2022
Efficiency and Cost-Reduction: QES Technology Philippines, Inc. Commitment on Mining Industry through Complete Mining Solutions
By: Engr. Paula Angeline Bacani “The mining sector continues an optimistic performance for year 2022. As early as Q1 2022, the metallic mineral production value kicked off the year with a 36.21% or PhP12.92 billion growth from PhP35.69 billion in Q1 2021 to PhP48.61 billion.”  The steady growth of the industry is indicated by the opening of new metal mines, mostly Nickel mines, and the expansion of existing mines. With the increasing production of Nickel Ore, QES Technology Philippines, Inc. has been a long-established partner of these mines on complete mining solutions from: [I] Geological Exploration on sales and service of handheld XRF and analyzers. [II] Sample Preparation on sales and service of crushers, pulverizers, presses, fusion machines, grinding machines, milling machines, drying ovens, etc. [III] Laboratory Solutions on sales and service of XRF, the benchmarked Spectro XEPOS, KF moisture analyzer, Auto-Titrator, lab consumables, and furniture/fixtures. And [IV] Environmental Monitoring for Compliance on sales of air quality and water quality monitoring systems. For year 2022, QES Technology Philippines, Inc. shares this another record-breaking sale of 14 (as of October 2022) laboratory XRF units to our clients, partners, and customers on the Mining Sector. Committed on quality and higher efficiency, QES not only supply analyzers but also help its partners solve challenges on costly maintenances of heavy mining equipment. This year’s #QESInAction held product presentations and exhibits on mining areas in Cagayan, Zambales, Palawan, Camarines Norte, and Surigao introducing its New Mining Solution: The Spectro Scientific On-Site Fluid Analysis. Machine condition monitoring based on oil analysis is a mandatory maintenance practice for the Mining Equipment Fleet. The Spectro Scientific On-Site Fluid Analysis is a solution for common challenges on site such as: [I] Remote Sites wherein it can be difficult to rely on outside lab analysis for oil testing because it takes long and by the time it’s determined there is a problem, there has been a major breakdown already. [II] Harsh Environments where mining equipment operate in conditions that are hard on the components and exposes the vehicles to large amounts of particulate contamination and debris that damage the hydraulics and gears. Constant monitoring of oil condition will prevent unexpected breakdowns. [III] Expensive Oil drains for large vehicles. Oil drain interval can be extended safely as long as the oil condition is at continuous monitoring. Reducing the number of oil drains required per vehicle even by just one time per year can significantly generate savings across a fleet for large mining vehicles. [IV] High Repair Costs. Oil analysis will help identify potential problems early – before they undergo breakdowns and costly repairs. Large mining equipment fleet can be enormously expensive to repair so mitigating a small problem before it becomes a breakdown will be a huge cost savings. [V] Downtime of Vehicles Impacts Revenue when a vehicle is unavailable due to mechanical problems it means it is not available to provide necessary service and will impact the revenue generating service it provides. Since equipment in the Mining Industry is frequently exposed to extreme environmental and working conditions, this new mining solution promoted by QES is an effective oil analysis program that keep these important assets in operation by reducing unexpected failures and costly unscheduled downtimes, thus effectively induces cost-cutting on operations. To assure partners continuous growth, QES joins the 2022 6th CARAGA Mining Symposium and 68th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference as exhibitor and organizes related technical webinars. You may scan below to visit/join their official Facebook group to keep update on their incoming webinars. Demo room is located at Unit 507, Page 1 Building, Acacia Avenue, Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1780 Metro Manila, Philippines. For inquiries and consultations, you may directly message: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.qesnet.com Reference:  Mines and Geosciences Bureau (March 2022). “Metallic Production Value Kicks Off 2022 with a 36.21% Growth”, Retrieved October 2022 from https://mgb.gov.ph/attachments/article/1197/Q1%202022%20Metallic%20Review.pdf
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Philippine Resources - June 10, 2023
DMCI Mining Targets 1.5 Million WMT Nickel Ore Shipment in 2023
Photo Credit: dmcihouse.net DMCI Mining Corporation is targeting to ship 1.5 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore in 2023, after its subsidiary Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation (ZDMC) was granted an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) in January to produce 2 million WMT of nickel ore. Prior to the ECC issuance, ZDMC was only allowed to extract 1 million WMT. “We have the necessary facilities and mitigating measures to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment. With these in place, we’re targeting to produce anywhere between 1.7 million to 2 million tons of nickel ore this year,” said DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das C. Reyes. From January to March, ZDMC nickel ore production soared by 88 percent from 318,000 WMT to 599,000 WMT, its highest-ever quarterly output. This led to a 16-percent improvement in total inventory, from 154,000 WMT to 178,000 WMT. However, total shipment declined by 21 percent from 620,000 WMT to 487,000 WMT owing to the depletion of the BNC mine and stockpile, cushioned by the double-digit growth of ZDMC shipment. Average selling price increased by 11 percent from USD44 to USD49 owing to higher Zambales shipments of higher-grade nickel ore. Despite the mine and stockpile depletion of Berong, DMCI Mining standalone revenues narrowly declined (-8%) from P1.4 billion to P1.3 billion due to better selling prices while reported net income contracted by 15 percent from P543 million to P463 million.
Philippine Resources - June 10, 2023
DMCI Power to build wind facility in Semirara Island
Leading off-grid electricity generator DMCI Power Corporation (DPC) is set to build a wind power plant in Semirara Island, home of the biggest coal reserve in the Philippines. DPC intends to finalize the wind power capacity in the coming months, with projections ranging from 8 to 12 MW, and operational implementation expected within 12 to 15 months. The project will be funded and undertaken independently by the company. “We are also looking at solar energy to augment the supply in the island, but we are prioritizing wind resource development because it has shown the most promise,” said DPC president Antonino E. Gatdula, Jr. “Current studies suggest that wind power could potentially deliver a 33% plant utilization rate, compared to just 17% for solar. Capital expenditure per megawatt for both wind and solar projects are also roughly the same,” he explained. In a 2001 wind resource study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a United States Department of Energy (DOE) laboratory, it was found that Semirara Island has some of the best wind resources in the Philippines. The wind corridors between Luzon and Panay (including Semirara Islands and extending to the Cuyo Islands) were found to have good-to-excellent wind power density and speed for utility-scale or village power applications. DPC is in the process of validating these wind resource estimates to determine the final location and capacity of its wind project.
Philippine Resources - June 05, 2023
Semirara Mining and Power Corporation eyes Japanese market expansion
Photo credit: Bilyonaryo Integrated energy company Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) is set to make its second trial shipment to Japan this June, in a bid to reduce its dependency on the Chinese market. The company will export 50,000 metric tons (MT) of Semirara coal to Shikoku Electric Power Corporation for its 700-megawatt coal fired ultra-supercritical power station. “China is still our main foreign buyer but with their industrial output growing slower than expected, we want to develop other Asian markets like Japan,” said SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina C. Gotianun. From January to March, Semirara coal shipments to China plunged by 50 percent from 2.2 million MT to 1.1 million MT, accounting for 72 percent of exports. South Korea was a steady market at 300,000 MT, representing one-fifth of export sales. The rest of the exports went to Japan (5%) and Brunei (3%). SMPC first made a trial shipment to Japan in January 2023, selling 78,410 MT of mid-grade coal to J-Power, a utility company that operates coal, hydroelectric, wind and geothermal power stations. “For 2023, we are targeting to export around 30 percent of our full-year sales target of 15 to 16 million MT,” added Gotianun. In the first quarter, standalone coal revenues sank by 40 percent from P25.7 billion to P15.5 billion mainly due to high base effect of record production, shipments and selling prices. Standalone reported net income slumped by 51 percent from P14.2 billion to P7 billion on topline weakness and slower decline in cash costs.
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