Traditionally lab-based, Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) machines offer an in depth understanding of many oil parameters, quickly and without the use of complicated tests and chemical reagents. FTIR is the predominant Infrared Spectroscopy (IS) methodology, providing information on multiple parameters simultaneously, offering both qualitative and quantitative measurements, which makes it an invaluable source of information for maintenance engineers.

Kittiwake’s portable FTIR3 Oil Analyser comprises three main components (FTIR3 spectrometer, portable computer and carrying case), and is simple to operate, requiring only 2 ml of oil sample to produce accurate, reproducible results in minutes. A rapid method of screening oil samples that have problems, the results provide general information about the identity and condition of the oil; for example degradation by-products, additive depletion and contaminants.

The FTIR3 Oil Analyser is configured to ASTM D7418 Standard Practice and the included software comes pre-loaded with the complete range of JOAP and ASTM approved methods used for the condition monitoring of in-service lubricants. Also preconfigured are industry-accepted methods under ASTM consideration including:

  • Antioxidant depletion
  • Glycol contamination
  • Water
  • Sulphonation
  • Oxidation
  • Nitration
  • Phosphate Antiwear

Further test methods can be added as and when they are approved by the standards bodies.

The powerful FTIR software provided on the netbook is simple to use. It allows users to set up multiple machines and oil types and also define what parameters are measured on each sample. Data is stored on the machine and can either be viewed numerically or in graphical format for trending over time. Custom alarms can be set for any measured parameters - these can be either a simple pass/fail, or warning levels with various levels of severity and colour coding, as defined by the user for the specific application. In addition, spectral data can be viewed graphically and compared with new oil spectra.

Martin Lucas, managing director, Kittiwake Group explained: “As equipment operators gain a greater understanding of the benefits of condition monitoring to protect their major assets, the use of on-site, in-service oil analysis is becoming more prevalent. Until now, lab grade instruments have been too bulky or delicate for field use, which is why Kittiwake has developed the FTIR3 Oil Analyser. The first compact, field unit of its type, it is capable of detecting multiple oil analysis parameters simultaneously and providing rapid analysis without the need for extensive sample preparation or wet chemistry. Designed to meet ASTM specifications, the FTIR3 Oil Analyser assures users that established, trustworthy procedures and operations are employed for best practice and precision.”

The launch of the FTIR3 Oil Analyser represents the latest innovation from Kittiwake’s R&D team, following the recent launch of its ATEX and IECEx certified Metallic Wear Debris Sensor, an industry first for Zone 1 “hazardous” environments. Traditionally used with critical gearboxes, the Metallic Wear Debris Sensor continuously checks on the health of an asset and alerts the user to changing wear patterns. With the addition of ATEX and IECEx certification, the sensor can now be used in hazardous zone 1 and 2 applications where explosive gasses are likely to be present.

About Kittiwake
Kittiwake is a leading global provider of asset control and protection technology, with offices in the UK, Germany, USA, Asia and India. Kittiwake is an expert in machinery condition monitoring, fuel and lube oil analysis, emissions monitoring and onboard water testing. The company prides itself on its investment in people to create innovative solutions that realise significant cost savings for customers www.kittiwake.com.

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