There is an old proverb "A stitch in time saves nine," meaning that expending a little effort to fix a small problem will prevent it from becoming a large problem, requiring more effort to fix later. Some might say the industry's approach to equipment reliability has proven this proverb time and time again. My belief in this universal truth helped lead to the development of Esco Product's new Magnetic Oil Monitors, known affectionately as MOM.
Esco Products has always focused on giving operators the ability to catch early-warning signs of problems. Our Visual Oil Analysis products allow users to easily monitor the fluid level in their equipment, as well as collecting and draining water contamination. We have seen the positive effect our products have had, and we had to ask ourselves, “What other aspects of an equipment’s oil should our customers be paying attention to”?
Over the past few years, I’ve taken the time to educate myself on reliability by attending various training courses and gaining several certifications. First I became a “Certified Lubrication Specialist” through the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). Then I got my MLA1 (Level 1 Machine Lubricant Analyst) issued by the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML). Both organizations are trusted among the industry as being leaders in reliability practice and theory, and both organizations inspired the MOM.
During my education, I was taught that there are several other aspects of oil that are early indicators of problems. I was told over and over that an oil’s temperature, color and clarity are all things operators should be monitoring, but often there was not any tool offered to help users track the changes in these important characteristics. How do you know if the oil has changed color from one day to the next? How can you tell if the oil is cloudier than it was a week ago? Monitoring the temperature can be achieved using expensive probes and components, but how can you easily tell if your equipment is running hotter than it was last time you checked?
Many facilities have hundreds of pieces of equipment, so tracking these changes on each individual machine can quickly become a cumbersome task. The solution was both complex and simple: The Magnetic Oil Monitors (MOM).
MOM, operators can adhere these magnets to every machine they want to monitor. Utilizing this product, users can easily mark where each measurement was last taken, so they can instantly see if there has been a change since the last time they checked. Noticing these changes will act as an early warning system, allowing users to take corrective action before the problem grows out of control.
Esco Products did a small beta-test to see how the MOM worked in real world situations. Supplying these to a few dozen testers, we asked for their honest feedback after a month in service. The results surprised and inspired us.
We had two separate companies notice spikes in the operating temperature on their equipment. In one case, it was found that a pump had not been greased on its last maintenance schedule. At a different facility, another user noticed a gearbox was running about 40°F hotter than usual. Upon inspection, it was found that the equipment was not setup properly. In both instances, the users caught the problem early, took corrective action, and avoided a potential failure.
Having operators use the MOM requires that they physically inspect the equipment. This act alone is increasing reliability, because operators might catch other early indications of equipment problems (strange noise, increased vibration, leakage, low oil levels, etc).
When used in conjunction with our various Visual Oil Analysis products, operators can identify a wide range of problems, simply by walking by their equipment and taking a quick glance. Utilizing the Magnetic Oil Monitors will give users even more ways of tracking their equipment’s health. Reliability is a never-ending journey, and Esco Products wants to ensure you have the tools you need.
Esco continues to operate under the belief that a stitch in time saves nine. We hope these products can help users do as little “stitching” as possible.
To learn more about how these magnets work, visit our MOM product page HERE.