Reviewing oil analysis reports as soon as possible is imperative to the success of any oil analysis program for a variety of reasons.
A sample immediately starts losing value once it is pulled because it stops reflecting the current state of the component being sampled. The amount of time that is allowed to elapse between sampling and reviewing the test results can mean the difference between being able to take action and needing to take another sample more representative of the component’s current status. Even mildly abnormal conditions can continue to deteriorate and have the potential for quickly becoming a critical situation.
As a report ages, the cost of any necessary repairs increases. A minor fuel dilution issue that isn’t addressed will continue to deteriorate as excess fuel washes the lubricant from the liner allowing it to score. If allowed to progress far enough, failure can occur.
Delaying the review of oil analysis reports can also have a significant impact on the maintenance strategy planned for an upcoming outage. A report could verify that a scheduled PM isn’t necessary and can wait until the next outage giving you more time and resources for addressing more critical issues. Alternately, you may find a critical item that needs immediate attention and promptly reviewing the report has given you extra time for ordering parts and a better chance at having them available for the outage.
There are numerous examples of situations where the prompt review of a report has saved a piece of equipment or prevented unnecessary repair or replacement costs. The value of an oil analysis report diminishes with time but reviewing test results and maintenance recommendations as soon as they are received provides you the best chance at getting an optimal return on your oil analysis investment.