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Particle Counter vs. Wear Debris Monitoring

What is Online Wear Debris Monitoring?

Online Wear Debris Monitoring continuously monitors concentration of wear debris metallic particles in oil, instead of relying only on periodic oil lab analysis for particle counting.

Online oil wear debris sensors monitors particulate concentration in order to provide more accurate results than traditional offline methods such as optical particle counting. 

Online oil wear debris monitoring is far superior at providing diagnostic indications of gearbox health, and can be used to identify events that generate abnormal amounts of wear as well as other abnormal patterns of wear debris generation in oil.

Benefits of Online Wear Debris Monitoring

Poseidon Systems’ oil wear debris sensors have many use cases that will result in significant savings for end users, as compared to using traditional particle counting methods:

  • Detects, sizes, and classifies (ferrous 40 um vs. nonferrous 150 um) metallic particles
  • Provides real-time, online asset health information
  • Reduces unscheduled downtime of machinery and assets
  • Minimizes repair costs through early particle sensing ability
  • Maximizes equipment’s operating life
  • More accurate particle counting and classification of particles as compared to traditional optical particle counting
  • Detects faults missed by traditional lab analysis

Particle Counting vs. Wear Debris Monitoring Technology Comparison

Optical Particle Counting

Main Use: Oil Cleanliness

  • Utilizes light scattering or imaging technology to detect and size small particles of any type in a fluid stream
  • Typically limited to particles under 100µm
  • Very low flow of oil
  • No differentiation between metallic and nonmetallic particles
  • Sensitive to air and water bubble


Main Use: Elemental Analysis

  • Technique used for the detection of trace metals by using ions to separate light into its different wavelengths corresponding to the metals present
  • Limited to oil soluble elements
  • Only analyzes ~1mL of oil
  • Only allows particles smaller than 3µm enter the device

Inductive Coil Sensing

Main Use: Asset Health Gauge

  • One or more coil windings excited with a high frequency oscillating voltage
  • Particle passing through magnetic field creates measurable impedance change
  • Always on and samples high flow 24/7
  • Focuses on analyzing wear debris generated from failures rather than overall oil cleanliness
  • Classifies particles by size and type (ferrous vs. non-ferrous metals)

How Does It Work?

Poseidon Systems wear debris sensors can easily be installed inside of your asset in around 30 minutes and will start collecting data continuously through the flow of oil in the machine. Poseidon’s Trident DM sensor line monitors particles sized between with an estimated spherical diameter of 40 micron ferrous and 150 micron non-ferrous and larger. Since the sensor continuously has a flow of oil, it is able to detects events that would be missed by periodic sampling.

Poseidon Live immediately notifies you when it detects an event that triggers abnormal patterns of metallic particle generation and should be addressed, so you can investigate and resolve the root cause as soon as possible to prevent costly secondary damage or catastrophic failure. Furthermore, this data can be used to reduce O&M costs by optimizing your maintenance and oil change schedule.

Poseidon Live interface with data visualization graphs

Poseidon Live Interface (pictured above)

Our Approach

Poseidon Systems is committed to designing and manufacturing solutions that provide users with reduced O&M costs and improved asset reliability in all our industries served.

We are dedicated to helping our customers with all their oil & lubrication monitoring needs, from building the most advanced online oil wear debris sensors available to providing high-quality data analysis to help customers best understand the continuous, real-time stream of information gathered by their sensors; then providing customer service from our team of experts to help monitor the sensors and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Poseidon solutions add value to existing practices by integrating online oil condition monitoring with standard lab samples. Only Poseidon Live combines the most advanced online oil quality sensors with traditional lab samples, providing the best solution for our customers. Poseidon’s sensors provide customers with oil condition data that allows for the best use of offline analysis and lab sampling and reduce O&M costs.

Poseidon Systems provides an offline ferrous monitoring device for applications in which an online wear debris monitor is not appropriate. The Midas is a powerful, handheld lab that enables grease samples to be instantly read and analyzed on site without having to wait for results from an off-site lab. The Midas offers high specificity and repeatability in order to bring some of the benefits of online condition based monitoring to applications where it is not possible. Read more about the Midas here!

Coming soon is the FerroQ, a second generation offline handheld particle counter. FerroQ has increased sensitivity, easier automation integration, and support for multiple size vials, including Grease Thief vials. Keep an eye out here for more information about FerroQ and make sure you follow our page on LinkedIn for more updates!

Why Poseidon Systems?

Poseidon Systems is here to support you and your individual reliability goals, from start to finish. We can provide sensors for what you need and provide solutions to your specific challenges. Poseidon can provide individual sensors for oil wear debris or we can provide you with a complete system of sensors and solution including oil condition monitoring sensors (OCM), viscosity, direct relative humidity measurements, etc.; including a full IIoT solution.

Regardless of which Poseidon sensors are right for your business, Poseidon Systems has an advanced Industrial IoT platform to help you understand the data and apply it to your reliability goals. Poseidon Live cloud-based monitoring software allows customers to perform analyses utilizing multiple data sets, including online oil condition sensor data and SCADA system data in order to get a holistic view and understanding of the health the of oil in your asset.

Poseidon’s ability to collect real-time data from a network of different sensors and immediately connect it to a robust IIoT platform creates a differentiated solution system and the best value to our customers.

Proven Results

Poseidon Systems has years of experience making particle sensors and providing monitoring solutions to our customers.

Read more about how we have saved customers time and money through our combination of advanced oil wear debris monitoring sensors and robust data analysis service:

Graph showing how Scheduled Oil Inspections would have missed abnormal oil health

Events causing large peaks in wear debris generation would have
been missed by traditional oil samples, but online oil analysis detects these faults and allows for further investigation and damage
prevention to take place.

Trident FQMS Sensor system

Trident FQMS

Online Wear Debris Sensors

Learn more about Poseidon’s products:

Trident QW3100 Oil Condition Monitoring sensor

Trident DM4500

Contact Us to Learn More

+1 (585) 239 6025