PEFTEC 2019 - Abstract

Abstract Title: Speeding up the analysis of used oils
Abstract Type: Oral
Session Choice: Other
Presenter Name: Dr Johan Paul
Co-authors:Mr Nicholas Raemdonck
Mr Noel Van de Steene
Mr Dany Schrevens
Mr Mario Van Driessche
Company/Organisation: Nucomat
Country: Belgium

Abstract Information :

The analysis of used lubrication and engine oils is commonplace in many industries such as aerospace, marine and heavy machinery. However, the challenge for analytical laboratories is to provide an efficient service with the required speed and quality. This speed can be realized in several ways, such as
(1) the reduction in sample preparation time through automation,
(2) speed of sample analysis, and
(3) improvement of the overall laboratory workflow through the implementation of a laboratory information management system (LIMS).

Traditional sample preparation can be a real bottleneck in a fast-turnaround laboratory typical of those analysing used lube oils. Additionally, once the samples are ready to be analysed, a sample sequence must be created on a variety of key oil analytical tools, ranging from ICP, viscosity, etc. Traditionally, required dilution factors and sample names are entered manually. Using modern analytical techniques the actual sample analysis time can be reduced while still maintaining the required level of detection. Finally, given the higher sample loads in today's process laboratories, scientists are looking for end-to-end solutions that improve the overall efficiency of the laboratory workflow and ensure quality data is reported to customers. In the absence of a centralized system, the data-analysis process is slow and time consuming, but it is also prone to human error due to manual actions such as calculations and reporting of data. Fortunately, a LIMS can have significant impact in oil analysis include sample scheduling, sample tracking, instrument integration, results management and reporting.

In order to tackle the challenges listed above, these time-consuming processes in the analysis of used oils have been automated by Nucomat using robotic automation and customized software to take care of efficient operations and reliable data management. The system is able to dispense high and low viscous samples in a clean and very precise way, much better than a traditional liquid handler would perform. Additionally, integration of analytical tools - such as modern ICP instruments - has been realized. The design and engineering of the system has been executed in such a way that a 24/7 regime can be reached. Finally, the system can be integrated in client's LIMS system to achieve the shortest sample turnaround time and maximum sample throughput, while ensuring the highest standards of data integrity and overall quality.