Archive for June, 2014

Q&A: What is the shelf life of grease products?

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Q: What is the shelf life of grease products?

A: Shelf life stands for the time period in which a stored product, like Lubricating Oils and Greases, can be usable sans quality-control checks to confirm performance attributes.

Shelf life is a major thing to be taken into consideration in proper inventory-management practices for packaged lubricating oils as well as greases, to guarantee their suitability for use, delivering promising performance in their main applications.

The shelf life of most oils and greases manufactured is two years from the date of manufacture, given the oils and greases are properly stored in their original, unopened containers. Proper storage, handling, as well as application of these lubricants will deliver benefits in the form of lubricant performance.

Debunking The Myth Called ‘Universal 5W30’

Friday, June 20th, 2014

I’ve seen some supposedly universal 5w30, claiming those products are blended with highly re-refined Group II base oils and that they are composed of a special blend of additives that keep harmful carbon deposits, varnishes, and resins at bay.

These “universal 5w30” are also said to protect engines from sludge, rust and acid build-up. They also supposedly perform efficiently in gasoline engines and do a great job for stop-and-go taxi fleets, city delivery vehicles, and public utility fleets.

It’s described as synthetic blend motor oil consisting of premium re-refined base oil as well as high performance additives through an eco-friendly process, said to be built for today’s gasoline powered engines. Is it any good, though?

I’m not the biggest believer of miracles. And most certainly not the biggest believer of the ‘miracle 5W30’ supposedly suited for all vehicles. Car makers are incessantly finding more compact and more durable engines that boast of after treatment systems (DPF, EGR, SCR).

All these various engines call for a particular lubricant, and it has its own specific package of additives, in order for them to achieve greater levels of power and efficiency even in the most unorthodox and extreme conditions. That said, rather than leaning toward only one 5W30, we are evolving to a wide array of 5W30 oils, each one built to let both the engine and the driver perform their duties.

Extended Oil Drain Intervals

Friday, June 13th, 2014

The new engines that are out in the market today have longer oil drain intervals as compared to their former counterparts, with some up to 40,000- to 50,000-mile drains for on-highway applications.

Suffice it to say, extending oil drain intervals is at all times a balancing act. Oil filters have a significant part here. Longer oil drains may imply a need for a stronger filter, and there are filters particularly built as a support to extend drain intervals.

First things first in choosing an oil filter: go for one that meets or exceeds the engine manufacturer’s bare minimum specifications. See to it that you cross-reference the part number in a cross-reference chart. A plethora of filter manufacturers give easy cross-reference look-ups on the Internet.

According to Jim Watson (director of engineering for liquid engine and filtration at Donaldson): “If you want to double your service interval, then you, in essence, need to double the amount of contaminants the filter can collect before it reaches the end of its life.”

The conventional cellulose-based filter you’re accustomed to may not suffice. It might be necessary for you to move into filters with a synthetic media.

You can avail from some suppliers of filters that they claim take more soot as well as other contaminants out of the oil in order for it to have a longer lifespan. But contaminants and soot are just part of the big picture in terms of protecting your engine.

On the other end of the spectrum, engine oils are made using an intricate balance of chemicals that have purposes like neutralizing acids and preventing oxidation. If you let your oil go too long with no changing, those additives tend to break down.

Should this happen, you could observe filter plugging, aside from the oil not doing as good a job of protecting, cooling and cleaning your engine. Over usage of the oil to the point where the additive package drops out and forms sludge can plug filters as well as engine passages.

That’s the reason why there are filters aimed at extended drain intervals “re-additize” the oil, thus replenishing the protective chemicals. This practice is sometime frowned upon, though. Too much additive of a certain type may stir up some unwanted consequences.

If you’d like to lean toward a filtration system that would incorporate fresh additives into the oil, see to it that it’s meant to work with the oil specification that you are using, and touch base with your engine manufacturer representative about it.

Development of “Handheld Diagnostic Device for Bearings”

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Traditional bearing diagnostic devices that we’re accustomed to calculate and analyze measured vibration data within the device itself and display the outcomes. A big disadvantage is their size, being too big to be carried around on top of other things.

The “Handheld Diagnostic Device for Bearings”, which was developed by NTN, makes use of a smartphone in sending vibration data through the Internet to a server for calculation and analysis purposes. The smartphone also displays the input and output, paving the way for an immensely compact as well as portable vibration measurement system.

This system consists of the vibration pickup along with the pocket size AD converter (device that converts analog electrical signals to digital electrical signals) sold by NTN, and a smartphone.

The customer’s smartphone, which has the special app, sends the measurement data, through to NTN servers with the use of a specific ID and password. This is then analyzed with FFT (method utilized in diagnosing and analyzing input signals using Fast Fourier Transform to get the frequency spectrum) so as to know if a bearing is operating smoothly or not. If it shows any signs of malfunctioning, the area that’s acting up can be determined.

Select people will be asked to test the “Handheld Diagnostic Device for Bearings” so as to monitor usage for further improvements and other feedback. The plans to begin official sales start from the middle of this year.

NTN plans on expanding its aftermarket business through strengthening its technical services like bearing diagnosis and analysis.