Management Philosophy  
Section I - Comprehensive "full service" used oil analysis  

A. Rationale

  B. Management
  C. Quality Assurance
  D. Laboratory Operations
  E. Evaluations
  F. Reporting
  G. Custom Label Programs, Support Service and Materials
Section II - Maintenance Management  

A. Rationale

  B. Application
  C. Benefits
  D. Evaluation of "Used oil Analysis Test Results" for Maintenance Managers
  E. Summary
Section III - Lubrication Engineering  

A. Rationale

  B. Application
  C. Benefits
  D. Summary

Management Philosophy

Today, more and more fleet and equipment managers are using used oil analysis to monitor their equipment and lubricants. It is expected this trend will continue and the need for used oil analysis will continue to grow. Petroleum Products Monitoring, Inc. (PPM) fully understands the forces involved in today's economic climate and is committed to meeting the needs of our customers. To meet these needs in the most effective, comprehensive, cost effective manner, and will always be, our goal. We have developed and implemented services providing management and support in the key areas where we believe we can most effectively help our customers. To do this, we have combined the following services in our used oil analysis program. Services available from PPM, Inc. are:

Section I - Comprehensive "full service" used oil analysis

Section II - Maintenance Management

Section III - Lubrication Engineering

We are dedicated to providing the best possible used oil analysis testing service at the most reasonable price. Our service provides strong technical support, combined with close personal attention to all our customers and their specific needs. Our used oil analysis service is people / customer oriented and designed to provide maximum customer service and support. All customers are assigned a "Customer Service Representative" by name, and they work closely with their customers on a daily basis. Your complete satisfaction is our goal.

The key to success with used oil analysis testing is the involvement and commitment of all people in the program. A management team, composed of laboratory personnel and customer service personnel, will be identified for every program. The members of this team will include:

* Technical Service Representatives (Laboratory)

* Laboratory Management (Laboratory)

* Account Managers (Laboratory)

* Data Analyst (Laboratory)

* Customer Management

* Customer Maintenance Managers

* Customer Maintenance Personnel

* Others that might be included are:

1. OEM's

2. Lubricant Suppliers

3. Equipment Drivers / Operators

4. Laboratory Lubricant Engineers


A properly developed program management team ensures the program is cost effective, provides quality assurance and measures and monitors the success of the program.

Our programs promote a total, integrated approach to preventative maintenance using oil analysis as a tool to help maintenance managers make informed maintenance decisions. We provide practical solutions and information.






A. Rationale

B. Management

C. Quality Assurance

D. Laboratory Operations

E. Evaluations

F. Reporting

G. Custom Label Programs, Support Service and Materials



Petroleum Products Monitoring, Inc. (PPM) provides a full service used oil analysis program. Our "full service" concept means we provide all of the testing and related services to meet the needs of our customers. If a test or service is unavailable from PPM, Inc., we will assist our customers in locating a company that can provide for their needs.



PPM, Inc. management combines years of experience and professionalism in our programs. We provide a complete customer service oriented approach to our decision making philosophy. We are part of the customers business and ensure our decisions and actions are discussed with the customers as a member of his management team. We act on behalf of our customers to meet their needs and requirements.

Our management approach incorporates a quality circle concept and involves customers and PPM, Inc. personnel at all levels. When we process samples, we represent you and your customers. All actions and services will be accomplished in a manner to bring credit and recognition to you, your company and PPM, Inc.



Internal quality assurance is accomplished by all PPM, Inc. operations and sections. A detailed outline of the PPM, Inc. Quality Assurance program is provided as Addendum "A" to our proposal.



Sample receipt, preparation, data entry / records, processing and test data transfer are the basic steps of lab operations.

Sample Receipt / Preparations

These functions occur constantly during the workday as samples are received for processing. All samples are prepared for processing with a unique lab number assigned to each sample and sample information form. All samples are stamped with the date received to ensure they are processed in the time allowed.

Data Entry / Records

The data entry / record keeping function occurs immediately after sample receipt and preparations are completed. Data entry is responsible for developing the files and records for the equipment related to each sample processed. Each time a sample is received, files must be developed and / or updated. Laboratory processing logs are developed by this department to identify the tests required for each sample and equipment.


Before processing of samples begins, trained technicians calibrate all laboratory instruments, accomplish equipment maintenance, review lab logs and sign processing logs for control. These functions ensure samples are processed accurately, efficiently and provide the basis for laboratory quality control.

Sample processing can begin only after lab logs are available to identify the tests required. After receipt of lab logs, each sample is processed through the work stations to complete all testing. Samples with abnormal test data are re-checked for accuracy.

Test Data Transfer

Test data on each sample is automatically transferred to equipment files for data verification and evaluation.



PPM, Inc.'s evaluation of test data is accomplished by trained professionals having knowledge of new lubricant properties, used oil analysis testing, equipment designs and maintenance management. All test results are reviewed for accuracy and compared to established trends and evaluation limits. Evaluation limits are obtained, primarily, from OEM sources and by internal study and development of standard deviations for equipment types and lubricants. Each sample is compared to evaluation limits to determine if test results are normal or abnormal. All abnormal results are checked for laboratory accuracy before they are used in the evaluation process. After abnormal results are verified, the evaluator contacts the equipment owner or maintenance manager for review and discussion. The final evaluation process can be completed only after this contact has been accomplished.

Basic guidelines have been developed by PPM, Inc. for use by the equipment owners and maintenance managers. These guidelines provide suggestions for maintenance managers as well as information about used oil analysis test results.



When the evaluation process is completed, final reports are prepared for each sample processed..

Final reports are mailed to the end users and may be sent to more than one recipient. More copies are available for special programs when requested.

PPM, Inc. offers all customers the opportunity to receive copies of their final reports by "Facsimile" and electronic transfer.

All abnormal results require a phone call to the equipment owner and / or maintenance management.



The used oil analysis program provided by PPM, Inc. includes all sample kits materials, sample information forms and report forms.

Pre-paid and monthly "post-paid" accounts are provided as a value added opportunity to all customers.

Account managers are assigned to all customers and accounts.

Used oil analysis maintenance management and lubrication engineering services are available for all customers.








Used oil analysis is an excellent inspection tool used to assist the maintenance manager in making more informed decisions. This tool works best when the laboratory understands maintenance and relates to the objectives of the end user.

When making cost effective maintenance decisions everyone needs to be involved. Because used oil analysis is a unique inspection tool, it is imperative the lab management be willing to work with the customer. Lab management and personnel are part of the customers team of experts and must participate actively in maintenance decisions. A lab without this philosophy is not an effective source of data and information. It is imperative the lab personnel work closely with the customer to ensure lab results are completely understood and how these results can be used in the most effective and beneficial manner.

The management of PPM, Inc. has many years of experience in both used oil analysis and maintenance. We use this experience to work with the maintenance managers to determine why an oil sample has an abnormal result and what maintenance action is needed.

Effective used oil analysis requires well established lines of communication between the lab and the end user. Communication must be more than just reporting results - it requires working with and asking questions of maintenance managers to determine the reason for the abnormal result and action required.  When you combine years of used oil analysis experience with effective maintenance management, you get excellent results and avoid mistakes and mis-representations that might result in unnecessary expense and downtime.



PPM, Inc. used oil analysis programs incorporate all the information gained by working with many different customers to solve the individual customer problem. Years of used oil analysis testing experience is combined with years of maintenance experience in our decisions.

Our lab management and personnel are familiar with most lubricants and equipment types. PPM, Inc. works closely with lubricant suppliers and equipment manufacturers to understand their products, applications and limitations. This knowledge of new lubricants and equipment is combined with used oil analysis results and information on used equipment to ensure our advice is complete and effective.

Application of PPM, Inc. used oil analysis and maintenance management practices incorporate the following rules:

* Abnormal test results are always re-tested to ensure laboratory accuracy.

* Abnormal test results are always compared to results on new lubricants and equipment.

* Normal and abnormal results are always compared to previous trends and industry standards to determine acceptable standard deviations.

* Abnormal test results must be verified by either more testing or by talking to the equipment owner / manager to determine the cause. Their is always a reason / cause for abnormal results. This must be determined by the lab and maintenance managers before corrective action is initiated.

* Equipment owners and / or maintenance managers must always be consulted about abnormal results. Open communication is the key to using oil analysis effectively.

* PPM, Inc. provides training and other related services such as training manuals, information about laboratory equipment, ASTM testing methodology, new lubricant up-dates, new equipment up-dates and other information to assist our customers to obtain the maximum benefit from the program.

* Solutions to problems found with customer's equipment is factored into advice given to other customers with similar problems. No proprietary information is given without consent when imparting advice to customers.


* The final decision regarding used oil analysis results is made by the equipment owner / maintenance manager. PPM, Inc. has made the commitment to provide support and advice in their decisions.



The benefits of maintenance management and used oil analysis are well known to many users, however, many end-users do not have the understanding of the total program concepts. Benefits accrue in many areas and ways. A brief list is as follows:

* Oil companies and equipment manufacturers benefit because the used oil analysis verifies the reliability of the lubricants and equipment in a very competitive market.

* Used oil analysis programs are an excellent "value added" sales tool for lubricant and equipment distributors.

* Many warranty programs use used oil analysis as part of their equipment protection plans.

* Re-sale of used equipment is enhanced / improved when used oil analysis documentation is available to support maintenance record.

* Equipment owners and maintenance managers benefit in many ways as follows:

- Reduced downtime

- Enhanced maintenance scheduling

- Lower service / maintenance cost

- Extended oil drains reducing maintenance cost

- Lower "Used oil and filter" disposal cost

- Extended equipment life

- Proactive maintenance vs. reactive maintenance

- Lower inventory of equipment, parts, supplies and manpower required

- Enhanced ability to evaluate equipment applications and operations

- Availability of a high tech inspection process providing information to use in maintenance management decisions.




Using oil analysis results to determine required maintenance action must take careful thought. Before any action is taken, the current operating condition and performance of the equipment must be evaluated by the maintenance manager. Other considerations are:

* Equipment availability

* Equipment age

* Warranty claim responsibilities

* Cost of repair vs. equipment replacement

* How critical is the job application

* Do you have other equipment to replace the unit while out of service

* Man hours may be lost while equipment is out of service

* Previous maintenance records

* Equipment need vs. downtime

* Operator logs

Once the decision is made to inspect or repair equipment, the used oil analysis reports can help pinpoint areas for maintenance action. Review test results for problem areas. Typical problems are:

Viscosity of Lubricants

If the viscosity has increased or decreased by over one grade, the reason for the change should be investigated. Consult the oil analysis training manual, available from the lab, for causes of problems.

Fuel Soot

Fuel soot levels will vary depending on engine types and equipment applications. Typical fuel soot levels requiring maintenance action will be around 2% by weight. Consult training manual. Fuel soot, alone, without other problems may not require any action. Consult manual for solutions.


Fuel levels may vary depending on equipment. 4% fuel usually requires inspection or repair. This level of fuel may affect the viscosity and cause abnormal wear. Consult manual for solutions.


Water greater than .05 requires maintenance action and/or oil change. Consult manual for sources.

TBN (Total Base Number)

If oil shows a TBN of less than 1/2 the original TBN of new oil it should be changed.

TAN (Total Acid Number)

Typically, new engine oils have low TAN's of less than 2. If the used oil shows an increase of double the values of the new oil, it indicates a need to change the oil.

Elemental analysis will have different levels of allowable parts per million (ppm) for different types of equipment/engines. Some basic guidelines are as follows:

Silicon (Si) Dirt

20 parts per million is normally considered high, however, 20 ppm without any related wear may indicate a contaminated sample or silicon from a source other than dirt.

Typically wear metal limits to use as guidelines can be classified as moderate or critical. Moderate levels usually require no maintenance action. Basic guidelines are:

Fe (Iron) 100 ppm 150 ppm
Cr (Chromium) 10 ppm 30 ppm
Al (Aluminum) 10 ppm 30 ppm
Cu (Copper) 30 ppm 60 ppm
Pb (Lead) 30 ppm 60 ppm
Sn (Tin) 15 ppm 30 ppm
Ni (Nickel) 5 ppm 10 ppm

Increases in wear metals without an apparent reason or cause should be evaluated carefully. If all factors are normal, the wear rates should be fairly consistent unless a problem is developing.

Changes in viscosity, soot levels, fuel dilution, water, TBN's, TAN's, dirt (Si) and glycol contamination may affect the wear metals and may require maintenance action or inspection. If there is an effect - there must be a reason or cause. New engines or engines recently overhauled will have high levels of break-in wear.

Wear metals will increase slowly over a period of time and moderate increases may be considered normal. Sudden increases without a reason or cause indicates a potential problem. An increase of over 50% of the baseline trend should be investigated to determine the cause.

The other wear metals - Mo, Ag, Ti, V, Sb - are not typically in the majority of the diesel engines, especially construction and over the road equipment.

Na (Sodium), B (Boron) and K (Potassium) are found in some engine oils as additives, however, they are typically indicators of coolant (Antifreeze) in oil. Levels of these elements found in quantities of 30 to 50 parts per million greater than levels in new oils are cause for concern. Samples with high levels will be tested chemically for coolant/antifreeze. Antifreeze at any level is unacceptable and requires inspection or maintenance action.

Mg (Magnesium), Ca (Calcium), Ba (Barium), P (Phosphorus) and Zn (Zinc) are additives used to develop specific properties for different lubricants. These will vary depending on the manufacturer and oil type. The laboratory reviews these to ensure the proper oil is in use. Changes in these levels will vary and will be commented on only if the lab has a question or a problem has been detected that may relate to additives.

Remember, many things affect lab results and the effect may or may not be normal depending on the variables discussed at the beginning of the paper. Always consult equipment records, manufacturers, lube suppliers and the laboratory if you have any questions.



Guidelines for general equipment populations. Trend data must be considered when looking at these numbers.




Fe (Iron) 100 150
Cr (Chromium) 10 30
Al (Aluminum) 10 30
Cu (Copper) 30 60
Pb (Lead) 30 60
Sn (Tin) 15 30
Ni (Nickel) 5 10
Silicon (Si) 10 30

- WATER, VOL. % MAX .05%




- Total Base Number, % of original 50%

- pH 3


- Differential Absorbance/cm,


- At 6.1 microns (nitration) 20-50

- At 5.8 microns (oxidation) 20-50

- TAN Increase by 2

* SAE 30: 9.3-12.5 cSt at 100C / 58-70 SUS at 210F

SAE 40: 12.5-16.3 cSt at 100C / 70-85 SUS at 210F



PPM, Inc. is a professional , well managed service combining used oil analysis and maintenance management. Our service is comprehensive, cost effective, flexible and able to meet the needs of many varied customers and application.

Petroleum Products Monitoring, Inc. provides a total program to ensure our customers receive the best "Service", "Reliability" and "Savings" possible.









Rapid changes in lubricant technology, engine / equipment technology, government regulations, waste oil disposal requirements, corporate downsizing and the economic climate require the PPM, Inc. laboratory to provide more services to our customer. Experts in lubrication engineering have become an essential part of our program and plans to provide more services.

PPM, Inc. employs a team of professional lubrication engineers as a part of our staff. Our lubrication engineers are available to work with our customers to develop a greater understanding of new and used lubricants and the causes and effects of changes.

We believe lubrication engineering is an essential part of providing a complete oil analysis program. Our lubrication engineers provide customers and PPM, Inc. greater advantages, opportunities and program benefits.



PPM, Inc. lubrication engineers combine many years of experience with new and used lubricants to promote greater understanding of products and changes.

Lubricants in service change rapidly and are affected in many ways. Changes that occur are evaluated by the lubrication engineers to determine the effects. Adverse changes affecting lubricants and equipment must be explained and corrections implemented.

The lubrication engineers are available to consult with all customers about used oil analysis, equipment management and lubricants.

PPM, Inc. lube engineers are not meant to replace oil company engineers. Their job is to provide supplementary support and work in conjunction with others to train, assist and advise users of lubricants.



* Provide support in developing a greater understanding of new oils vs., used oils.

* Interface with used oil customers about lubricants and maintenance management.

* Additional support for oil companies.

* Available to act as consultants on questions or problems.

* Available to work with O.E.M."s regarding needs.

* Interface with National organizations, such as American Trucking Association / TMC regarding lubricants and fleet management.



Used lubricants are a complex blend of many chemicals, products, by-products and contaminants. Many changes occur while lubricants are in use and it is necessary to determine which are harmless and which may result in failure of the lubricant and / or the equipment. To do this properly, it is necessary to evaluate the results of the used oil analysis, compare these results to the properties of new lubricants and combine the information with maintenance management practices to determine corrective actions. Chemical properties of new lubricants are vastly different from used lubricants and while many properties of new lubricants remain effective, many change and are not effective after extended use.

PPM, Inc. lubrication engineers work closely with the lab and our customers to determine the significance of the changes in the used oils. Their expertise with both new and used lubricants is invaluable when providing advice and assistance to our customers.

Lubrication engineering is an important part of the service we provide and we are confident our customers benefit from this service.