Why Equipment Fluid Analysis Matters

An S•O•SSM Services laboratory is a pretty cool place to be. Literally: The climate-controlled lab is kept around a brisk 68˚F to protect the integrity of thousands of fluid samples, sent from all around the world.

Meanwhile, the technology used to find the tiniest concentrations of elements can approach the temperature of the sun.

For Dana Franklin, an experienced chemist and Caterpillar Project Engineer, such contrasts are part of the fun in a field that is her passion—one that involves “blowing up” oil using inductively coupled plasma spectrometers.

“We’re like detectives, figuring out where elevated analysis results came from. Did it come from a part? The environment? The coolant? It’s what we’re doing with the information that gives real value to the customer.”

Fast results, actionable recommendations

Indeed, when it comes to sampling your oil, coolant or fuel, the expert detective work of S•O•S Fluid Analysis is just one part of a powerful value proposition. There’s also quick turnaround, knowledgeable interpretation and recommendations you can act on … and actually understand without an advanced degree in chemistry.

All kinds of equipment owners and industries can take advantage—whether they own Cat® machines or not.

Top reasons to do regular fluid testing:

  • Avoid costly failures.
    Did you know 70% of hydraulic system failures are caused by some form of contaminant? And yet Construction Equipment Lifecycle Research (2007) shows only about half of major component repairs are done before something fails. Don’t be that guy. Using expert recommendations, you can adjust or replace a single part—preventing a small problem from ballooning into a major repair.
  • Be more productive & profitable.
    Expert fluid analysis helps you manage overall equipment health, thus reducing owning and operating costs. Get the most use out of replaceable components by knowing exactly when they need to be changed, and build a service history that can improve resale value when it’s time to upgrade.
  • Shorten repair time.
    When you track what’s going on “behind the scenes”—like component wear and oil performance—you can predict problems and schedule accordingly. (Take that, downtime.) Since you and your Cat dealer are working as a team to manage your equipment, you’ll know parts and shop time are readily available. Bonus: Optimize oil change intervals, too.
What can equipment management do for you? 



Chemist Dana Franklin gives you a glimpse into the S•O•SSM Services Program and how regular fluid sampling can prevent unexpected breakdowns.

5 things to find in equipment fluids

When you’re testing fluids, you’ve got to see what operators can’t. Here are key factors for oils and coolants.

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