oilanalytics

Case Vatajankosken Sähkö (Vatajankoski Power) - oil performance monitoring

In gas engines, oil performance monitoring can provide significant benefits over traditional sample-based oil performance monitoring

In cooperation with Vatajankoski Power, Fluid Intelligence carried out GE Jenbacher gas engine oil performance monitoring by comparing the traditional model with the Fluid Intelligence’s remote oil monitoring solution, Fluid Monitoring. We could verify that remote monitoring of the oil performance with Fluid Monitoring can significantly reduce oil sampling. In addition, there is a continuous knowledge of oil performance development and oil change intervals can be further elaborated by extending the life cycle of oil.

GE Jenbacher gas engines have no fixed change intervals, but oil performance limits have been set to determine whether the oil is fair or interchangeable. For bio- and wastegas maximum oil sampling interval is 250 operating hours and for natural gas 500 operating hours.

The values to be tracked are viscosity at different temperatures, total acid number, total number of strands, nitrite and oxidation values based on IR analysis, soot content, and additive and wear metals. The manufacturer has also set maximum limits for each measured quantity. The values monitored in the Finnish operating environment are quite comprehensive and accurately describe the development of oil performance.

Fluid Monitoring was introduced in connection with oil change and at the same time continued the traditional performance analysis of oil samples. Fluid Monitoring closely monitors the change measured from oil sample analyzes. In addition, oil temperature information can be utilized to identify the root causes of potential problems.

The steady deterioration in oil performance was clearly seen in both samples and remote reading

The steady deterioration in oil performance was clearly seen in both samples and remote reading

The characteristics of engine oil include the addition of alkaline additives to the oil to control the formation of oil oxidation products. The wear and tear of these basic products is normal, and when they run out, the formation of oil oxidation products accelerates significantly. The wear of the additives in the oil is generally quite moderate, in this case the wear of the boron known as an anti-wear agent was noticeable.

Remote monitoring of oil performance can reduce unnecessary work and focus attention on critical changes

The remotely located gas engine being monitored is challenging in terms of maintenance, where oil sampling, packing and shipping of samples is a cost factor with its trips and work. Based on the oil samples, the information is also well deferred, so that it is not possible to intervene in time for rapidly evolving challenges before they escalate into serious threats to the reliability of use. The Fluid Monitoring solution provides a tool to monitor the performance of oil performance in real-time and accurately predict the next oil change required.

The oil change interval can be significantly extended by interfering with proven oil performance factors. Although the cost of purchasing new oil as such is not significant, as measured by the value of the new oil, the 50% increase in the replacement rate will bring back the costs of monitoring. In addition, the benefits of increased operational reliability are significant.

CUSTOMER BENEFITS:

  • No need for monthly oil samples

  • Increased oil change interval without risk

  • Enables more accurate service anticipation and planning

  • Better view of hardware usage and performance

  • The amount of waste oil generated will decrease significantly

Real-life results from oil performance monitoring

Across industries the service strategies and ways of working are being disrupted through predictive maintenance models. The calendar based maintenance is coming to an end and reactive models are evolving into predictive one’s and furthermore to proactive ways of working. This disruption will take years but the benefits will be notable.

Fluid Intelligence has developed new ways of working from its very beginning. Our customers are benefiting massively from enhanced reliability in production and savings.

Our new way of thinking about the usage of lubricants, the supporting Fluid Monitoring-service and the expertise supporting the complexity tackles our customers daily challenges in their daily operations and supports them in this ongoing transition.

THE ROOT CAUSE TO MACHINE FAILURES CAN OFTEN BE FOUND IN LUBRICATION

Machine failures occur every now and then even companies aim to maximize operational performance. In rotating machinery the root causes in bearing failures can be traced down to lubrication in 80 per cent of the cases. This fact can be found in studies conducted by international bearings giants like FAG and SKF.

FAG Bearings Company (in percentages)

FAG Bearings Company (in percentages)

SKF Bearings Company (in percentages)

SKF Bearings Company (in percentages)

THE STRATEGIC RELEVANCE AND COSTS OF LUBRICATION

Plant Engineering Magazine Survey (in percentages)

Plant Engineering Magazine Survey (in percentages)

The costs related to lubrication and maintenance sum up from many different sources. Plant Engineering, the international magazine focusing on maintenance, has found in their studies that only 1-3 per cent of the annual maintenance budget come from lubrication oil and most of the costs are related to time and materials related to lubrication. This marginal cost finds its way to the strategic focus when studying  machine failures.

The repair costs and losses in production are the flip side of the coin. In a Nordic pulp production facility a shutdown can cost millions in revenues. On the other end, a failure even in a small stone crusher can cost thousands of euros per hour.

FROM OBJECTIVES TO CONCRETE BENEFITS 

When developing the lubrication program as an organic part of the predictive maintenance strategy you can increase the operational reliability. This leads up to multiple benefits, e.g. reduced amount of machine failures, fewer shutdowns, saved time to focus on value-adding tasks and savings in oil and spare parts.

During the last twelve months our vision has been verified in an increasing amount of use cases across industries. Tens of customers are getting significant benefits to their operations. We have been able to address multiple potential hazards in our customers production sites with our Fluid Monitoring -online monitoring system combined with our pool of oil expertise.

SUCCESS STORIES FROM OUR CUSTOMERS

We have been working intensely with our customers in energy, chemical, pulp and paper, process, and infrastructure industries.

Fluid Monitoring and the recommended actions based on the system have enhanced our customers’ productional reliability, cut down costs and prolonged oil life span. The environmental impact can not be overlooked either.

By May 2019 we have saved five machine failures or shutdowns in production, saved up to 1 million euros in costs and avoided several unnecessary oil changes.

During this spring and summer we will showcase some of our customers’ success stories in the coming newsletters.

First case study comes from Vatajankosken Sähkö Oy (Vatajankoski Power). Together with customer we installed Fluid Monitoring to one of their remote gas engines. With Fluid Monitoring we ensure operative reliability, reduce oil sampling intervals and extend oil lifecycle.

Happy reading!

Read the whole story here

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