What Is Oil Condition Monitoring (OCM)? Oil condition monitoring is the practice of measuring, monitoring and analyzing lubricants and fuel oils for changes that may indicate contamination or otherwise altered chemical content. The types of devices used in this process include an oil quality sensor, a flow meter and an oil pressure sensor to track the degradation of oil from when it is new to the end of its useful life.
OCM plays a key role in the predictive maintenance of oil lubrication systems, oil recirculation systems, air oil lubrication systems and other centralized lubrication systems.
Oil discharge monitoring equipment works in a system to measure the oil content of slop water and ballast water that are expelled from oil tankers and other marine vessels. This equipment is required by law on all ship vessels to ensure compliance with MARPOL (maritime pollution) regulations.
An oil discharge monitoring system is made up of four basic components, including:
Engines and other mechanical components may develop operational issues if the composition and/or quality of lubricants are poor. Lubricants must be able to endure high heat, extreme pressure, corrosion, and contamination. If the quality of your lubricant is poor, you risk damage to your equipment.
That’s where oil condition monitoring sensors come in—these sensors are designed to analyze the current state of the lubricant in a mechanical system while the system is operating. They allow an operator to understand the quality of the lubricant in real time, which reduces downtime and prevents costly replacements. If oil condition monitoring sensors aren’t already a component of your preventative maintenance strategy, consider implementing them sooner rather than later.
Oil quality sensors play a central role in OCM. As their name suggests, they are the devices used to measure the health, quality, contamination and other characteristics of oil. Modern sensors use an impedance spectroscopy technique that offers exceptional sensitivity when compared to older designs such as those based on dielectric sensors.
By measuring the capacity and conductivity of the oil (allowing the calculation of the oil’s permittivity), oil quality sensors can be used to determine multiple critical aspects of the oil. The latest designs are as much as 60 times more sensitive than dielectric sensors.
DropsA USA offers a selection of high-quality lubrication system parts including monitoring sensors and devices. The following are some of our devices that can be used for OCM and equipment automation.
This sensor is used primarily with minimal lubrication air oil applications. It is equipped with twin sensing heads positioned at 90 degrees to offer superior detection, regardless of the orientation. Our Vip4Air, Vip4Air Continuous air lubrication systems combined with this sensor are ideal for high-speed spindle lubrication.
Our Flow Sensor detects the passage of oil and measures the flow rate. This is achieved with a reed switch activated by a piston-mounted magnet that is moved by fluid pressure. It is ideal for checking the oil passage into pipes in systems that have a pump cyclic flow rate.
This oil flow meter uses an oval gear to capture the flow rate of oil through the system by reading a pulsed output that corresponds volumetrically to the flow. It is ideal for critical lubrication points that usually have low flow and high pressure. With a VIP5 Lubrication Controller or PLC system, this sensor can be used to calculate flow rate instantaneously.
This volumetric device is an oil flow meter that can measure flow without regard for temperature or viscosity or a need for any setup or compensation. It is ideal for almost any lubrication system, but especially those in paper mills.
These visual gauges provide instant readouts from your oil pressure sensor devices. We offer them with different kinds of connections and different sensitivities.
Pressure switches can be used to control the pressure of either liquids or gasses. As the diaphragm expands, it actuates the contact.
This ultrasmall sensor is also ultrareliable and ultrafast, and it is an ideal replacement for Proximity and Micro Switch systems. It can be used to monitor spool movement in progressive divider elements.
This part offers the same functionality as the Ultrasensor DMG, but it is designed for DM/DMM divider blocks rather than DMG.
This sensor is used to measure the quantity of lubricant in a reservoir. It was designed primarily for use on SUMO and Mini-SUMO pump systems.
DropsA USA’s oil condition sensors can help you keep your equipment in better working order. Learn more about the benefits of these solutions today.