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Benefits of Fluid Analysis for Your Equipment

Category: Equipment and Solutions

It takes an experienced professional to perform an oil and fluid analysis correctly, but scheduling appointments routinely is essential for a long-lasting investment.

Why Equipment Fluid Analysis Is Important

A fluid analysis involves taking samples of used oil, coolant and fuel mixtures. Trained technicians conduct a series of tests to identify any contaminants, metals and debris that leave room for concern. The process for checking fluids within a piece of equipment changes based on model, but the intent is to record data and use the information to diagnose minor leaks and wear.

Common Fluid Analysis Terms

Some general terms that coincide with fluid analysis testing include:

  • Total base number (TBN): This term refers to the level of alkaline additives in oil. Additives are present in engine lubricants to prevent the buildup of sludge and acids that cause premature wear and corrosion. As you use a heavy machine, the TBN of additives decreases. This alters the oil’s ability to neutralize acids during the combustion process.
  • Total acid number (TAN): Maintenance professionals use total acid number testing to identify the level of acids in oil. The TBN of an oil sample must be higher than the TAN reading for safe use.
  • Oil viscosity: Viscosity describes the thickness of an oil and how well it can flow. Thicker oils withstand extreme temperatures and pressure compared to low-viscosity oils.
  • Coolant chemical balance: Technicians assess glycol and pH levels to gauge coolant performance and stability.

What Are the Main Advantages of a Fluid Analysis?

Machines may look great from the outside, but a fluid analysis tells you about the overall health of your fleet. You can think of a fluid analysis similar to human bloodwork, as results are pivotal to diagnosing complications that go unseen. Benefits of an equipment fluid analysis include:

  • Minimize operating costs between projects.
  • Maintain the resale value of your investments.
  • Decrease chances of an engine shutdown.
  • Limit the need for costly repairs.
  • Start a maintenance history log for future reference.

Equipment Oil Testing

Engine oil is responsible for lubricating parts. Equipment technicians investigate the viscosity and cleanliness of oil during a fluid analysis. This ensures compressors, differentials, transmissions and other systems operate according to manufacturer specifications.

Similar to fluid analysis techniques for coolants and fuels, the importance of oil testing relates to contaminants. A trained technician will test for traces of water, fuel, glycol, sediment and metals.

Coolant Testing

Coolants prepare your machines for drastic temperature changes. Having an expert perform a fluid analysis allows you to check that equipment is ready for outdoor conditions between summer and winter.

A chemical balance test is a proactive way to determine whether liquids can handle freezing and boiling temperatures. You can learn more about the condition of coolants by having a technician test for impurities and buildups that cause scaling.

Diesel Fuel Testing

Contamination can cause damage to fuel filters and shorten their lifespan. Fuel testing enables your business to respond to contamination buildups for fewer leaks down the road. Rest assured knowing gas lines are free from fungi, oil and coolant, as fuel testing will tell you more about the quality of the fuel you are using and whether or not microbial growth is present.

Fuel Analysis Services Available Through NMC Cat

NMC Cat serves construction teams throughout the state of Nebraska. We are proud to offer accurate fluid analysis services for Cat® machines of all ages. Our dealership has earned the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 17025 accreditation for oil, coolant and fuel which makes us your source for reliable testing results.

For further information about our fluid analysis lab, complete a contact form online.