Oil Condition Monitoring: Why you should be doing it.


As oil flows through your machine it collects tiny flakes of metal from the gears that then circulates around the machine along with the oil. Although these are tiny once they build up they can start to damage the gears of your machine and can also degrade the gear oil and the additives inside it. If this is not picked up it can lead to breakdown of the machine which means down-time for the production line.

As the gear oil circulates around your machine it collects valuable information, this information contains details about the lubricant itself and also the machinery it is being used in. Oil analysis allows this to be extracted and interpreted to allow you to save time, trouble and money. Think of it as a blood test for your machine.

How does it work?

First we send you one of our service kits so you can take samples of your machines gear oil, you then send these samples off and we receive and analyse the results. One of our Castrol Industrial gear oil experts will then arrange a time to come and see you and talk through your results and our recommendations. This service is easy to arrange and can help you prevent down-time and ultimately save you money.




The benefits of oil condition monitoring

For your gear lubricant. 

  • Oil monitoring can maximise lubricant use through extended drain intervals

  • It will monitor oil condition and rate of degradation. This can sometimes show other related problems. e.g. working environment.

  • Oil analysis can give you peace of mind, there is no guess work on how th oil is performing or when it needs to be changed.

  • This can prevent machine breakdown or failure.




For your equipment

Conducing a service can:

  • Detect equipment problems before they appear.

  • Minimise failure and/or downtime of critical equipment.

  • Minimise unscheduled outage by allowing planned maintenance schedules to be put in place.

  • Increase equipment efficiency and extend equipment life.


Trend analysis

Oil condition monitoring should be an ongoing process and not a one off spot check. Spot checks will not pick up trends. The frequency of oil analysis sampling with be determined by many factors which our experts can explain to you.



What do we check?


Appearance and condition

First thing we do it to check for colour, clarity, visual contaminants in the oil and general health of the oil.


Water content

Next we check for the presence and quantity of any water contamination.


FTIR Spectroscopy

This allows an infra-red spectrometer to check the degradation of the oil through light absorption. This can be used to test number of parameters including:

  • Insoluble material

  • Water absorption

  • Oxidation and nitration


Oil viscosity

This checks for viscosity changes agains the initial specification of the oil.


PQ (Particle Quantification) Index

We use this to check for the presence and magnetic properties of ferrous metals in the oil.


Total base number (TBN)

This allows use to check for additive depletion based on the alkalinity of the oil


Total acid number (TAN)

Checks oil acidity levels as a measure of contamination and oxidation.


Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy

With this test we can check both the condition/degradation of the oil as well as particle analysis (both ferrous and non-ferrous) of the equipment.



How much does it cost?

To conduct a service you will first of all need to buy a kit. 

Kit price: £75

Service price: £25 per sample


To find out more or to arrange a service click the button below.

Find out more


  • Dec 07, 2016
  • Univar Tech Team

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