Hydac to shift lab mindset

HYDAC has launched a “fourth industrial revolution” in predictive maintenance which it calls a “major shift in thinking” for oil companies who conduct almost all their oil analysis with bottle samples to detect machinery failure.

Hydac to shift lab mindset Contamination sensor CS1000.

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Hydac recently launched Fluid Control Unit 1310 and FCU1315 as a portable service instrument for the temporary measurement of both solid particle contamination and water saturation in hydraulic systems and diesel fuels.
Online sensors are installed on the system that alert operators on pending oil condition and system condition without the need of constantly sending oil samples to lab. 
Only when the sensors alert operators on pending oil and system change conditions are oil samples sent to lab for analysis.
Mark Le Roux, Hydac's Victoria-based national development manager - mining and filtration, told Energy News yesterday that while that the company had been stalking Australia's oil and gas sector for three years with little success it wasn't giving up.
"The oil and gas industry certainly embrace local competency in other areas but strangely not in the hydraulic and lubrication industry," he said. 
"If they buy a compressor, it will usually come with its own lubricating oil system, then they just leave it up the compressor people to give them what they want and nobody else has input.
"It hasn't panned out the way we had hoped in oil and gas, but we're still attempting to try influence local industry. We've done a few projects in lubricating oil systems in compressors and pumps in the oil and gas industry."
He said a major "mind shift" change was needed, as the industry has been living with oil sample bottles for the better part of four decades ever since oil sampling came into its own as a condition monitoring tool.
So to expect a change in 2-3 years was always going to be a tough ask, particularly as oilers are dealing with historic low crude prices.
Le Roux said people had lost confidence in oil sampling as the lab results only took into account the sample from the moment it was taken, while contaminants seemed often to elude lab tests.
He cited an example of a major client with a lube oil system offshore for their compressor which clearly had a lot of debris sitting at the bottom of the sump, yet not one of the oil samples had shown a pending failure.
Yet the compressor had experienced three failures.
Though the lab report says everything is fine until a failure occurs, the oil analysis failed to pick this up because they didn't get the right data into the sample bottle.
Online sensors achieve this. 
"You can get a lot more data into an online sensor than what can you do sending 100ml of oil to a lab," Le Roux said.
Hydac's new technology provides a means of pre-empting that failure via sensors see if something will happen and where is it coming from.
Yet he said Hydac's technology would not make labs redundant. 
The problem, he said, was that the oil sample lab industry is driven by quantity; and they generally leave it to the client to interpret the data.


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