Why Test Fluids?
Reduce risk of harm to equipment operators
The condition of equipment fluids can be vital to the safety of the equipment operators. Brake and steering fluids have obvious consequences in the event of failure. Engine, transmission or hydraulic failures may also place an operator in danger should they fail at an unexpected time. Routine fluid testing can ensure that the correct fluids are in place and that there is no abnormal wear or contamination occurring. It provides a record that the equipment is being maintained with due diligence.
Reduce risk of harm to the environment
The disposal of used fluids is an environmental concern that affects us all. Fluid analysis can ensure that fluids are not being dumped prematurely, which also reduces operating costs. Gough Analytical can assist with Used Oil Fuel testing to ensure that waste fuel stays within with the government limits that protect the quality of the air that we breath. Modern diesel engines may use Diesel Particulate Filters and Diesel Exhaust Fluid (a urea and water solution) which greatly reduces engine exhaust emissions. We can test DEF if there is doubt about purity or contamination.
Increase availability of equipment
Malfunctions, mistakes or malicious activities that cause abnormal wear or contamination to happen in an equipment compartment. Common contaminants such as dirt, water, fuel or coolant leaks can cause serious abnormal wear and catastrophic failure if undetected. Advance warning of impending failure can allow scheduled maintenance to be brought forward with less danger and disruption to production. The cost of repairs prior to catastrophic failure is considerably less that after.
Optimize the life of equipment
All equipment wears out eventually. Ideally the rate of normal wear is slow and steady across the life of the equipment. However operating conditions and loads and "driver styles" can vary, In some cases the rate of wear observed in fluid samples can indicate that the life of the equipment is being seriously shortened. This may not cause a catastrophic failure but the long term profitability of that asset is greatly reduced. It may be possible to take action by changing some factors or the type or grade of fluid to bring the life expectancy back to normal. In some cases it may be possible to extend the expected life well beyond the average for that equipment.
Optimize the life of the fluid
The primary goal of fluid analysis is to extend the life of the equipment. However there may be significant cost savings if a fluid is still fit for service and does not need to be dumped prematurely. Equipment maker and oil supplier guidelines for drain intervals are based on average conditions but not every application is average. Sometimes it may be found that a fluid should be changed more often to extend the life of the equipment. But sometimes it may be found that the fluid can be used for much longer than expected. Warranty contracts and legal/contractual conditions override technical considerations. Fluid reports may be used to assist discussion with suppliers and to make educated decisions or take calculated risks outside of warranty.
Increase the resale value of equipment
Fluid sampling provides a record of the maintenance and condition of the equipment which can add value to a prospective purchaser. It should be noted that it is not necessary to have a perfect history of A results to mean the equipment has been well maintained. Alerts that are acted on promptly achieve the goal of maintaining the equipment to high standards. The database allows users to provide feedback and document Action Taken notes.
Monitor the quality of servicing
If a fluid drain or filter change has been missed this can be seen in the the result history. If an incorrect (or alternative) fluid type has been used instead of the stated product this also can be seen in the result history. If a maintenance procedure has not been successful or has allowed contaminants to enter a compartment this can be seen and acted on to prevent further damage.