Industrial lubrication: monitoring in order to plan

The company Atten2, an
IK4-TEKNIKER spin-off, is marketing OilHealth® to monitor online the state of oil degradation

The company Atten2, an IK4-TEKNIKER spin-off, is marketing the OilHealth® sensor which monitors the actual state of oil degradation and enables oil changes to be planned and optimised.

The systems for measuring various parameters that measure the state of the lubricant have evolved considerably in recent times. Nowadays, just like blood tests performed on people, oil analysis laboratories are capable of supplying information on the physical and chemical parameters that enable one to know its general state of health and to diagnose any malfunctioning. To do this, the laboratories analyse the lubricant extracted from the equipment in order to evaluate its state.

The aim of the OilHealth® sensor, which is being marketed by Atten2, an IK4-TEKNIKER spin-off, is to monitor online the actual state of oil degradation. So it gathers data in order to objectively plan oil changes in equipment like step-up gears or turbines, in which the oil change process poses difficulties in the handling of many litres of oil and in the logistics for replacing it.

The degradation of the oil is measured by means of spectroscopic analysis. This measured spectrum is correlated with the state of degradation of the lubricating oil analysed and provides reliable information in real time on the remaining life of the lubricating oil.

OilHealth®, a sensor for monitoring oil degradation

OilHealth®, as its name suggests, is a sensor that monitors the “health” of lubricating oil. It is an optical sensor that obtains the oil spectrum and, by means of an algorithm developed by Atten2, correlates this spectrum and the commercial reference of the oil with its degree of degradation.

Thousands of samples of different oils that were analysed at the IK4-TEKNIKER oil lab were used to produce this algorithm. The sensor provides accurate measurements that allow predictions to be made with ease about the degradation of the lubricant.

Furthermore, the way the degradation evolves may indicate that there are anomalies and so one is in a position to adopt measures to tackle the problem responsible for the anomalies, like external contamination or the malfunctioning of the machine, which may be speeding up the degradation process.

What makes this sensor different lies in the fact that it is easy to use and fit; basically, it boils down to the term Plug and Play which is used for various devices. Besides, it is equipped to handle continual monitoring of the state of oil degradation by obtaining in real time objective data to be able to plan machine maintenance better. The possibility of appropriate planning leads to greater economies in oil changes and lower environmental damage, due to the fact that the whole lifetime of the lubricant is taken advantage of.

In addition to this product, Atten2 is developing a second sensor known as OilWear® to monitor the particle content in the oil; it will be marketed shortly to enhance the action of OilHealth®.