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The Lubrizol Corporation and Caledonia Instrumentation Systems Ltd

Friday, May 1st, 2009

An oil and machinery condition monitoring system has been co-developed by The Lubrizol Corporation and Caledonia Instrumentation Systems Ltd that will, while a machine is running, measure real-time oil condition parameters, including viscosity changes, ingress of moisture, and oil quality. The system, known as FluiCheck™, will also measure degradation of major mechanical parts through analysis of ferrous metal particulate in the oil. Continuously monitoring fluid conditions in machines helps to identify potential problems before they occur and optimizes the ability to manage equipment maintenance cycles.
To monitor lubricant conditions, the FluiCheck system uses a suite of sensors and complex algorithms that help users understand what is happening in their machines. The system communicates critical lubricant information to most industrial monitoring systems using RS232/485 or Ethernet Modbus protocol. It can also communicate using GPRS communication interface and the instrument data can be collected from a website download facility.
To monitor a lubricant, sensors must be plumbed into the oil system through the use of tailored manifolds. Modular in design, the system’s analysis and monitoring capabilities can be customized with various sensor instruments to meet the requirements of a specific application.
Any combination of the following instruments are available to use when customizing the FluiCheck system for specific applications:
• The FluiCheck MD sensor determines a mass of debris accumulation as extracted from the oil and captured and measured. It measures ferrous debris in milligrams per time interval (hour, day, week etc).
• The FluiCheck RH sensor measures moisture in oil as percentage of relative humidity. It also measures temperature of the oil, which is useful for referencing along with the humidity versus time.
• The FluiCheck MFI sensor measures oil quality using multi-frequency impedance at high, medium, and low frequencies. These measurements help determine the remaining useful life of the lubricant and will indicate incidents as they occur during the runtime of the machine.
• The FluiCheck VIS sensor offers an accurate indication of the change in viscosity of the oil in Centipoise during machine runtime and as the oil ages.
The system is currently installed in applications ranging from marine diesel engine piston ring wear measurement, gearbox wear in wind turbines and performance measurement for stationary power generation. It is also now being developed for mobile and stationary mining equipment at sites in Australia, North America, and Chile, South America.
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