Grease is essential to keep equipment running efficiently and minimize wear damage. In order to accomplish this task, the lubricant must be in good working condition. Industrial grease and other kinds of lubricants start to degrade once put into service. Working conditions like heat, loading forces, and contamination can cause the grease to deteriorate, negatively affecting its lubricating capability. If the lubricating capability is compromised, so does equipment life and performance.
The primary purpose of lubricant analysis is to prevent the aforementioned problem from happening. After the grease is put into service, periodical testing is performed to determine the rate of deterioration which is then used to determine the schedule for reapplication. The aim is to replace or reapply grease before deterioration can affect equipment performance and health.
Aside from being a preventative maintenance process, lubricant analysis is also used for troubleshooting. The result of the analysis can be used to detect problems in their early stages which can help full-blown failures from occurring. The condition of the grease is helpful for identifying problems way before equipment shows signs of trouble.
The frequency of grease analysis differs according to equipment. Lubricant analysis can be costly if done unmindfully. Lubricant analysis must be frequently performed for critical equipment. Critical equipment refers to those that have the highest value to the operation. These are the equipment that when experience failures can really affect productivity or halt the operation.