On-board Test Kits for Water, Base Number and Viscosity – Why are they Important?

July 29, 2014

The vessel was operating in a remote area in the Arabian Gulf Region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was impossible for the Crew to land the used oil sample bottles ashore for analysis and even if they could have managed to do so, the next laboratory was in the UAE to do the necessary analysis.

That is why the vessel owner decided to arrange for a Tribomar Oil Test Case in order to make sure that at least some basic test can be done directly on board the vessel. And the investment of a couple of hundred of US$ Dollar into the Tribomar Test Kit Case No 3 saved his engine and with that the Charter Agreement he had in place for the vessel.

The owner ordered the Crew to do once a month an oil check with the Tribomar equipment. The main focus was on water content and Viscosity for the Shell Rimula R4 X15W40 Premium Lubricant that they are using in their high speed Diesel engine. During one of the tests they found that there was water exceeding 2 %. The source was found quickly and the necessary repair and the oil change were done on time to save the engine from braking down

This is a typical example to prove that the small investment in a Tribomar Test Kit can save you from a Million $ damage. Especially in remote areas where it takes too much time to land the used oil sample bottles and get them analyzed in a timely manner the test kits are in my opinion an essential tool to have onboard.

The handling is very simple and we will send you the TriboCon already Calibrated for the Lubricants you have onboard. We will provide training to your technical staff to make sure that the test kits are used properly.

The Tribomar Test Kits do not make the used oil analysis obsolete. No, you still have to do your regular used Oil analysis also for proving your insurance / class that you have done your duty. And the used oil analysis performed by certified laboratories is of course much more accurate and a number of additional information can be seen from those tests. However, an accurate test result also requires taking the samples in the right way. Means clean sample bottles to avoid contamination, accurate marking of the bottles with vessel name, date of sample taken, which Shell Lubricant in use, running hours of the engine are the minimum information needed.

We see the Oil Management Systems such as Tribomar Test Kits as an additional economical way to give you and your operation peace of mind and save you from potential loss of your expensive assets.

When you are running your vessel with a medium speed engine burning residual fuels the BN Test is giving you in addition a clear picture of the performance of your lubricant. The BN Test can give you a good indication whether you need to top us with fresh oil in order to increase the BN or may be even go for a complete oil change.

Again, we see these test as an important tool in remote regions for instance East & West Africa, where also the Fuel Oil Quality various a lot. Maintaining a good lubricants quality with a Base Number close to the one of fresh oil is important to protect your engine / investment.

Please feel free to contact Hamburg Trading House in Dubai if you have any further questions to the Tribomar Oil Management Systems. We are the Tribomar Agent for the United Arab Emirates and we are more than happy to support you and your operation not only with high quality Shell Marine Lubricants but also with the necessary tools from Tribomar to protect your assets.