When your sample has been tested in the laboratory the data from the test equipment is reviewed by Terra Analytical Interpreters who provide an Evaluation Code and a plain English Interpretation Comment.
Evaluation codes are
Each sample report is assigned an A, B, C or X rating.
A means your results are Acceptable - there is no need to take any action.
B means that some results may appear Borderline or that we wish to Bring something to your attention. There is no need to take action but we recommend that you read the comment to understand the reason and keep sampling to monitor that compartment.
C means something is Critical or we believe you need to Check or Change something. We believe some Action is required. It is important to carefully read the comment to understand the reason and see what action is being suggested.
X means something is eXtremely serious and urgent action is required.
The evaluation codes are a priority rating system for taking action.
The Analytical Interpreters consider a wide range of factors when assessing your sample results. Each sample is unique and provides a snapshot of a specific moment in time within that fluid compartment. The information supplied on the sample label is very relevant to this process. It is important to correctly identify the equipment Make and Model and Compartment, and the Oil Brand, Type and Grade and the Hours (or Distance) on the Oil and the Equipment. We appreciate that in some cases this information is not available and we can work around incomplete data if necessary - but the value and accuracy of the sample report is greatly improved with quality label information.
We check that the results are consistent with the stated oil type and grade. There are thousands of oil types and grades in the market place. Our role is not to recommend which products you should use - that should be discussed with your equipment agent or oil/fluid suppliers. But if the results do not match the Oil Type and Grade stated on the label, we alert you in case the wrong oil type or grade is being used.
There are many types of contamination that can cause harm in equipment compartment. Dirt, Water, Fuel, Coolant etc. Interpreters look for indicators of these contaminants and alert on these.
Wear metals are a large part of fluid condition monitoring. All equipment is wearing out over time and metal particles are entering the oil/fluid. Normal wear occurs at a low, steady rate and is proportional to the hours on the oil. An increase in this rate means that the life of the equipment is being shortened, and a significant increase could indicate abnormal wear from a component in failure mode. Different compartments wear at different rates - there is no simple one-size-fits-all limit. Some OEMs supply wear tables as guides, but many don't have this information.
Interpreters use trending tools and a range of shared resources and experience to provide a professional opinion on the meaning of your sample results. We are not experts in all possible types of equipment. However, we do see a wide range of fluids in a wide range of equipment compartments and when any results give us cause for concern we will draw this to your attention so you can seek the opinion of experts with more specific tools and knowledge.
Test Result Data
Understanding test results is a big subject. The interpretation comments are intended to give a simplified overview/generalized opinion of the action that we believe is most likely required. We are not experts in all makes and models and types of equipment. If the report suggests that some action is required we recommend you consult with the appropriate experts (such as your equipment warranty agent or repairer or oil supplier) as they should have more specific information and inside knowledge and tools.
For a deeper technical understanding of our tests and reports please refer to What It All Means.
There are various training institutions and online resources that can also be useful. A reputable independent resource we recommend is http://machinerylubrication.com/. There are many sources of information - from equipment makers, fluid suppliers, filter makers and independent consultants. There are many different types of test equipment and various standards organisations involved. Methods and opinions can vary. We aim to keep current with modern best practices and welcome discussion on the methods we use and what we can offer to best suit the needs of equipment users in New Zealand.
Privacy and Information Protection
We understand the need to keep your data private and avoid giving this data to people who are not authorized to view this data. Terra Analytical complies with New Zealand laws regarding privacy and information protection.
The information provided on the label submitted with the sample is the written contract that tells us who that specific sample data belongs to. It is very important that the person filling out this label writes the correct business name and contact details as this is what we will use to register the sample in the database. Each Customer in our database has a list of Users and Contacts (a Contact is a User who also wish to receive email reports).
In some cases we get requests from people to view data and if they are not a Contact in the database then this request will be denied and the person referred to the owner of the data. With appropriate written permission from the data owner (e.g. an email) we can make data available to or move data to another customer account.