Applied Energy Company offers a full array of Advanced Fluid Management consulting services, including contamination control investigation for due diligence of current practices, processes and policies; site condition and fluid cleanliness compliance GAP analysis assessment audits; establish operational target fluid cleanliness levels and quality control awareness training.
- Site preliminary assessment review meetings to understand the current standards and guidelines utilized to properly manage site fluid custody and assets.
- Site preliminary assessment audits for equipment in use, maintenance processes in place, fluid cleanliness management, and GAP analysis.
- Site operational fluid quality control assessment audits.
- Site establishment of target cleanliness levels.
- Site establishment of Advanced Fluid Management contamination control training.
Site Preliminary Assessment
The Advanced Fluid Management strategy has a strong focus on contamination control of all hydrocarbons due to the potential savings that can be achieved. Aside from the correct selection of a lubricant, maintaining a clean contaminant and moisture free environment/system is paramount to prolonging both equipment and fluid life. Numerous research institute studies, and industry case studies, have demonstrated the positive gains attributable to improved fluid cleanliness levels. Most people think only about maintenance cost savings, such as increased component life, reduced inventory and prolonged oil life, when considering contamination control cost benefits. But often, the greater opportunity to assess the full potential for improvement is increased reliability, reduced unscheduled breakdowns and the potential benefit of increased production far exceed the benefits of maintenance cost reductions.
Site Condition GAP Assessment
Integrated into Applied Energy Company’s continuous improvement approach is the Gap Analysis Process or GAP, a multi-level detailed approach to determine the current fluid management maturity level at the site. Performing the GAP assessment helps understand and prioritize business needs by identifying any deficiencies or inadequacies that need to be overcome – between the way things are today (current state) and the way they should be (desired or goal state). Very often, business stakeholders have a sense of what they think the goal state of their organization, process, or technology should look like. But they are often harder pressed to talk about how that goal state is different from what they have today. Taking the time to complete a GAP assessment – an activity facilitated by one or more of Applied Energy’s Advanced Fluid Management Specialists – helps articulate those differences in a comprehensive manner. Obstacles can exist in three primary categories:
- People; resources lacking the correct skill level or responsibilities that are not clearly defined…
- Processes; such as redundancies or unclear protocol in the process.
- Technology; insufficient technological capability or incompatible systems.
Each obstacle requires a different approach and may be prioritized differently. Weighted scoring categories incorporated into the Applied Energy’s GAP assessment can help identify the deficiencies, their root cause, and provide solutions.
Site Quality Control Assessments
Accurate, reliable assessments, surveys and audits of operational fluids cleanliness compliance are carried out in accordance with industry standards. Applied Energy’s well-experienced and highly trained, professional staff possess a comprehensive knowledge of identifying these damaging components in your systems.
Oil cleanliness and contaminated operational fluids refer to the level of particulate contamination as defined in accordance with International Standard ISO4406:1999 “Hydraulic fluid power – Fluids – Method for coding the level of contamination by solid particles”. Advanced Fluid Management (AFM) hydrocarbon cleanliness and Target Cleanliness Level (TCL) refer to the hydrocarbon cleanliness level that is the optimum required to enable site equipment to perform to its design performance and reliability.
Oil moisture and contaminated operational fluids refer to the level of water content in an operational fluid considered a chemical contaminant when suspended, or mixed, with lubricating oils. It presents a combination of chemical and physical problems for the lubricant and machinery, respectively. Several test methods are used ASTM-D1744 (volumetric method) ASTM-D6304 (coulometric titration method) and capacitive water sensors.
Modern hydraulic and lubrication systems being utilized in today’s machinery are more susceptible to contamination than ever before. Higher system pressures, reduced oil volumes, higher breakaway forces and reduced tolerances all contribute to such systems, demanding improved cleanliness levels.
Site Target Cleanliness Level Assessment
Accurate and reliable target cleanliness level assignments, for operational fluids cleanliness compliance, are carried out in accordance with industry and equipment manufacturer’s standards by Applied Energy’s well-experienced and highly trained professional staff. The amount of contamination with which a fuel, hydraulic or lubrication system can successfully operate depends upon two factors. These are the relative sensitivity of the components to contamination and the level of reliable component service life required by the end user.
Existing ISO ‘Standards’ will be of assistance in the establishment and maintenance of fluid cleanliness at the site. These required cleanliness standards are often noted by the equipment manufacturer as Required Cleanliness Levels (RCL) in operations and maintenance manuals. There are several procedures to ensure in-house cleanliness standards are achieved, starting with a hydrocarbon audit.
An audit, or benchmark, can help identify program weakness and provide specific direction for the best place to start with planned improvements. The initial goal should be to streamline the hydrocarbon receiving, storage, and dispensing standards, so that an appropriate fluid cleanliness on equipment can be maintained. A systematic approach to implementation is often the most appropriate method to ensure a metered, controlled and successful execution. The steps associated with the implementation of a highly defined and specific Advanced Fluid Management contamination control program include:
- Level 1: AFM hydrocarbon receiving and delivery design guidelines
- Level 2: AFM hydrocarbon storage and warehousing design guidelines
- Level 3: AFM hydrocarbon transfer and point-of-use handling design guidelines
- Level 4: AFM general maintenance PM practices and guidelines
- Level 5: AFM portable filtration design and use guidelines
- Level 6: AFM contamination control awareness training guidelines
- Level 7: AFM management and continuous improvement and benchmarking guidelines
- Level 8: AFM diagnostics and monitoring design guidelines