Case Study: How to Trend Oil Analysis Data for Meaningful Interpretation

Aaron Said, National Technical Manager


Oil analysis is a tool to evaluate the conditions of in-service oil and health of machine. It can provide many asset reliability benefits but most companies fail to maximise its potential. One of the areas reliability practitioners often overlook is to trend the results. Trending analysis provides information that is not apparent in a single oil report. Trending helps to monitor and predict failure progression for a timely intervention in preventing catastrophic failure. It takes more than just charting data on a timescale graph. Understanding combination of factors that can lead to failures is key towards successful analysis. This presentation shares how to trend oil analysis and establish alarm limits for reliable and meaningful interpretation to assist in maintenance decision making.  Case example from mobile mining application will be shown to illustrate how this is done.


Learning Takeaways:

  1. The importance of reliable sampling, correct oil and maintenance events information as pre-requisites toward a successful data trending (garbage in garbage out)
  2. Data have to be normalised and adjusted for any top-ups before trending
  3. Establish own alarm limits is better than relying on OEM, lab or oil supplier limits


Aaron Said has more than 19 years of experience in the lubricants industry. As the head of ILD/Sinopec technical department, he focused on developing and delivering lubrication excellence services to customers. Areas of his specialisation are the implementation of lubrication best practices, oil analysis, and lubricant optimisation. His aim is to drive efficiency and costs savings through the effective and optimum use of lubricants.
He is a Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS) and Oil Monitoring Analyst (OMA) from the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). Other credentials include Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA) Level I & II and Machinery Lubrication Engineer (MLE) from International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML). He holds an MBA, MSc in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College London, and a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.