MRG Labs provides lubricant solutions and laboratory services and trains maintenance professionals in the art of lubrication analysis.

MRG Labs, based in York, Pennsylvania, provides equipment reliability education and lubrication solutions to companies in a range of industries, including aviation. MRG Labs’s lubricant sampling solutions and lubricant analysis services help companies increase machine reliability and reduce operating and maintenance costs, while its machine reliability training sessions and certification programs for maintenance professionals cover the body of knowledge set forth by the International Council of Machine Lubrication (ICML).

According to MRG Labs, the consistency of grease plays a critical role in its function as a lubricant, yet companies that rely on grease-lubricated equipment often leave out lubricant analysis as part of their comprehensive predictive or condition-based maintenance programs. MRG Labs recommends lubricant analysis as an effective complement to other diagnostic technologies such as vibration analysis, infrared thermography, ultrasonic detection, and motor circuit evaluation.

Services MRG Labs offers include a proprietary Grease Thief sampling and analysis system and other laboratory services following standards outlined in ASTM D7718 and ASTM D7918. Other laboratory services include grease, lube oil, and root-cause failure analysis, filter efficiency testing, and filter root-cause analysis.

Grease Sampling and Analysis Help Improve Machine Reliability
MRG Labs’s patented Grease Thief sampling and analysis system includes a tool for easy capture of grease and a full analysis of the grease, including up to 10 different laboratory tests to evaluate critical properties of the lubricant. The sampling kits are available for electric motors, motor-operated valves and gearboxes, and pilot block bearings among other applications.

The company’s customized grease test slates are designed to identify specific failure modes that may be damaging machine components. Each analysis report includes comments and recommendations unique to the component to improve reliability. Basic grease analysis services include RDE metals spectroscopy, ferrous debris analysis, die extrusion testing, FT-IR spectroscopy, and colorimetry to identify the materials suspended in the lubricant and then identify the source. Advanced grease analysis includes analytical ferrography and grease rheology as well as R.U.L.E.R., a test that shows whether the lubricant is at an elevated risk for oxidation.

Lube Oil Analysis Assesses Wear, Oxidation, and Physical Properties
MRG Labs has also been performing in-depth oil analysis for more than 25 years. Its lube oil analysis monitors the health of oil-lubricated equipment with a comprehensive testing slate that assesses wear, oxidation, and physical properties. The standard oil analysis slate includes RDE spectroscopy, viscosity, R.U.L.E.R., FT-IR spectroscopy, particle counting, and DR-III ferrography. MRG Labs can perform additional testing upon request.

Training Programs Help Maintenance Professionals Meet Qualification Standards
MRG Labs also provides extensive education on lubrication analysis. The company offers on-demand video training for maintenance professionals seeking ICML certification, including machine lubrication analyst and technician training and laboratory lubricant analyst training. It also offers free Grease Thief webinars once a month and conducts multiple industry workshops.

Collaborating with Rotorcraft Industry Partners
Recently, MRG Labs participated with Boeing and AMRRI to conduct a lubrication optimization study on the H-47 Chinook helicopter to establish the necessary engineering artifacts to define the grease lubrication intervals for selected drive, rotor, and landing gear components. The study allowed for five lubrication intervals to be extended, one to be decreased, and 11 to remain the same. The three companies published a paper detailing the process and results, titled “Rotorcraft Lubrication Optimization through Grease Sampling and Analysis,” at Vertical Flight Society’s Forum 76 in October 2020.

Author

  • Jen Boyer

    Jen Boyer is the principal of her own firm, Flying Penguin Communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor, and instrument instructor ratings in helicopters and a private rating in airplanes. She has worked as a professional journalist and marketing communicator in the aviation industry since the early 1990s.

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer is the principal of her own firm, Flying Penguin Communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor, and instrument instructor ratings in helicopters and a private rating in airplanes. She has worked as a professional journalist and marketing communicator in the aviation industry since the early 1990s.