Improved analysis S-O-S oil samples

Caterpillar S●O●S Services New Un-subtracted FTIR Method

The purpose of this memo is to announce the implementation of an improved method for

obtaining oil condition data by means of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis. A team of Caterpillar employees formed on July 19, 2004. The team was challenged to study and create a process that will improve the overall FTIR process, method, and data output. The Un-subtracted FTIR Method’s guides and tools will be available via the knowledge network by July 15, 2005. The implementation plan recommended by the Caterpillar team includes the following elements:

Summary of the solution

An Un-subtracted FTIR method has been evaluated for replacement of the current Caterpillar %Allowable differential method. This new method performs its calculations on the “neat” used oil spectrum without any subtraction of the new oil reference spectrum. This analysis revealed that reference oils were the major source of failures with the current method. The new Un-subtracted FTIR method removes the dependence on a reference oil, therefore eliminating the majority of the failures. Another limit to the current method was the types of oils that could be run on the FTIR. This new method allows for all oil samples to be analyzed by FTIR when using the zinc selenide (ZnSe) cell. This study has also shown that precision of the data will improve greatly with the Un-subtracted FTIR method.

Benefits for You

There are many advantages to the Un-subtracted FTIR method. The old method relied on a reference oil to run against the used oil. Reference oil mis-identification was a major source of error. Reference oils are difficult to manage, and they can be time consuming too. The new Un-subtracted FTIR method eliminates the reference oil, which therefore takes away the error in reference oil identification, and it will save time by getting rid of reference oil management. This analysis also revealed that oil top-off affected oil data in the old method, whereas oil top-off does not affect the oil condition data with the Un-subtracted method. Another benefit is the amount of data that can now be reported will increase greatly. With the Un-subtracted FTIR method all oil samples can be analyzed, giving customers more oil condition data for their machines. With more oil data, oil interpreters will be able to give better overall recommendations to customers.

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