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Online viscometers from Cambridge Viscosity are ideal for refineries and other petrochemical operations using large gas compressors where the operating environment can be extreme.

When lube oil viscosity goes out of spec, compressor bearings fail and the loss of proper lubrication leads to production downtime and high repair costs, according to the company.

As an example, a plant engineer at a large Gulf Coast refinery said: ‘Our problem was at start-up and lower operating temperatures, where light hydrocarbons can mix into the lube oil, instantly dropping the viscosity.

‘With inadequate lubrication, the bearings degrade and then the rotor assembly on the screw compressor is critically damaged.

‘We found that monthly checks were not good enough and that we needed an online viscosity measurement tool.

‘We turned to Cambridge Viscosity and have achieved real-time condition monitoring,’ added the engineer.

Robert Kasameyer, president of Cambridge Viscosity, said: ‘Cambridge online viscometers are widely used to monitor real-time changes in lubricant viscosity that can happen between regular oil lab analysis intervals.

‘This is particularly prevalent in high-value equipment in processes where the costs of failure are high,’ he added.

In the case of refinery gas compressors, replacement parts and repairs can cost more than USD250,000 (GBP162,000) for these types of failures.

Cambridge Viscosity designs automated viscometers for oil refineries and petrochemical operations that want to optimise compressor design and monitor conditions for lubrication and refrigeration oils for operating compressors.

Patented oscillating piston technology ensures accurate results across a range of laboratory and inline applications, including oil and gas, petroleum and bio-fuels, coatings, paints and inks, pharmaceuticals and other substances.

Cambridge Viscosity’s sensors and viscometer systems conform to ASTM, DIN, JIS and ISO standards, with a range of models designed to meet specific industry and application needs.

Certifications include Atex, CE and FM.

CSA certification is available upon request.

Cambridge Viscosity

Cambridge Viscosity is the global leader in fluid viscosity measurement, including oil and gas; petroleum and biofuels; coatings, paints, and inks; pharmaceuticals, and other substances. Where accurate viscosity measurement is mission critical in both process and laboratory environments, Cambridge Viscosity technologies are chosen time and time again.

Our leadership is based on a quarter-century of experience, the extraordinary range of our products — including both in-line and in-tank applications — and our innovative proprietary technology. Our customers include leading organisations in oil and gas exploration, refining, automotive, research, industrial materials, and other high-stakes fields.

Cambridge Viscosity has set the standard for extraordinarily precise, reliable, and virtually maintenance-free viscosity measurement systems. Our sensors and viscometer systems conform to ASTM, DIN, JIS and ISO standards, with a range of models designed to meet specific industry and application needs. At least one of them is right for you.

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