Volvo Construction Equipment has expanded its Oil Analysis program and created the Fluid Analysis program. Volvo CE's Oil Analysis program analyzed machine oil, checking for water/coolant content, viscosity, dirt, and quantity of metal particles to give a diagnosis of the machine's condition. The Fluid Analysis program expands these capabilities to include lubricants, diesel fuels, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), and coolants.
Contaminated lubricants and fuels can cause up to 75 percent of repair costs and downtime. About two-thirds of all bearing failures are because of lubrication issues. Volvo CE says that its new program will better equip contractors to take preventive action against contamination and wear, improve uptime, and contribute to a lower total cost of ownership.
"The importance of fluid analysis cannot be overstated, given that early identification of these subtle patterns and anomalies can prevent costly equipment failures, minimize downtime, and extend the machine's lifespan," said Edward Goodchild, head of repair and maintenance at Volvo CE.
Utilizing AI in fluid analysis
Fluid Analysis is Volvo CE's first artificial intelligence (AI) platform-driven analysis program to identify wear metals and contaminants or changes in fluid conditions. The new process uses data analysis to give reports and insights on a machine's fluid condition. AI accelerates the testing process, allowing lab technicians to focus on more pressing issues such as analyzing abnormal or critical samples.
The Fluid Analysis program also increases the number of testing labs to 20 global locations (four in North America). This will allow all dealers and contractors who utilize the program to benefit from a global testing network, reducing lead time and simplifying the sampling and analysis process.
The Fluid Analysis process
Contractors can utilize the program through a service contract with their Volvo CE dealer or purchase an individual sample kit.
Once a fluid sample is taken from a machine, the dealer sends it to a lab where it is analyzed and diagnosed based on any trace elements found. A report with recommended actions is then shared on the Fluid Analysis portal and CHAIN. This cloud-based platform features an interface that presents reports in a way that Volvo CE says is a visual and easy-to-analyze format.
"With routine fluid analysis and historical data, AI algorithms can identify trends, patterns, and correlations that can reduce downtime by up to 15 percent," said Goodchild. "This program will make it much easier for customers to reduce downtime, optimize costs and improve operational efficiency."