Fluid Analysis: Prevention is better than cure

By Toromont Cat
September 13, 2022
3 minute read
Toromont Fluid Analysis Lab

Is your equipment at risk of failure? The best way to find out is to call on the services of Toromont’s S·O·Ssm Fluid Analysis Lab. 


Toromont’s S·O·Ssm lab, the second-largest of its kind in North America after Caterpillar’s, can detect hidden problems and make repairs before a major failure occurs.


For example, the presence of particles in the oil which are invisible to the naked eye is the most common sign of engine wear. By measuring the number of particles on a regular basis, it is possible to spot the early signs of metal wear. Corrective action can be taken before disaster strikes, such as replacing an O-ring before the engine fails. This prevention maintenance maximizes equipment performance and longevity while reducing operating costs and downtime.


Toromont Cat Fluid Analysis Lab


Along with its ISO 9001:2015 and S·O·Ssm Cat certification since 2013, the Toromont lab boasts 17 analytical chemistry experts and qualified technicians who analyze oil, coolant and fuel samples for anomalies. Is there particle contamination, water present or a decrease in viscosity? Based on the results, they can make an accurate diagnosis and, most importantly, suggest the appropriate treatment. 

Regularly trained by Caterpillar, they are experts at determining the effects of contaminants on the condition of equipment as well as the mechanical aspect of the various machine components. What’s more, they ensure absolute data quality through the use of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), globally certified testing standards and validation tools.



Toromont Lab Team

State-of-the-art equipment for a fast, accurate diagnosis

The Toromont lab offers a variety of tests including metal analysis, oil condition, viscosity, antifreeze and fuel detection, water contamination as well as wear particle counts and other internal and external contaminants. To perform these tests, the team uses state-of-the-art PerkinElmer instruments, including the following:


  • Optima atomic emission spectrometers, including the Avio, the latest on the market, for metal analysis and ppm counts of wear metals, contaminants and additives
  • Fourier transform infrared spectrometers (FTIRs) to determine oil condition and the rate of oxidation and deterioration
  • Folio Instruments viscometers to determine viscosity, the most important property of oil
  • Gas chromatographs to analyze fuel and glycol contamination
  • Potentiometric titrator to determine the base reserve (TBN) and quantity of acidic compounds (TAN) of a lubricant in order to determine the need for an oil change
  • Karl Fischer titrator to measure the presence of water, the number one enemy of oil

All instruments are covered by maintenance contracts to ensure proper operation and data quality.




A process that ensures the reliability and significance of the results


From sample identification to result reporting, the lab team has implemented various systems to ensure that fluid analysis generates valuable and reliable information.

  • All sample bottles are sold with a QR code that ensures traceability and facilitates their entry in the Lab Information Management System (LIMS). When they arrive at the laboratory, they are sorted, numbered and classified according to the type of fluid, the customer and the sampling compartment. A labelling system guarantees that the first-in, first-out method is applied.
  • The S·O·Ssm LIMS is a complete laboratory information management system that ensures traceability and data integrity as well as regulatory compliance. Integrated into the Windows environment, the application runs on network servers.
  • The S·O·Ssm Services website facilitates interactions between customers and the laboratory. Customers can register their samples, provide relevant diagnostic information, then view and manage the results provided.


Unique expertise that leads to targeted treatments


Regular evaluation of a machine’s fluids is part of the normal maintenance of any equipment. As equipment owners and managers know, this type of preventive maintenance accomplishes the following:

  • Optimizes fleet management with reliable data for maintenance planning
  • Prevents breakdowns by identifying problems at the source
  • Maximizes the investment, since the equipment breaks down less often and operates at its full potential
  • Establishes a better resale value, since the tests guarantee that the equipment remains in good condition

Oil, Coolant, and Fuel Analysis Programs


Why use the services of Toromont’s S·O·Ssm Fluid Analysis Laboratory?


Because the testing process was developed by the scientists at Caterpillar and is supported by the engineers who designed the products. With over 7 million samples tested worldwide each year, including over 300,000 in Canada, Toromont has access to a tremendous database that ensures accurate and reliable diagnoses.


What’s more, the testing is performed by a team that knows engines and heavy equipment components better than anyone else. Its in-depth knowledge of machine maintenance and operating procedures means you get the best maintenance advice for all types of Cat or other equipment.


Learn more about fluid analysis services



About Company
Toromont Cat

Toromont Cat is your Cat Dealer in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nunavut. We are dedicated to supplying and servicing new and used equipment, delivering a superior customer experience and exceptional product support to the markets we serve.