Spectro Scientific

Machine condition monitoring for engine testing and development - Manufacturing, Other

Overview

Engine manufacturers use Spectro Scientific oil analysis instruments to assist in engine testing during new product development, testing engines during manufacturing run-in, and for qualifying new lubricants. Engines include:

  • Gasoline and diesel automobile engines
  • Truck and other high speed diesel engines
  • Medium speed diesel engines such as those used for locomotives, marine and power generation
  • Extremely large low speed diesel engines for marine propulsion and power generation
  • Motorcycle engines
  • High performance race car engines

Engine testing can be time consuming and expensive due to fuel usage, support requirements and labor. Therefore, oil samples are taken to check for abnormal wear so that testing may be curtailed if abnormal wear is occurring. Not only does this early intervention save time and fuel, but it may prevent secondary damage in an engine headed toward failure.

Reliability testing is a very important component of new engine development. Engineers need to fully understand and chart the engine's performance under a variety of conditions before mass production may be considered. Oil analysis is an integral part of the research, development and testing process.

Comprehensive real time oil analysis can provide critical information about both engine condition and the condition of the lubricant. Due to the limited capabilities of in-line oil sensors that are attached to the test engine, it can be difficult to isolate and identify engine wear data or know the complete condition of the lubricant.

Having the optimum oil analysis instrumentation within close proximity to the test cell will provide that critical data in real time. Choosing the right oil analysis instrument to gather this data is not as obvious as it may sound due to the challenges of the operating environment. During accelerated wear testing, oil analysis reporting may be required at 10 to 15 minutes intervals. This leaves a very limited time for engineers to perform the test and analyze the results once the oil sample has been collected. This puts a premium on sample turnaround time.