The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Pact for the Future

Saves money and is environmentally friendly

Maintenance expert Patrick Köster has developed a method that allows the oil in hydraulic systems to be used longer.

Patrick Köster demonstrates the instrument used to determine oil quality.

Oil with a blanket use-by date? “I just couldn’t imagine that,” says Patrick Köster, who works in maintenance in the Components Area in Wolfsburg. So, three years ago, the 27-year-old started looking for a method which allowed the quality of the oil used in hydraulic systems to be tested. Where appropriate, the oil can then be filtered and reused instead of being disposed of.

This new Method will prevent more than 63,000 liters of used oil from impacting the environment each year.

This new method for analyzing and processing oil was introduced in the Chassis Division just this year, and will prevent more than 63,000 liters of used oil from impacting the environment each year. At the same time, it will save the company around €50,000, because oil now only needs to be replaced when it is actually no longer useable. Oil used to be changed in standard, predetermined maintenance intervals.

The analysis used in the Chassis Division protects the environment and saves money. But this isn’t all. The process can also be carried out while a system is running – it is not necessary to stop operations in order to change the oil.

The equipment required for this is connected by means of quick-action couplings to the oil circuit of a hydraulic system. The analyzer then tests all parameters indicative of the quality of the oil, such as solids and water content. The entire process is completed within 15 minutes.

If the analyzer indicates excessive levels of impurities due to particles, or a water content that is too high, then the maintenance personnel can quickly fit a filter or water separator to the system, allowing the oil to be purified and then returned to the system. The respective thresholds are stored in a database in which the individual oil qualities required for each system are specified.


The oil analysis method is used primarily on machines that use hydraulic systems to transmit great force, such as press machines and grinding systems. It may soon be expanded to all of the approximately 750 hydraulic systems operating in the Chassis Division in Wolfsburg.