Onsite Oil Condition Monitoring made simple!

The NEW DIGI test cell is key to good CBM for fuel and lube oils

(PresseBox) ( Elmshorn, )
As technology and education come together, industrial engineers increasingly understand that the key to oil condition maintenance is the consistent measurement, monitoring and management of their machinery lubrication systems. Condition monitoring of fuels and lubricants used in industrial and marine plant & equipment has become one of the main weapons in the fight to reduce premature failure of engines, gearboxes and hydraulic systems.

Many tests worldwide are still carried out by trained chemists in oil test laboratories, while this is accurate and should be continued there is a definite place in all maintenance programs for onsite testing. Regular onsite sampling and analysis of fuel, lubrication and hydraulic oils enables the engineer to assess the condition and performance of the machine oil over time, allowing adjustments to be made to ensure maximum operational performance and avoiding critical downtime. A result in 2 minutes versus 2 weeks has obvious benefit, especially if the result is quantitative and trended.

Kittiwake Developments Ltd., the UK based market leading specialist producer of oil test kits, equipment and sampling products provides the tools necessary for industrial engineers to conduct these crucial maintenance routines. Determining the presence of Water in oil, degradation of TBN (Total Base Number) and rises in TAN (Total Acid Number) can be among the first indicators of potentially expensive and possibly catastrophic failure of the plant.

Water in oil can enter from many sources including condensation, leakage and malfunction of oil treatment systems. It will rapidly cause corrosion, cavitations and instability of additive packages and encourage the growth of microbes. Testing for water in oil is essential to maintain and protect your equipment, preventing damage in advance.

TBN Testing is particularly important for engine oil, as it is continuously exposed to acidic combustion products and these must be neutralised before they can corrode engine parts. The TBN of oil is the measure of the alkaline reserve, or the ability of the oil to neutralise acids from combustion. Severe depletion of the TBN results in acid corrosion or combustion space and bearings along with fouling within the engine. Maintaining a correct alkaline reserve is critical in preventing unnecessary corrosion of the upper piston, piston rings and top end bearing. Additionally, low TBN is indicative of reduced oil detergency.

Total Acid Number or TAN is a measure of both the weak organic and strong inorganic acids present within oil. Testing for TAN is essential to maintain and protect your equipment, preventing damage in advance. A rise in TAN is indicative of oil oxidation due to time and/or operating temperature. High operating temperatures severely stress the oil resulting in oxidation and nitration, changes in viscosity, the build up of acidic waste products and deposits on metal surfaces. Trend as well as absolute values should be used to monitor TAN levels.

Wherever there is a requirement for on-site testing of critical machinery, Kittiwake's portable test kits have a proven track record in preventing unnecessary down time and costly repairs. The NEW DIGI Test cell from Kittiwake is one piece of essential equipment that no plant room should be without. Designed to analyse multiple oil breakdown characteristics, the dual purpose DIGI Test cell can measure both 'Water in Oil (0.02-1%, 0-10%, 0-20%, 200-10000ppm)' and 'Total Base Number' (0-80 TBN) in one unit. This 'easy-to-use' device provides a fast and accurate digital measurement for each parameter, allowing the engineer to effectively monitor the condition of the oil and the equipment in which it is used and immediately act upon the results.

The latest DIGI test cell collection offers an extended base number range, stronger construction, reduced weight, improved ease of use and the latest in transducer technology. Manufactured to be rugged and practical, the new cell is made with a tough and durable GRP casing to withstand the rigours of daily operational use. The cell features an easy to read display with step by step test instructions, a built in memory which automatically records previous test results, a clear LCD display showing direct readouts in ppm, % water or Total Base Number (TBN). Designed with non-slip twist grips to ensure that it can be fully sealed when in use the cell also features 'easy-clean' touch pad controls. The Pre-programmed software built into the cell takes the user through a step-by-step process to analyse the oil sample and deliver a result in just 2 minutes.

The DIGI Test cell can be purchased with just the TBN or Water program, but is most commonly purchased as a combined cell. The test cell is delivered as a complete kit in an engineer's case for portability and ease of storage.

The TAN (0-6) Drop test kit contains all necessary reagents and equipment for a fully portable TAN test. Using a small sample size and a clear container, the result is shown by a colour change after adding titrant (drop wise from a dropper bottle) into the mixing vessel.

Kittiwake also provide online sensors and full oil test suites for wear debris, viscosity, density, insolubles and more for use onsite and onboard. Visit www.kittiwake.com or contact Kittiwake for more information.
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