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Just as blood keeps our bodies thriving, lubricants keep machines running well. And just as blood tests can help diagnose illness in patients, lubricant tests can reveal problems inside machines.

Businesses keen to improve their machines’ performance send lubricant samples to local laboratories for testing, with results diagnosed through a secure global online system– the first of its kind to operate this way.

The tests look for metal particles, contaminants or changes in the lubricant and Shell experts recommend treatment to fix any problems.

By comparing lubricant samples from similar machines in different places, the Shell LubeAnalyst system can help identify ways to step up a machine’s performance.

This saves customers money and can improve efficiency.

Stepping up efficiency

At the Yarnapund PCL factory in Thailand, for example, a machine that helps bend exhaust pipes for trucks broke down.

An investigation using Shell LubeAnalyst found worn seals and pistons were to blame.

Replacing damaged parts, switching to another lubricant and monitoring performance online helped prevent the problem returning, saving over $70,000 a year.

At Nishat Mills in Pakistan, where fabrics such as bed linen are woven, frequent oil changes in gas-fired power generators caused costly shut-downs.

Using the analysis technology, experts identified an alternative oil that needs changing less than half as often. Nishat’s operating costs fell by $40,000 a year.

Worldwide, more than 100 firms have reported using the technology to cut maintenance costs and boost efficiency.