70 Years Of Oil Analysis.

img 4372 1024x576 70 Years Of Oil Analysis.
Oil Analysis is older than you think but it’s the modern improvements that make it more useful than ever.

What connects Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign to oil analysis? Nothing, but as every other company is finding a way to tie themselves to it, we thought we’d also jump on the bandwagon! However, we’re not going to try to sell you anything (seriously – that’s next weeks post) but just going to offer up an interestingbut brief roundup of the last 70 years of oil analysis for you to enjoy over your coronation chicken sandwich this Bank Holiday.

Oh and we may have exaggerated how unconnected her Highness is to oil analysis: did you know that during World War Two, Queen Elizabeth trained and worked as mechanicso was part of the first era of people sampling and testing their oil?


The first major oil analysis programs were started during World War Two when countries were concerned with conserving oil for the war effort; Oil analysis became a key way to save and safely prolong the use of oil in vital equipment. This policy continued into the early years of the 1950s when scarcity and rationing where still in place in many countries including the UK.


At the height of the Cold War, oil analysis is a key component for the armed and naval forces in keeping their equipment and transport working efficiently. The US military was the first proponent of OCM and it leads the way during this decade with the creation of some techniques that are still used today; necessity is the mother of invention as they say! 

1970 and 80s

Our founder, Robert Cutler, first started working in the industry developing and pioneering some major breakthroughs in the industry.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, oil analysis starts to become more mainstream with many new technologies invented as it is increasingly taken up in many industries and used worldwide to extend the life and reliability of machinery. By the end of the 1980s, it is also commonly used in the automotive industry with most families in the Western World owning at least one car and a major increase seen in the numbers of vehicles on the road.


The Gulf War in the early 90s led to a sharp increase in the cost of crude oil which became a major factor in more companies choosing to test their oil. Far cheaper and time saving to test the oil rather than unnecessary maintenance, drains and refills. Towards the end of the decade, more people and companies owning a computer and the invention of the internet made it easier for laboratories to report their findings to customers.


As climate change and environmental issues become more talked about, unlikely as it may seem, oil analysis becomes an important part of making your equipment greener. With an efficient condition monitoring programme in place, many companies begin to save thousands of litres of oil a year from being unnecessarily wasted. They also saved money too, which was especially important after the financial crash of 2008. Oil analysis was one of the few recession proof industries as companies invested more of their increasingly tightened budgets into saving their oil and downtime costs.


During this decade, our own Oil Analysis Laboratories was established. We completely revolutionized the industry in 2018 with the invention of our exclusive LubeWear analysis, one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs in the history of OCM. Up until this point the way wear elements were detected hadn’t really changed much from the methods of the 1980s and many labs still trail behind with these outdated technologies today.


Only two years into this decade and yet so much has occurred; COVID, rising cost of living, climate crisis and war. Oil Analysis Laboratories has continued to provide our customers with a superb, consistent service without breaking the bank. But what trends do we predict coming for the industry over the next 8 years? We’re already seeing a big increase in lubricants from renewable sources which is set to continue as well as more biodegradable oils on the market at a cheaper cost as they are becoming more mainstream. The increase in electric cars on the road will also have an effect on what types of lubricants are being produced and used.

The last two years have proven too well that it can be difficult to predict what the future holds, however, we can guarantee that Oil Analysis Laboratories will be here for you and your equipment for many years to come.

Have a wonderful Jubilee Bank Holiday,