Oil Analysis Technology Makes Proactive Maintenance Easier

By Pratt & Whitney Customer Service

By allowing operators to access key engine health data with just a few clicks, P&WC’s Oil Analysis Technology is helping them better control maintenance, manage costs and maximize availability.

Giving Operators a Head Start on Maintenance

P&WC’s Oil Analysis Technology is helping aircraft operators increase availability and move to planned maintenance environments. This unique solution offers valuable insights into engine health by analyzing oil samples taken without intrusive inspections. It can monitor components like bearings, gears and carbon seals.

“We want to make engine maintenance more proactive and preventive,” Frédérique Richard, Oil Analysis Technology Senior Manager, explained to Airtime. “This technology gives operators a heads-up that they need to think about maintenance.”
Oil Analysis Technology identifies potential events as much as a year in advance, which allows operators plenty of time to plan their maintenance both logistically and financially. They can arrange to do it during scheduled downtime, to maximize their aircraft availability.


How Oil Analysis Technology Works

Based on trace particles found in oil samples, Oil Analysis Technology compares an engine’s current condition to the baseline profile or “signature” of a healthy engine, making it possible to identify component-specific deterioration patterns. If the analysis shows that maintenance should be done, appropriate actions will then be recommended.

Each engine model has a different healthy signature, which needs to be established before it is ready for application of the technology. P&WC is currently working on developing signatures for each engine it manufactures through an Oil Analysis Technology trial being conducted with the help of operators around the world, who send in samples for analysis.

To date, the team has received over 12,000 samples, enabling it to establish the healthy signature for PW306A, PW617, PT6A-62, PT6A-67B and PT6A-67P engines. Once sufficient data has been collected, the aim is to roll out the technology to all models.

Making Data Easily Accessible With Online Reports

P&WC is harnessing the online capabilities of its MyP&WC Power customer portal to make it easy for operators to view Oil Analysis Technology results, interpret them and take action. Whenever a sample is received, the team runs an analysis, then inputs the results into the customer’s online account. An automatic notification lets the customer know whenever new information is available.

MyP&WC Power is designed to be a self-managed one-stop shop for all aftermarket services. It gives customers control over what they see and provides actionable insight by making the right data available to the right people at the right time.


Starting in June 2018, customers will be able to order and purchase their sampling kits online by logging in to My P&WC Power. In July, to view analysis results, customers will simply need to log into their account and call up their Oil Analysis Technology dashboard. This will provide a macro overview of their entire fleet.


The user-friendly interface displays key information, including the total number of engines in the fleet and the oil sample status of each one—colour-coded for ease of reference. If an engine’s status is not green, it means a maintenance recommendation has been issued.

By clicking on an engine’s serial number in the list, the customer can view more details:


This page provides a breakdown of the engine’s health and P&WC maintenance recommendations based on the Oil Analysis Technology results. The graphs are a convenient visual tool enabling the customer to understand the condition of specific parts at a glance. If the particle index, shown by the vertical blue bars in each graph, exceeds the limit indicated by the horizontal red line, it’s time for preventive action.

“The oil analysis dashboard lets customers know right away where they need to focus their attention,” notes Frédérique.


Using the Technology to Identify and Prevent Potential Incidents

Customers who have signed up for the Oil Analysis Technology are already seeing the benefits. For example, a turboprop operator who was sending in oil samples every 200 flying hours discovered that a carbon seal had exceeded the limit for the engine model. Analysis of an additional oil sample revealed possible carbon seal deterioration, which could eventually lead to an issue if not addressed.

Based on these results, P&WC recommended removing the engine at the next scheduled maintenance check. When this was done, the carbon seal deterioration was confirmed and the part was replaced. By detecting the deterioration over 900 hours before the next scheduled removal, the technology helped avoid roughly $400,000 USD in secondary damage, downtime and disruption.

Oil Analysis Technology helps customers change their maintenance approach from a reactive mode to a proactive mode. Our ultimate vision is to enable 100% preventive and planned maintenance. No other comparable technology provides the level of insight that our technology does, and it’s just the first step—there are more capabilities to come.


Other innovative customer service solutions featured on Airtime include our FAST™ engine health monitoring technology and Onsight remote collaboration tool.