One interesting discussion about lubrication is the importance of onsite lubricant testing. Some say that the cost for setting up an onsite testing laboratory is too costly and impractical. There are others who argue that the benefits of the onsite testing of lubricant far outweighs the high cost.
An onsite lubricant testing laboratory provides quick turn around on samples. This allows for early detection of problems. A problem can be remedied the same day as the testing. This minimizes down time and helps prevent damage to equipment components. More serious problem or damage can occur if the equipment was allowed to operate while waiting for the results of an external laboratory.
An onsite laboratory is also a very advantageous for correcting problems. It allows for an instant verification of the status of the equipment after a repair or routine maintenance. A good example of the benefit of an onsite laboratory during replacement of filter. It is possible to track the performance of the new filter just a few hours after it was installed.
The benefits of onsite testing makes it very compelling for an operation to have its own laboratory. Still, there are many things to consider before pulling the trigger on such decision. Aside from needing the proper testing equipment, trained personnel are also required. The price of the equipment and manpower can be too expensive for non-large scale operations.
Lubrication experts offer an alternative. Instead of having an onsite laboratory, simple testing kits are used. These kits are not capable of providing detailed data on lubricant quality. They can, however, serve as early warning tools that helps prevent detect and prevent serious problems.