Lubricant Testing and Condition Monitoring: insights and innovations

Peter Hardy, Business Manager, SOCOTEC UK

Testing, inspection and compliance form a key part of an organisation’s sustainability agenda. By encouraging clients to switch to reusable sample pumps instead of single-use syringes, remaining oil-contaminated waste can be recycled into low-grade plastics by an approved waste carrier, creating a significant saving on waste disposal costs, as well as reducing the overall level of plastic consumption.

Switching sustainably

Changing an oil based on its condition as opposed to the length of time it has been in the asset has served as a major development within the condition monitoring sector. By establishing a proactive approach to oil condition monitoring and testing, the number of oil changes performed on an asset can be reduced, along with the amount of oil required on site/for disposal, serving as an altogether more sustainable method.

Thanks to the scientific advancements made by lubrication and oil manufacturers, oils last longer and are able to withstand more stress than ever before, therefore providing the maximum amount of lubrication and protection to the asset. By analysing and trending the data, the lifecycle of the asset can potentially be extended, improving the circular economy and reducing the need to purchase a new asset due to its old age.


Going paperless Working in a digital environment also has sustainable benefits as it enables the testing labs to go paperless, with data automatically sent straight from the analytical instrument to the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

Not only will this reduce the risk of transcription errors and paper usage, it will also allow reports and data to be sent directly to the client without the need for postage.

As the data can be immediately accessed and interpreted by the end user, the switch to a more digital method of working will save time and ensure that the best course of action is taken to maintain the asset and ensure that it is continuously running.

The development of cloud-based systems means that data no longer has to be used in isolation, allowing assets to be compared against one another to determine whether any trends are present that may lead to faults, or whether there are any assets that are not performing as they should be.

Given the amount of data in the asset care sector, the ability to visually inspect and analyse information and results can provide engineers with a clearer overall picture with regards to the performance of the asset.

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