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Why should regular oil analysis be a part of your lubrication strategy?

March 11, 2024 | Telko Ltd

Oil analysis is fundamental for companies who require top performance of their equipment. It is a key aspect of lubrication strategy where the Total Cost of Ownership is optimized to the maximum. To shed some light on the topic we talked with Johan Bengtsson, our Senior Sales Manager and in-house expert in oil analyses for industrial lubricants.


What is oil analysis and why is it important for the upkeep of equipment? 


Oil analysis is a way to gather precise information about the condition of your equipment and the oil that it uses. Like a blood sample taken from a human, it can give us indications about the health and longevity of the whole system. 


Oil analysis consists of a sample taken from the oil in your equipment. It can be a hydraulic system, gearboxes, circulation oils and so on. We send the sample to the laboratory of the original manufacturer, where they run a set of tests, and the results are reported back to us.  


From the data we can gather insight and see if values of substances and impurities are particularly high or low, or if some additives are missing. We will also check if the properties of the oil have changed. 


What are the benefits of regular oil analyses? 


If you’ve ever had your blood sample taken, you know the values are always compared to a set of parameters. They might also draw your blood regularly, to see a trend forming. The same logic applies to oil analyses. 


Two things that are very important in oil analyses are time and uniformity. Only when you take samples over time, the same way every time, you can form a trend. This allows you to detect incipient wear or contamination and work preventively to avoid breakdown and costs. 


We recommend conducting oil analyses once a year for industrial lubricants. In some critical applications, or with extreme load, it could be wise to take oil samples more often. If you have conducted filtration or other actions to the oil, it’s recommended to take a new sample to see the results of the actions. 


Together with Castrol and our analysis partners we have also trialed online monitoring of the oil. In this type of testing the oil is monitored 24/7, with sensors that report any changes. The customer and supplier can see all the data instantly from a cloud-based system and react to anomalies immediately. This technique lends itself well to larger systems. 


Telko Article - Oil analysis services

What are the risks of not conducting oil analyses on your equipment?


It all comes down to optimizing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and without oil analyses, you miss important information about the condition of both the oil and the equipment you are using. 


It’s not economically or environmentally effective to buy a new oil when the old one might just need filtering to function for another year or so. Unnecessary replacements of functioning lubricants result in purchase costs, waste management costs of the replaced lubricant and downtime costs and loss of production. 


With regular analyses, our customers have been able to extend their oil change interval beyond the usual, which significantly lower their TCO and reduces carbon footprint. 


What kind of challenges are your customers facing with lubricants and how do Telko's oil analysis solutions help to solve them? 


One of our customers is a major international food manufacturing company. Due to the ingredients’ seasonal availability, the factory runs 24/7 for one part of the year. It is extremely important that the factory can run during this period, and downtime is very costly and resource intensive. 


For years Telko has been their partner in conducting and assisting oil analyses in factories across the Nordics and Europe. Every year we sample and analyze both large equipment using high volumes of lubricants and smaller but critical applications. 


We produce year-over-year analysis and review the results together with the customer’s respective department. The oil analysis process is an important part of the customer's condition control and preventive maintenance work. 


What is the resulting benefit for the customer, a.k.a. The Telko Effect?


If you are a lubricants customer at Telko, we provide you with free oil analysis. Our expertise and over 20-year track record are a part of the service we provide, which always aims to lower the TCO of the customer. 


Even if the maintenance requires a stop in some parts of the production, with relevant analysis you can do it according to a plan and minimize the costs. It's always going to be more expensive to suffer broken equipment in the middle of production. 


We give every piece of equipment a unique ID number, so tracking is easy. On many items, we have extended our customers’ oil exchange intervals more than 4 times. The record among our customers is held by one Danish unit where, with the help of our oil analyses, they have kept the same gearbox oil for more than 18 years! 

Telko Ltd

Telko Ltd

Telko is a leading distributor and solution provider for converters and brand owners looking to safeguard their business with future-proof plastics, chemicals or lubricant solutions. By using industry-leading expertise, strong partnerships and renowned service capabilities to dramatically improve our customers' production lead times, material efficiency, and financial and environmental performance.