Oil & Gas

Oil Condition Monitoring and Testing: Increasing Sustainability in Industry

Wed 15/09/2021 - 10:16

As of 1 January 2016, the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) officially came into force, each of which has an impact on every organisation and the industries in which they operate.

Need some advice?

Leave your details and we will get in touch.

I want to be contacted by an expert

One of the 17 SDGs is goal 12 (‘ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns’), which is something that SOCOTEC UK strives to accomplish within its broad range of testing, inspection and compliance services.  

In this article, we will discuss how lubricant and fluid condition monitoring helps clients to improve sustainability within their sector, as well as some of the changes which are currently being implemented by SOCOTEC to improve sustainability within its laboratories, from test methods to the logistics of samples.

Oil Condition Monitoring and Testing

How does oil condition monitoring benefit the customer?

Oil condition monitoring allows our clients to build a better picture and understanding of an in-service unit, whether it is an electrical transformer, engine, gearbox or hydraulic system. The style of analysis can be compared to that of a blood test, as the analysis performed can allow the customer to detect whether a potential failure could occur. In addition, oil condition monitoring can maximise the life of the unit, which can improve sustainability by not requiring unnecessary oil changes based on time or distance alone.

 

As an example, SOCOTEC UK works closely alongside its clients to analyse unused oil samples. This creates limits, which will be applied when in-service samples from units are sent into the lab. This analysis provides reports that will effectively enable the client to see if the oil is fit for purpose and lies within their specification. This leads to the minimisation of unit downtime and avoids oil changes when they are not required.

Oil condition monitoring allows our clients to build a better picture and understanding of an in-service unit, whether it is an electrical transformer, engine, gearbox or hydraulic system. The style of analysis can be compared to that of a blood test, as the analysis performed can allow the customer to detect whether a potential failure could occur. In addition, oil condition monitoring can maximise the life of the unit, which can improve sustainability by not requiring unnecessary oil changes based on time or distance alone.

 

As an example, SOCOTEC UK works closely alongside its clients to analyse unused oil samples. This creates limits, which will be applied when in-service samples from units are sent into the lab. This analysis provides reports that will effectively enable the client to see if the oil is fit for purpose and lies within their specification. This leads to the minimisation of unit downtime and avoids oil changes when they are not required.

How has SOCOTEC’s Oils and Lubricants team improved its analytical processes in terms of sustainability?

SOCOTEC UK is currently exploring new and innovative ways to improve the sustainability of our analytical methods, as well as the general logistics of the laboratory. From the offset, we work closely alongside our clients to understand the needs and requirements of the service in question, providing the customer with a tailor-made test suite that meets those needs accordingly. This could be a test suite that covers a large array of test methods as part of an annual requirement, followed by a quarterly test suite, which involves less analysis but still provides the client with a clear picture of the condition of the oil in service and the unit it is taken from.

Another more sustainable method that has been adopted is the provision of kits that are specific to each sample. This includes the implementation of reusable sample pumps as opposed to single-use syringes, as well as the use of sample bottles in streamlined sizes, meaning that no additional or unnecessary samples are taken.

SOCOTEC UK also provides and delivers kits in bulk as opposed to distributing single kits. We also request that samples are returned in specific boxes so that multiple samples from different assets of a unit can be sent back together at once. This also allows for any tubing to be disposed of appropriately and/or recycled where possible. Although these may only seem like small steps, each plays its own vital part in reducing the carbon footprint for our customers, minimising waste and working towards a more sustainable future.

SOCOTEC UK is currently in the process of reviewing the methodologies used to perform analysis and replace single-use plastics with sample beakers, while also moving to a lower volume of solutions in test methods where applicable. We have already considered how to more effectively manage the amount of waste generated for our customers, and this has also been taken into account by the fluid and oil condition monitoring laboratory.

Furthermore, our Oils and Lubricants team uses a third party company to collect waste oil, chemical and oil-contaminated waste. We have taken on larger storage solutions where applicable, reducing the amount of trips undertaken by the third party to collect the waste products, while also recycling the waste oil and other products collected where possible. SOCOTEC UK will continue to look at new, innovative methods and procedures to improve sustainability, both within the business and for our client base.

Would you like to find out more about SOCOTEC's oil testing services? Contact us

Click here

Need some advice?

Leave your details and we will get in touch.

I want to be contacted by an expert

Associated keywords

Get the latest updates about SOCOTEC, subscribe to our newsletters below

Add new comment

SOCOTEC Introduces Eco-Friendly Initiative for Oil Sampling

Discover the section