Clean and Green - Absolutely Provide Solutions that Reflect Essentials Bypass oil filtration technology is not new. It was introduced to the trucking industry many years ago out of necessity and used mainly by fleets to extend oil drain intervals and to help manage high soot levels in earlier engines. Today oil filtration has a bigger challenge then ever before. High temperatures, higher combustion pressures, changes in oil due to after treatment devices and shorter oil drain intervals due to all of the above. Fleet owners need ways to maintain current oil drain intervals, boost protection of engine components from the results of emission control devices and ultimately save money on un-necessary maintenance. To add insult to injury the real estate available for an oil filter is diminishing. Engine compartments are smaller and there seem to be more components than ever before with dual turbochargers, EGR coolers, intercoolers and many, many more items that are deemed necessary to start, operate, monitor and control the engine. The result of all of the high tech and low emissionsâ€™ is an added load and responsibility on the oil filter to keep the engine oil clean. The engines today use the crankcase as the trash can for the soot, and abrasive engine damaging condiments. The resulting high viscosity and soot takes away from the lube oilâ€™s condition and ability to form the necessary barrier between moving parts resulting in high wear and shorter engine life. The prime purposes of lube oil are to reduce friction and wear, transfer heat and disperse contaminants among others. Todayâ€™s full-flow filters have come a long way and for the most part do a good job under normal or average conditions. As operating conditions change, higher loads, higher operating temperature and long idle times create the necessity for additional filtration is a must in order to keep maintenance costs in check and the engine running smoothly. So the re-introduction of bypass filtration is coming to the rescue. With what Racor calls the Absolute Oil Cleaner it will Optimize production expense and reduce cost, improve engine reliability, and contributes to the environment by conserving the use of environmentally damaging products like used oil filters and waste oil. The end result is extending oil drain intervals, reducing wear and lowering maintenance costs. Add a premature engine rebuild to the normal operating costs and loss of revenue from down time a bypass oil cleaner would more than pay for itself.
I have talked to many fleets and the value of bypass seems to vary depending on the current issues or problems in the individual fleet. The one common denominator though is the high cost of maintenance and the already low budgets which are drying up by the minute. Many are still of the old school that an oil change is cheap insurance. There are plenty of cost analysis tools out there but the easiest to me is if you double the miles or hours between oil and filter changes then you have saved 50% on your maintenance costs for a service. Providing oil analysis proves your engine and oil are in good condition then it is possible to extend even further and the savings go up as well. In recent years engine manufactures have gone to hydraulically controlled fuel injection which is very susceptible to dirt. Clean oil is a must for continued trouble free operation and bypass has helped in many of these cases. Using lube oil analysis with particle counts is the best way to get the complete picture of whatâ€™s going on. I sample an engine prior to installing a bypass and then again in 1,000 or so miles and continue on to an extended period. It is not uncommon to see ISO particle codes showing the oil particle count reducing rather than increasing which is an indication of wear. This is proof that the bypass is taking on the challenge of higher contaminant levels and winning. The key is that a bypass filtration system has tighter filtration media and several times more capacity than a conventional full flow filter, so it can remove much smaller soot and wear particles without interfering with the oil flow rate within the engine. High soot levels can also deplete the additives lubrication makers put into engine oil, which help enhance the oil's ability to combat engine wear. In 2010, the next generation of low-emission engines will be in operation, perhaps bringing new challenges to oil filtration systems. Not only will new after treatment systems make an appearance, but the very composition of engine oil may change. From the lubrication side, oil additive packages may be completely different than what's used today. Though there will be far less sulfur in the fuel, there will be some, so we will still be dealing with the sulfuric acid formation issue. Bypass Oil Cleanerâ€™s such as the Racor Absolute Series are today and will for some time be the answer to reducing costs, reducing the waste stream and getting longer engine life. David Cline Product Manager Racor Oil Filtration Systems 6/15/09
New engine design and emmision standards challenge today's oil filtration.