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Why is Managing Oil Quality Important?

The lube oil is like the lifeblood for engines and other rotating equipment. It gets contaminated over a period of time due to the operational wear & tear and ingress of dirt, moisture & leakage of fuel. This weakens its lubrication efficiency and the continued use affects the engine performance and, in the worst case, causes a breakdown.

Oil quality management essentially is about measuring and monitoring the quality of the oil and also continuously cleaning it to keep it free of contaminants for maintaining its lubrication efficiency.

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OQMS Case Studies

Demystifying Oil : Answer True or False

New oil taken out of the barrel is always clean.

The right answer is “FALSE

REASON – Oil starts getting contaminated from its initial manufacturing, blending, distribution, and storage processes. Besides the degradation of the oil itself, the contaminants also adversely affect the operation and life span of engines and other machinery. Hence, the best practice to be followed is to always clean the new oil using at least 3-micron high beta ratio cellulose filters before putting it into the engine.

The right answer is “FALSE

REASON – Oil starts getting contaminated from its initial manufacturing, blending, distribution, and storage processes. Besides the degradation of the oil itself, the contaminants also adversely affect the operation and life span of engines and other machinery. Hence, the best practice to be followed is to always clean the new oil using at least 3-micron high beta ratio cellulose filters before putting it into the engine.

Oil loses its potency due to usage and needs to be replaced with new oil.

The right answer is “FALSE

REASON Like honey, oil also has an almost perpetual life span. So it can theoretically last for many years should it not get contaminated. When used in the open system application like an engine, the contaminants are introduced into the oil due to operational factors (higher temperature and pressure, wear and tear of rotating parts) as well as external factors (ingress of water and fuel, accidental mixing of another oil etc.). However, with an effective & efficient cleaning system, these contaminants can be removed from the oil making it once again fit to do the job. 

The right answer is “FALSE

REASON Like honey, oil also has an almost perpetual life span. So it can theoretically last for many years should it not get contaminated. When used in the open system application like an engine, the contaminants are introduced into the oil due to operational factors (higher temperature and pressure, wear and tear of rotating parts) as well as external factors (ingress of water and fuel, accidental mixing of another oil etc.). However, with an effective & efficient cleaning system, these contaminants can be removed from the oil making it once again fit to do the job. 

To be safe, it is good to over-lubricate the machine.

The right answer is “FALSE

REASON – Just like the under-lubrication is injurious to the engine health, even the over-lubrication can be harmful and must be avoided. It not only increases the cost of oil but can also damage the engine due to the excess pressure and heat build-up. Excess heat leads to oxidation, which causes anomalous wear and tear and chemical degradation. Over-lubrication also increases leaks which then entail the replacement of air filters, seals, vents, and hoses. 

The right answer is “FALSE

REASON – Just like the under-lubrication is injurious to the engine health, even the over-lubrication can be harmful and must be avoided. It not only increases the cost of oil but can also damage the engine due to the excess pressure and heat build-up. Excess heat leads to oxidation, which causes anomalous wear and tear and chemical degradation. Over-lubrication also increases leaks which then entail the replacement of air filters, seals, vents, and hoses. 

Oil loses its potency due to usage and needs to be replaced with new oil.

The right answer is “FALSE

REASON – The OEM mounted inline filters are meant to protect the engine from larger particulate contaminants in the oil, and not intended for cleaning the oil. Typically, these filters are rated as 10 microns and above. In reality, 90% of the particulate contaminants by quantity in the used engine oil are smaller than 5 microns in size. These are most harmful to the engine, and hence have to be cleaned with a high-efficiency continuous bypass kidney loop oil filtration system using cellulose filters with a high beta ratio.

The right answer is “FALSE

REASON – The OEM mounted inline filters are meant to protect the engine from larger particulate contaminants in the oil, and not intended for cleaning the oil. Typically, these filters are rated as 10 microns and above. In reality, 90% of the particulate contaminants by quantity in the used engine oil are smaller than 5 microns in size. These are most harmful to the engine, and hence have to be cleaned with a high-efficiency continuous bypass kidney loop oil filtration system using cellulose filters with a high beta ratio.

About Oil Quality Management System

Neptunus’ Oil Quality Management Solution (OQMS) uses the world’s best cutting edge technologies of real-time oil quality monitoring and high efficiency continuous cleaning.

Key reasons for oil management

  • 56% of engine failures can be related to lubrication issues.
  • Change in oil quality is an early reflection of the engine’s wear & tear and emerging faults.
  • Oil changes & top-ups constitute a major consumable cost for an engine. Blindly following running-hour-based oil change intervals may cost 50% higher expenditure on new oil.

How does Neptunus’ Oil Quality Management Solution (OQMS) add value?

Technology Pillars of OQMS

  • Employs bypass loop (kidney loop) to increase the effectiveness of oil filtration.
  • It is a highly efficient filtration system (β ratio >929), capable of removing water, solid particles, resins, oxidation sludge, varnish, and other organic contaminants from the oil.
  • Uses a patented depth filtration technology to capture the maximum number of contaminants. Oil Flow is axial, not radial like in the case of other filters.
  • Bypass filtration system enhances efficiency, as it operates on ideal conditions such as:
      • Reduced flow
      • Minimal pressure
      • No stress by flow and pressure pulsations
  • The sensor is initially calibrated using the reference oil data
  • When in contact with the oil, it generates an electric field & measures the ratio of capacitance and conductance. This is directly proportional to the oil quality and gets affected by 22 critical parameters including the viscosity, moisture, particles, total acid number, total base number, etc.
  • This ratio is indexed on a scale of 0 to 1200 and this index called Tan Delta Number (TDN) is the measure of real-time oil quality.
  • The sensor also measures the oil temperature and this data when trended over time with TDN values gives insightful information on emerging problems in the engine. This is very helpful in doing predictive maintenance.
  • The system derives the estimated remaining useful life of the oil from the current rate of oil quality deterioration.

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OQMS Blogs

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Last year, one of our rig operator customers was in a dilemma over how to decide the appropriate time to change the oil in the engine. The problem was twofold

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A study by tribology experts indicated a fivefold increase in the operating life for an engine by decreasing the water content in oil. This signifies the extent of damage that

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It is mystifying that even seasoned industry professionals fall for this presumption: that new oil received in sealed, steel barrels is clean and ready to use. The reality is that

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