Oil Sampling / CB


Condition Based Maintenance

CBM, ISO Particle Count, Wear Check



Condition based maintenance and regular oil sampling methods are becoming regular practice as the cost of fluids, replacement parts and downtime continue to rise.  Maintenance managers are achieving substantial savings by keeping their equipment fluids cleaner which keeps the fluid properties within spec for much longer.  Polished oil also prevents acid formation and buildup of harmful contaminants resulting in significantly less wear and component failure.  Less downtime is the goal as well as overall extended rebuilds on protected equipment throughout the fleet.

The oil analysis program recommended for your CBM program needs to contain information about wear metals, additives, ISO contamination (dirt, soot, sulfation, nitration), and physical properties (viscosity, oxidation, TBN, TAN).

For hydraulics, gear oil or transmission fluid, you will need to request an ISO particle count section in the analysis.  This will assure the oil cleaner is maintaining your particle cleanliness.  As a result, fluid life, component life, and equipment life can be safely extended beyond OEM recommendations.

CBM is not about changing oil and filters – it’s about eliminating failures, anticipating the needs of the equipment and extending  equipment life.  In short, it’s about slashing your operating cost as much as 50% by keeping your fluids and equipment running cleaner for longer.

With condition based maintenance practices in place, the staff now pays attention to the condition

of various lubricants, and how oil analysis can predict what may happen next, and take the necessary corrective steps.


Comparison of Maintenance Practices

Comparison of Maintenance Practices


The mechanics, lube technicians and operators keep filters changed and oil samples collected on schedule.  Time and energy is better spent keeping equipment operating at full capacity minimizing downtime and related breakdown costs. The focus is preventative versus reactive maintenance.

Proactive maintenance is not just about gathering oil samples and analyzing reports to predict failures, but taking necessary actions to keep every lubricant cleaner for longer.  Running polished oil throughout both stationary and mobile equipment is the most effective step to prevent unscheduled maintenance and costly downtime.



The International Organization for Standardization created the cleanliness code 4406:1999 to quantify particulate contamination levels per milliliter of fluid at three sizes: 4µ, 6µ, and 14µ.

This ISO code is expressed in 3 numbers: 19/17/14. Each number represents a contaminant level code for the correlating particle size. It is important to note that each time a code increases the quantity range of particles double.

Oil Samples


Pumps Blurb


Oil Level Chart


Oil Contamination Chart

Important Indicators in Your Oil Analysis Reports

Particle Count:  A hydraulic system should never exceed 17/14 (new oil)

Water:  Concentrations should never exceed 300 ppm (0.03%)

Viscosity: Range should not exceed +/- 25% from initial viscosity

Acidity:  Total Acid Number (TAN) should never exceed 1.0, new oil is 0.2










The Effect Particles Have on Your Operation

Surface Degradation -Wear causes loss in production, downtime and costly repairs.

Oil Flow Restriction and Part Mobility -Particle deposits restrict the flow of oil and slow the mobility of parts.

Higher Consumption of Oil and Filters -Particles not only cause wear but create    by-products which actively shorten lubricant service life.  Accumulation of particles throughout a system also causes increased filter usage.

Increased Energy Use and Negative Environmental Effect – Increased friction and engine blow-by contaminate oil, which in turn causes loss in fuel efficiency.  Higher energy consumption means increased emissions, and premature contamination of lubricants increases waste stream impacts overall.


OperationEngine Oil Sample

Engine Oil Sampling