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#3218671 - 12/16/13 03:49 PM How hard (and dear) would it be to open a UOA lab?
ecco123 Offline

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 86
Loc: Spain
In my area (north of Spain) car racing is very popular. I know people that spend fortunes in racing cars and equipment but none of those I spoked with about UOA ever heard about it.

After talking with a few of those guys, they all think it's a great idea and that it'd be great to have a laboratory available here, so we are thinking that it could be a good business to start one (also the heavy machinery industry is big here).

It's only a very raw idea, but we are starting to think about what equipment and knowledge would be need.

I've visited here: but I really don't know where to start.

What tools will we need to start making basic UOA's?. Would we need to hire a tribologist or could we learn it by ourselves?

Any ideas and thoughts are really appreciated!!

PS: sorry for my english, it's a bit rusty nowadays

Edited by ecco123 (12/16/13 03:51 PM)

#3218751 - 12/16/13 04:56 PM Re: How hard (and dear) would it be to open a UOA lab? [Re: ecco123]
dparm Offline

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13031
Loc: Chicago, IL
The analysis equipment is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars (USD).
2011 BMW M3 sedan ZCP

#3218775 - 12/16/13 05:16 PM Re: How hard (and dear) would it be to open a UOA lab? [Re: ecco123]
MolaKule Offline

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 17505
Loc: Iowegia - USA
My advice:

Gather all the information you can, equipment prices, real estate/lab space, etc.

Include the cost of a few technicians and the cost of a consulting tribologist.

Find some investors.

Go for it!
Mr. Rodgers did not adequately prepare me for the neighbors in my neighborhood. smile

#3218778 - 12/16/13 05:23 PM Re: How hard (and dear) would it be to open a UOA lab? [Re: ecco123]
Donald Offline

Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 17419
Loc: Upstate NY
You could start your business by working with Polaris to be a "private label". They would do the actual analysis but you could call the company "ECCO's Labs". The website and anything printed would say "ECCO's Labs". Amsoil does this with Polaris. Maybe ship them a case of samples twice a week. They have a lab in Poland you can send the case of samples to.

If you bought your own equipment it would be several years before you show a profit.

Once you have say 1000 samples a week coming in, you could consider buying equipment. For now you can concentrate on sales and marketing.

Although I am a computer guy and have only worked for 3 very large corporations, I have realized the need for a business case for new projects. So you need to put together a business case for this and it needs to be realistic.

For example, I have a Bobcat and trailer and considered trying my hand at starting a business doing light excavation. But between needing insurance even for my first customer and me being 60 and no longer a youngster I would be lucky to make 25% of the money I make doing computer work.

Edited by Donald (12/16/13 05:37 PM)
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#3218822 - 12/16/13 06:06 PM Re: How hard (and dear) would it be to open a UOA lab? [Re: ecco123]

Registered: 08/28/13
Posts: 659
'13 Fusion Hybrid: 5w20 PUP/FU
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'99 SVT Cobra: 5W30 M1/FU

#3218884 - 12/16/13 07:14 PM Re: How hard (and dear) would it be to open a UOA lab? [Re: ecco123]
JHZR2 Offline

Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 38655
Loc: New Jersey
A good gas chromatograph or other analytical device starts around $45-50k with computer and autosampler. Then youll need a variety of devices associated with the different elements (ICP, etc), some other viscometers, a lot of traceable calibration standards, etc.

You could do a comparison for shear, fuel, etc. with just a GC and viscometer for under $100k, but you wont get many wear/add metals, only the elements that a PFPD can look at, like sulfur and phosphorous.

#3244407 - 01/10/14 09:09 PM Re: How hard (and dear) would it be to open a UOA lab? [Re: ecco123]
BHopkins Offline

Registered: 11/03/13
Posts: 805
Loc: Utah
These guys specialize in training others to do industrial fluid analysis, including engine oil and coolant. you may want to contact them.
2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i - Castrol Edge 0W-20 & NAPA Gold filter
2003 Oldsmobile Alero 3.4 - M1 5W-30 & NAPA Gold filter

#3250797 - 01/17/14 12:03 AM Re: How hard (and dear) would it be to open a UOA lab? [Re: ecco123]
Kuato Offline

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 5466
Loc: In transit...
Sounds like a great idea!

In your position I would consider contacting the folks at Blackstone; they seem very friendly and since you would not be in competition with them they could likely be of some assistance.
Your oil's condition is speculation until a UOA has been performed.

2013 F150, 5.0 4x4, 54k Schaeffer 9000