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Gearbox & Hydraulic Monitoring

We have a working relationship with both the recognized industrial oil laboratories in South Africa that have supplied their services to South African companies over many years. Depending on logistics and the preference of the customer, an oil analysis service is implemented to suite.

We now supply an oil monitoring service that gives you the option to:

Capture oil samples in house, we collect and analyse oil at a set fee per sample.


Capture oil samples in-house, you courier samples to us and we analyse oil at set fee per sample.


We capture oil sample on site and analyze oil for set fee per sample. This person will perform all oil sample extraction and submission to oil laboratory responsibilities on site.

The cost will be calculated on a rate for time on site and a set fee per sample analysis.

There are important factors to consider when you are deciding on oil analysis on industrial applications. It is advisable to draw up a matrix on the following before you commit yourself to which machines are to be monitored and at what interval.

Important criteria to be considered are for example:

How much oil does the compartment have?

What environment does the machine operate in?

Are their any filters or breathers in the system?

What speed does the unit operate at?

What types of contamination could occur?

What types of wear particles could be generated under normal operation?

What oil grade and replenishment methods are used in the unit?

What does it cost to replace unit?

Are their spares available for this unit?

What effect does a breakdown have to engineering availability?

What is currently checked on this unit?

What form of condition monitoring is currently applied on this unit?

Once you have completed this exercise, or had a specialist compile this information for you, it can be determined which machines are to be tested and at what interval.

There are 2 methods of sampling that are recommended. The 1ST being sample points that are fitted permanently to the compartment that you want to monitor, and the 2ND is with the use of an oil thief pump.

1. Fitted sample points:

To fit sample points is obviously the most effective and accurate way to capture a true representation of what is happening to the oil under normal operating conditions. The second reason is that the repeatability of the information that you want to monitor and trend is more accurate using this method to capture the sample. The position of the sample point is important. Ensure that you are taking the oil from the compartment at a level where you are not collecting sediment that is trapped in the bottom of the compartment, but the suspended particles that are passing through the gears and bearings under normal operation. These particles are the danger for accelerated wear and increase the risk of failure.

Fitment and supply of sample points can be done by PPM staff if required.

2. Thief pump sample extraction:

The 2ND method of sample capturing is with the use of a thief pump. There are a few risks involved in this method of sampling. The most common problem that is encountered, is cross contamination of the sample as a result of sediment form the previous sample still being present in the thief pump, oil grade difference being trapped in the suction pipe, sample is not taken at the same level inside the compartment, etc. Supply and maintenance of Thief points depends on option of service entered into with PPM.

Sample extraction conditions

It is important to ensure that sampling is done under the same conditions as the previous time when the sample was captured, i.e. machine is running under normal operating conditions and at the same temperature as before. This is important to enable comparison of data and ensure accurate analysis. All this and other do's and don'ts will be part of the in-house training that your staff will receive as part of their training if we take care of your condition monitoring service.

Sample and report information

Oil samples of less than 100 ml are drawn from the various compartments that are monitored using the correct methods. The oil samples are then analyzed by laboratories. The report that is generated will indicate the faults found with their trends (after 2 samples), after which recommendations for action to be taken will be included in report.

This report can be supplied indifferent ways to you:

  • Oil report faxed to person responsible for programme (in-house)
  • Oil report downloaded via modem to customers electronic work station.
  • Report hand delivered by us and discussed with responsible person(s).

Information required enhancing report and analysis:

  • The machine needs to have a unique number or description
  • The compartment needs to be identified
  • The amount of oil in the compartment that is sampled
  • The top-up required between samples
  • Environment that machine operates in Etc.
  • Faults that are reported on are typically as follows:

Gearbox and Hydraulic samples

Contamination levels high, for example:

  • Water (H2O)
  • Dust (Si)
  • Sodium
  • Oxidation
  • Sulphate
  • Nitrates

Wear Metal levels high, for example:

  • Iron
  • Chromium
  • Nickel
  • Aluminium
  • Copper
  • Tin
  • Lead
  • PQ index

Additives and lubricant condition:

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorous
  • Boron
  • Sulphur


  • CSt @ 40 Degrees C
  • TBN
  • TAN

Hydraulic oil samples only

ISO cleanliness levels
(Particle size and distribution)

Examples of Oil sample Reports follow (Reports remain unaltered)

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