A new application for predictive maintenance: the Oil Quality Conditioning system

The Oil Quality Conditioning system developed by Mel systems is an equipment based on two parts: an oil quality sensor (OQS) and a filter designed to extend oil life and enable lower oil usage (EOLS).

Within the Ravenna demo, the OQS has been installed on 3 diesel-fuelled and 3 methane-fuelled buses operated by START Romagna, the local transit company. The device enables a time-based trend assessment of qualitative attributes of the engine oil and the online reporting of their values via a “Quality Index”. Among the other values, capacity, conductivity and permittivity of the oil are primarily monitored to assess the degradation level of the lubricant and predict the time of replacement accordingly.

The OQS returns a value 60 times more sensitive compared to other sensors available on the market. It is also possible to detect unexpected contamination problems and avoid mechanical consequences for  the vehicles. The oil quality is showed on % Loss and Oil Quality Index (QI) scale. As the quality decreases, the % Loss and the QI increase accordingly.

The EOLS filter, when installed in parallel with the existing full-­flow filter is able to significantly reduce operational costs by extending oil service intervals. The system is highly effective at preventing the accumulation of harmful contamination below 1 micron by filtering solid particles, reducing acid formation and evaporating, if present, water and gases.

Since September 2016 two diesel buses have been equipped with the EOLS and operated in real-life scenario. Mel-Systems, as well as an independent laboratory have performed chemical analyses on samples taken every 15 days. The results of the oil analysis together with the sensor readings have proven to be a consistent technical basis to extend the oil mileage of the bus fleet under test by about 10.000 km (from an average of 40,000 km to 50,000 km).

For more information, please contact: Luigi Brambilla, brambilla@mel-systems.it  

Friday, May 5, 2017