Insights from industry

An Introduction to On-Site Analysis (OSA)

Brian Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Spectro Scientific, speaks to AZoM about the company and their recent acquisition of On-Site Analysis (OSA).

Could you please provide our readers with a brief insight to the industry that OSA works within?

OSA competes broadly in the machine condition monitoring market and more narrowly in industry segments that rely on equipment and assets powered largely by diesel engines. The main target customers are the large commercial, municipal and government fleet vehicle operators, over-the-road trucking service providers, mine operators, and oil and gas producers and transporters.

Most importantly, OSA is not focused on serving testing laboratories that in turn support these asset owners but instead is focused on providing direct tools and services to the asset owners themselves.

What are the primary applications of the products that OSA manufactures?

OSA manufactures diagnostic testing equipment and software systems that test lubricating, hydraulic and cooling fluids used in engines, gearboxes and transmissions. The tests can be performed on-site by non-laboratory personnel and analytical results and maintenance recommendations are available within minutes.

In what ways has OSA revolutionized and automated the fluids testing process?

OSA has pioneered the on-site testing of engine oils and coolants.  Its products offer a unique combination of elemental (machine wear metals), molecular (oil condition and contamination), physical property (dual temperature viscosity) and particle counting technologies all in a single integrated instrument.

These instruments can be operated by non-technical personnel and provide immediate maintenance recommendations in the form of an easy to understand report. Test results can then be uploaded, stored and trended on its LubeTrack® web-based data storage and management site, making the results and history available from anywhere in the world.

How do you ensure your equipment can be used by experts and non-technical staff alike?

The OSA software is designed to walk virtually any user through a sample analysis from start to finish with the proper prompts and fields that allow for fast and easy data-entry and instrument operation.

Administrative settings allow for report evaluations to be turned “off” if you are an expert and prefer to establish your own recommendations, and turned “on” for the newcomer or non-expert to oil analysis. Specific assets for a given customer can be fully loaded for easy drop-down selection by the novice user or more experienced users have the ability to add descriptions and specifications in additional fields.

Embedded rules, set to generic limits, are applied to each sample, which is helpful to inexperienced operators.  Also, more experienced users can confer with our software team and create special limits, statements and recommendations for their specific industry and assets.

What kind of after sales services do you provide for your customers – in particular your software services?

In addition to our standard warranty on the device, each unit is equipped with remote control software that allows personnel to access the OSA product from anywhere in the world to provide training and technical support to resolve any issues via the internet.

Additional software updates, oil makes, formulations and asset types can also be uploaded. There is also a web-based evaluation program to which the OSA unit can send the processed samples automatically. This program allows the customer to access their fleet maintenance data remotely.

They can view, graph, trend, comment and print specialized reports (among many other options) of their specific data. OSA certified consumables and standards, which we also manufacture and distribute globally, are critical for optimal operation of the instruments.

How does OSA help their customers to not only save money, but also reduce their environmental impact?

Because the testing is performed on-site, when a problem is discovered the equipment can be diagnosed and repaired while still in the shop. This prevents a unit from having a problem while waiting for results to come back from a lab. Downtime and loss of revenue due to an unplanned failure are greatly minimized.

Further, service bay throughput is improved with on-site analysis, along with extending the life of the current equipment by regular oil and machine condition and monitoring. On-going analysis can generate new sales of parts and repair services for fleet maintainers..

Also, extending the oil drain interval saves money by reducing cost of labor, oil, filter and disposal, while at the same time “greening” the fleet by reducing the quantity of oil consumed and disposed.

OSA has recently been acquired by Spectro Scientific. Just how important is this for the company?

Spectro Scientific is the global leader in oil and machine condition monitoring hardware and software solutions. OSA now enjoys the benefits of Spectro’s broad technology and IP portfolio, its much deeper financial resources and its global sales, service and distribution channel.

In short, OSA will be more capable of developing and manufacturing next generation products and will be better positioned to more broadly distribute and support an expanded installed base by being aligned with Spectro Scientific.

Our belief is that the combination of these two companies will allow OSA to continue on its mission of pushing the oil and lubricant analysis process from large, centralized laboratories to the individual users of this critically important process.

How do you see your industry progressing over the next few years?

We fundamentally believe that any company sending oils, lubricants, greases and coolants to a commercial lab for analysis and recommendations would benefit from the increased speed, accuracy and information provided by on-site oil analysis.

Our technology and product development focus will remain on moving this industry from lab to on-site to on-line solutions. The closer a customer can get to full-time, real-time oil and machine condition monitoring, the better their ability to engage in predictive versus proactive or reactive maintenance programs for their critical assets. Predictive analytics coupled with smaller, faster, more portable hardware solutions greatly benefit our customers by giving them access to information at the time of analysis.  

The unique combination of Spectro Scientific and On-Site Analysis will allow us to more effectively execute on this strategy.

About Brian Mitchell

Brian MitchellMr. Mitchell currently serves as the Chairman, CEO and President of Spectro Scientific, Inc. He is a 30-year veteran in the semiconductor, optics and instrumentation industries.

Before joining Spectro Scientific, Mr. Mitchell was President and CEO of Polychromix where he oversaw its development, growth and eventual sale to Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2010.

Prior to Polychromix, Mr. Mitchell served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Aeroflex Incorporated MS Group.

He joined Aeroflex with the sale of specialty semiconductor manufacturer, MIC Technology Corporation to the company in 1992 where he served as its President.

In addition to his Board duties at Spectro Scientific, he is Chairman of the Board of Industrial Dynamics Corporation and as Director for Felsuma, LLC and The Lawrence Boys and Girls Club. He holds a BS degree in Chemistry.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

Alessandro Pirolini

Written by

Alessandro Pirolini

Alessandro has a BEng (hons) in Material Science and Technology, specialising in Magnetic Materials, from the University of Birmingham. After graduating, he completed a brief spell working for an aerosol manufacturer and then pursued his love for skiing by becoming a Ski Rep in the Italian Dolomites for 5 months. Upon his return to the UK, Alessandro decided to use his knowledge of Material Science to secure a position within the Editorial Team at AZoNetwork. When not at work, Alessandro is often at Chill Factore, out on his road bike or watching Juventus win consecutive Italian league titles.

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Comments

  1. Sandra Clark Sandra Clark United States says:

    Do you offer - or know of someone who does - a device for testing power steering fluid or transmission fluid for contaminant?

    Thank you.

    Sandra Clark

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoM.com.

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