Tag Archives: Petro-Canada Lubricants

Optimising mining operations with used oil analysis

To gain a competitive advantage, it is imperative to get the most out of your hydraulic fluid, Petro-Canada Lubricants’ Neil Buchanan* says.

It starts by selecting the right oil. This means not only using a high-performance hydraulic fluid, but choosing the correct viscosity for each pump and motor, as well as considering the temperature range the fluid must operate in.

For a mining operation, with the sheer range of equipment used – from 260 t haul trucks, to hydraulic shovels, front end loaders, right through to drills, bulldozers and cranes – and the tough conditions it is exposed to, there are a lot of individual components to consider and decisions to make; all the more reason to maximise the use of your fluid.

But it is not just about oil selection: what you do with the oil when the system is running can be equally important.

Running regular used oil analysis as part of a maintenance program can provide operators the opportunity to catch an impending failure before it becomes catastrophic. Unplanned downtime costs time and money; used oil analysis can help avoid it.

The basic principles

Used oil analysis enables operators to monitor and optimise the life of a system and its hydraulic fluid. Typically carried out in a simple three-stage process, used oil analysis involves taking a representative sample of the fluid, sending it to a qualified used oil analysis laboratory and then interpreting and acting on the recommendations of the results.

Most mines undertake used oil analysis, but, when incorporated into a reliability centred maintenance program, the process can enable lubricant technical service advisors and mine personnel to evaluate trends over time, which not only helps to get ahead of system failure but provides a basis for better informed maintenance decisions.

Monitoring key properties

Regularly monitoring the key properties within the hydraulic fluid can give an insight into hidden and potentially harmful contamination, invisible to the naked eye.

Viscosity, the fluid’s resistance to flow, is one basic property measured in used oil analysis. However, viscosity is a lagging indicator, proceeded by additive depletion and oxidation which increases the fluids acid number (AN). Acid number was previously referred to as total acid number (TAN).

Another property that should be regularly monitored is oxidation, which occurs when the fluid is exposed to high temperatures and air (oxygen) and is common in hydraulic systems. The rate of oxidation doubles for every 18°F increase from 150°F, which highlights the importance of hydraulic oil temperature to its life. The impact of oxidation is a darkening of the oil, an increase in viscosity and potential sludge, varnish and deposit formation.

Using the data

Perhaps the most important step – and the one that will give operators the greatest advantage – is to effectively manage and interpret the fluid data accrued from the analysis quickly to enable effective decision making. Digital diagnostics and customised asset management reporting are two of the tools used to secure rapid sample results. Utilising oil diagnostics keeps an operation one step ahead by using the latest technology to proactively track where maintenance is needed and predict where it will be needed in the future.

While used oil analysis is widespread among the mining industry, not every mine is using it to the full extent they could. Using oil analysis as a predictive tool can help operators ensure they get the maximum life possible from their hydraulic fluid and move away from time consuming, reactive maintenance.

*Neil Buchanan is Senior Technical Services Advisor for Petro-Canada Lubricants, a HollyFrontier business

Petro-Canada Lubricants bolsters fleet protection with new engine oils

Petro-Canada Lubricants has expanded its TRAXON™ and DURON engine oil product lines with the launches of DURON™ Advanced 5W-30 and TRAXON Synthetic 75W-85.

The company, a HollyFrontier business, said the introduction of these new oils demonstrates its continued product innovation to help fleets meet new and emerging market trends.

DURON Advanced 5W-30 is a fully synthetic formulation designed to meet and exceed the requirements of the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) FA-4 standard. It has also been approved by major diesel engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) Cummins and Detroit Diesel.

This product line offers durable low viscosity, high performing synthetic and synthetic blend heavy duty diesel engine oils that are designed for emerging and future fuel-efficient engines, the company said. “These oils provide enhanced fuel economy, durability, engine protection and shear stability for the latest heavy-duty engines.”

TRAXON Synthetic 75W-85, meanwhile, expands the existing TRAXON Synthetic range providing fleet owners and operators with enhanced efficiency and long-lasting wear protection that can lead to longer equipment life and reduced unplanned downtime and associated maintenance costs.

“Offering year-round performance in the harshest environments, TRAXON Synthetic 75W-85 provides easier start-ups and improved cold weather shifting for manual transmissions, hypoid gears and rear axles,” the company said.

This low viscosity hypoid gear oil is designed to meet API Gear Lubricant Service GL-5 and API MT-1 Gear Lubricant standards and MACK GO-J standards for heavy-duty manual transmissions. It is also approved against the SAE J2360 Global Standard, the company said. The oil is suitable for use where Volvo 1273, 12 (97312) and Meritor 0-76-J specifications are required.

Alex Buczek, Category Manager of Heavy-Duty Engine and Driveline Oils, Petro-Canada Lubricants, said the new oils were specifically formulated to exceed industry requirements and offer improved performance and protection for fleets.

He added: “Our entire high performance, heavy-duty product line is designed with one purpose – to protect your bottom line. Our products help to make fleet equipment longer-lasting and more reliable; therefore operations can be more productive and profitable.”