Getting full value from your condition monitoring program is possibly the best investment you'll make in your equipment.

I recently wrote a blog post for Relialytics where I asked our followers to make a New Years resolution to their equipment. One of the best ways that this can be done is to resolve to get the most out of all the data produced by your condition monitoring program. While there are many different condition monitoring data sets, one of the easiest to extract value from are oil samples. 

When we undertake oil sample reviews for clients, we often find that due to the number of samples taken, reliability / maintenance personnel have the capacity to review and action only 20% of samples i.e., those that require immediate attention. However, this means that once immediate and unplanned action is required, it is likely that the damage has already been done to the equipment and its life reduced.

We know that the true value of oil samples is when they provide the ability to take proactive, planned action. This means using the data from all oil samples, not just the 20% that require immediate action.

"While there are many different condition monitoring data sets, one of the easiest to extract value from are oil samples."

We have already stated however that on-site reliability / maintenance personnel do not have the capacity to review and action all the samples they receive. So how much value is being lost? Let us have a look at the expenditure on oil samples first.

Assuming a typical coal mine with 50 to 60 pieces of mobile equipment takes approximately 6000 oil samples per annum and the cost of each sample (including sample kit, labour to take the sample and laboratory analysis) is AU$75. This equates to AU$450k of expenditure on oil samples. If only 20% of the samples are reviewed and actioned, then this equates to only $90k of oil sample expenditure delivering any value to the operation or AU$360k of wastage.

Then consider the lost value associated with having to replace equipment components before their budgeted life. A well-executed oil sample condition monitoring program using all can save up to AU$1.5m per annum in component failure prevention for a mine site utilising 50-60 pieces of mobile equipment. Typically, the cost of providing an oil condition monitoring program for 50-60 pieces of equipment would be more than AU$300k using experienced reliability engineers.

"If only 20% of the samples are reviewed and actioned, then this equates to only $90k of oil sample expenditure delivering any value to the operation or AU$360k of wastage."

At Relialytics, because we have fully automated the review of oil samples with our Equipment Condition Supervisor, all your oil samples can be reviewed as they are received from the laboratory and converted to action without requiring exhaustive review by humans. Also, because the system is automated, out costs are significantly lower.

I challenge you to calculate how much you spend in total on condition monitoring and consider if you're really getting a return on your investment. 

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