Maintenance and service

Currenta benefits from OELCHECK lubricant analyses

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Currenta is the manager and operator of Chempark, one of the largest chemical parks in Europe, with sites in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen. One third of all chemical production in North Rhine-Westphalia takes place here, employing around 45,000 people. Over 70 companies from production, research and services have access to a complete infrastructure and services tailored to every requirement at all three sites. All of this is provided by Currenta, a joint venture of Bayer and Lanxess. Currenta supplies the companies at all of the sites with electricity, natural gas, steam, cooling, compressed air and technical gases. One of the biggest daily challenges is supplying energy.

WESTO undertakes oil maintenance

For Currenta, safe supply of media and energy is the top priority. This is supported by reserve capacities, emergency power supplies and interconnected energy and product pipelines. Much of the overall production at the three sites is dependent on the reliable operation of the turbines, screw compressors and turbocompressors used in the power stations and for cooling and compressed air production.

These systems are running around the clock, 365 days a year. Maintaining their lubricants is therefore extremely important. For this reason, the lubricants are analysed by OELCHECK every six months. WESTO takes care of the resulting oil maintenance measures on-site.

OELCHECK analyses the oils

Currenta has, with OELCHECK, put together special analysis sets for the cooling systems. Because tests that are carried out for these oils require larger amounts of oil, each oil sample taken is 500 ml.
The oil condition, contaminants and any wear are examined by OELCHECK just as critically as the condition of the additives. Supplementary test procedures, like water and air separation characteristics and foaming characteristics, support the statements given in the commentary that accompanies every sample. The RULER and MPC test are now also carried out for almost all turbine and turbocompressor oil checks. The MPC test (Membrane Patch Colorimetry) is the only test method in the world that can detect insoluble oil residues (varnish) and quantitatively evaluate them. 

Oil analysis – the basis of all decisions

  • In turbo machines, oil charges often of several thousand litres are generally in use for several years. 
  • OELCHECK lubricant analyses provide:
  • Trend data which can be used to estimate the remaining service life of the oil under similar operating conditions.
  • Evidence of contaminants showing whether preventive oil maintenance measures need to be taken.
  • Information on whether deposits could form in the oil or whether varnish has already appeared.

For WESTO and the Currenta team, the oil analyses provide the basis for consultation and all other measures.

Sustainable maintenance by WESTO

If the turbine oil needs to be changed or an inspection is due, the oil is not simply replaced. At WESTO, sustainability takes top priority for the benefit of the customer! 

Once the system has been drained, it is cleaned thoroughly. If a higher-quality turbine oil is then poured in, WESTO also takes into account another important factor: modern turbine oils, which have a higher oxidative stability and contain fewer harmful substances, are refined differently and with different additives from earlier products. However, substances formed as a result of oil ageing can be held in solution only to a very limited extent. It is therefore important to reduce the remaining waste oil, as well as any impurities and deposits already in the system, to a minimum when changing the oil. Different cleaning plans are implemented depending on the analysis carried out before the oil change.

Sticky or soft reaction products and deposits (varnish) are removed when the turbine is in operation, even before the oil is changed. This cleaning is carried out by WESTO according to the Fluitec ESP process, in which oil reaction products attach to resins. This prevents contaminants that have dissolved and dispersed in the oil from compromising important properties like air and water separation characteristics or oxidation resistance in the new oil charge, and jeopardising the function of the entire turbine oil charge. 

Varnish removal using ESP is also being used increasingly as an oil maintenance measure between changes. WESTO completely avoids the use of cleaning supplements like detergents or water in its cleaning measures!

Customised partial flow filter system 

In 2012, WESTO, in collaboration with Currenta, developed a partial flow filter system customised specially for the turbocompressors used in refrigeration at the Leverkusen and Dormagen sites, that takes into account the proportion of ammonia (NH3) in the oil circuit. It has the advantage that it can be connected to any type of compressor that uses NH3 as a refrigerant. The system also allows the oil purity trend in the oil circuit to be monitored simultaneously. It therefore plays a crucial role in the operational safety of the system components used in refrigeration.

QR-Codes allow oil sample management on-site

Since the beginning of the year, Currenta has been producing signs in collaboration with WESTO, OELCHECK and Stell GmbH, a company which specialises in process labelling. These feature a QR-Code and NFC (Near Field Communication) chip for every site an oil sample is taken from. These oil sample signs installed on turbine, refrigeration and compressed air systems offer an unbeatable advantage: current operating parameters and earlier laboratory reports can be loaded directly onto a smartphone via an app using the NFC and made available to different partners. This makes work on-site much easier. The data relating to an oil sample that is currently being taken can be entered directly into the OELCHECK system using the QR-Code on the installation. 

The development of customised partial flow filter systems for use in refrigeration and the considerably simplified management of oil samples using QR-Codes on-site are just two examples of how the many years of successful partnership between WESTO and Currenta to promote proper oil maintenance in the system components at all sites is continuously being deepened and strengthened.

Focus on day-to-day business – because WESTO makes sure that oils and machines are running safely

From oil maintenance, regular servicing, inspection support and commissioning to removing varnish (deposits) – WESTO is the expert partner for maintaining small industrial systems, as well as for refineries, the chemical industry and oil supply systems for large turbines. For more than 40 years, the independent, owner-managed company has offered expertise, an established team and an extensive range of outstanding oil maintenance systems which has been expanded continually over recent years.

WESTO operates all over Germany and in neighbouring European countries. Service engineers‘ assignments are controlled from the company‘s headquarters in Pulheim near Cologne. Once on-site, they work completely autonomously. Not only are they qualified and experienced, but their vehicles also have unparalleled equipment on board.

WESTO was and is ahead of its time! The team is up to date with current trends because it is in close dialogue with customers, suppliers and partners, like Fluitec (cleaning systems) and OELCHECK (oil analysis). In 1996, for example, when lubricant analysis was still far from mainstream in Germany, the company recognised the unique advantages it offered in terms of system monitoring and began working with OELCHECK. Lubricant analyses have been an integral part of lubricant monitoring for 20 years now. It is only a few weeks, however, since the company officially joined forces with Fluitec to try to comprehensively address current issues surrounding deposits in oil systems. WESTO is now operating in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as one of just three European distribution and service partners. However, the company is known above all for its own innovative products and services. These include special system flushing processes, customised partial flow filter systems (which even work in refrigeration compressors with ammonia) and, most recently, an extremely effective method for removing sticky oil deposits – varnish – in turbines and hydraulic systems!

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