Oil analysis last line of defence
Oil analysis is the last line of defence for engines, components and hydraulics, and if used effectively can save operators significant amounts of time and money by reducing costly repairs and downtime, according to a rail maintenance expert.
Retired railway rolling stock engineer in maintenance Brian Brooks is well positioned to comment on the importance of effective oil analysis having been involved in maintenance of locomotives since 1978. Today, he continues this involvement by volunteering in a project to restore a diesel electric rail motor, a process which also utilises oil analysis.
“It was drummed into me when I was learning the trade that this is your last line of defence, and it is still the same today,” Brian says. “If you keep the data up to speed and make sure you keep monitoring, you will knock out many of the problems contamination can cause in engines and components.”
With more than 37 years of experience Brian says that he has found the oil analysis service provided by Techenomics to be way ahead of any other, owing to the accuracy of the data, the user-friendly and easy-to-read manner in which it is presented, the trending capability, and the recommendations that indicate instantly what you need to be looking at to tackle any issues before they result in costly repairs or even failure.
“This is all on one sheet of paper, you don’t have to go digging through reams of paper or search for older computer records. You have your established limits for each engine and all of the applicable recent figures which in turn give you all the trends.”
Brian was involved in the maintenance of locomotives with General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD) in Victoria working on loco engines, Deutz and Cummins four-stroke engines as well as hydraulic transmissions and final drives for rail cars. He also worked for Downer EDI in a similar capacity and since retiring from fulltime work has continued his involvement with locomotive maintenance in part-time and voluntary roles, working with EMD and ALCO engines.
“An EMD engine today costs around $1 million so it makes a lot of sense to try and get the best value for money you can from this investment, and effective oil analysis plays a major role in ensuring this. The cost is chicken feed compared to the cost of repairs or replacement, and this doesn’t include the cost of downtime while repairs are carried out. If you have a loco out of commission, you are losing a huge amount of revenue, even if it is only a day or two,” he says.
Brian also says that the independence of Techenomics ensures that operators receive the data, advice and recommendations that are applicable to their own equipment and their individual operating characteristics. “There is no one size fits all approach from Techenomics, unlike many other oil analysis providers.
“The fact that Techenomics specialises in this field, utilises state-of-the-art technology and appropriately trained staff ensures that operators always receive the right advice. They work for you to ensure you get the best out of your machinery,” he adds.
Techenomics’ fluid management and condition monitoring services are available in Australia, Indonesia, South East Asia, Mongolia, Turkey and East Africa, and are not only applicable to locomotives but also to road and sea transport, mining, construction, heavy industry and any other operation where engines and hydraulics are used.