Industrial Questions

Why should I do oil analysis?

Oil analysis can tell you whether or not the oil in a machine can be run longer, check the quality of incoming oil, find contamination problems, reduce the number of oil types on the property, select vendors for a particular oil when prices are similar, and check waste oil for on-specification handling requirements.

How often should we sample our machines?

It depends. Some service managers sample monthly, while others sample quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Your program should be tailored to your particular needs and budget.

I’m a little confused about how this kit works. I see a black bottle, a white bottle, some gray stuff, a Ziploc bag, a slip, and a white envelope.

Put the oil in the white bottle, put the bottle and the gray absorbent material in the ziplock bag (so if it leaks, the oil is contained in the bag and doesn’t get all over your slip or check). Put the bag and the slip in the black mailer, then the mailer goes in the white tyvek envelope with the label on it. And make sure the lids are on tight! We can’t test your oil if it all leaks out by the time we get it.

Do I need a Particle Count test to rate the cleanliness of the oil?

The ISO Code (also known as a Particle Count) determins the concentrations of particles at various micron size levels in the oil. Whether or not you need this test depends on your machines’ sensitivity to oil cleanliness. To learn more about Particle Counts, click here.

Should I have a TAN routinely done on my oil?

The TAN (Total Acid Number) test determines the acidity of an oil. We recommend it for oil that might have been contaminated with water. We also recommend it for companies that get their oil from a recycler, who might dry the oil but do nothing about the oil’s acidity. Also, we often run TANs on compressor and chiller oils.

Who should be in charge of our preventive maintenance program?

In a non-union shop, any worker familiar with oils can be assigned to the task. For union shops, the appointment of the work may be negotiated before the preventive maintenance program is established. We work with companies where taking samples is assigned to various trade groups, including oilers, machine repairmen, pipefitters, chip house personnel, and others.


Blackstone Labs. Not your everyday oil lab.