Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Condition monitoring specialists boost machine reliability

Technews Industry Guide: Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation 2020 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Leading African oil condition monitoring company, WearCheck, has been in business for over 40 years and offers a complete condition monitoring solution hub for boosting machine reliability and availability. The company specialises in condition monitoring solutions and the scientific analysis of used oil and other fluids from mechanical and electrical systems. WearCheck specialises in boosting the availability and reliability of components, thereby helping its customers to operate more efficiently and save money on maintenance in industries such as mining, earthmoving, transport, shipping, industrial, aircraft and power generation.

Advanced services

Alongside the traditional fluid analysis services, customers also have access to reliability solutions (RS) services, transformer chemistry services (TCS) and advanced field services (AFS).

The RS team specialises in thermal imaging, vibration analysis, laser alignment, balancing, operational deflection shape (ODS), structural resonance, ultrasonic services and many other specialist techniques that keep machinery operating at optimum levels while boosting its lifespan.

The TCS team specialises in the monitoring of transformer condition to reduce the risk of unexpected downtime. WearCheck offers the usual transformer oil quality analysis (colour, visual, dielectric breakdown voltage, water content, interfacial tension, acidity, power factor and specific gravity) and to meet the growing need for additional specialist transformer tests, it conducts diagnostic testing including dissolved gas analysis, furanic compounds, metals-in-oil, paper quality testing and tap changer/diverter diagnosis.

The key functions of AFS is to create a secure safety environment for both man and machine and also to reduce operational risks. WearCheck’s highly-skilled and experienced inspectors are on call 24/7/365 to help customers to identify underlying defects and mitigating these risks on critical equipment. The advanced field services are:

• Non-destructive testing (NDT) – techniques to test the integrity of a component or system without damaging it.

• Technical compliance (TC) – expert guidance to assist companies with regulatory requirements, highlighting unacceptable conditions and reticulation equipment compliance during audits.

• Rope condition assessment (RCA) – inspecting the integrity of steel rope cables, as per OEM or international standards.

Non-destructive testing includes a variety of techniques through which the properties and condition of a component or system are evaluated without causing any permanent damage to it – critical component assessments, machine condition assessments and inspection of ancillary equipment, including main vent fans, compressors, mills, pumps and conveyors.

The TC division gives expert advice to help companies comply with regulatory requirements. Compliance promotes operational and technical excellence through risk identification and corrective action implementation. WearCheck’s specialist compliance techniques assist many industries, among them geological, metallurgical, accounting and laboratory reviews, international and group technical standards compliance, certified reference material, density determination techniques and quality management systems.

The TC team provides specialist audits on hoisting systems, shaft decelerometer testing, winder level and dynamic break testing, as well as vertical shaft guide alignment. Auditing services encompass AerView, AerView II, Locked Bell, ventilation fan electrical audits and machinery compliance audits.

The rope condition assessment team conducts testing to determine the integrity of steel rope cables as stipulated in the SANS 10293:1996 Code of Practice for Steel Wire Ropes. WearCheck’s highly-qualified inspectors are all certified to South African Qualification and Certification Committee (SAQCC) level II.

Non-destructive rope inspections improve safety where steel wire ropes play a safety-critical role, where regular RCA is a legal requirement. Examples include mine winders, chairlifts, incline winders, shaft rope guides, elevators, flare/slack stay ropes, as well as stacker/reclaimers and belt wagons. Some of WearCheck’s better-known customers include Cape Town’s Table Mountain aerial cableway and Namdeb – a shallow-water inshore diamond mine in Namibia. Rope manufacturers rely on RCA as a means of ensuring compliance with quality specifications during the quality assessment process in the production of new ropes.

World-class laboratories

WearCheck has 17 world-class laboratories across nine countries in Africa and beyond and a host of support offices around the continent. The RSA laboratories are in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Middelburg, with support offices in Bloemfontein, Rustenburg, Steelpoort, Port Elizabeth and Khatu. International laboratories include Mozambique, Ghana, Zimbabwe, DRC, Namibia, India, Dubai and Zambia.

A source of pride for WearCheck is the fact that the company is the only oil analysis operation in Africa with an ISO 9001 quality certification, an ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management programme and an ISO 17025 accreditation for its laboratory centric quality management programme. The company is currently working on ISO 45001 certification for health and safety management.

Dedicated, ongoing investment in new technology and staff training ensures that all equipment in WearCheck‘s laboratories is state-of-the-art and employees are highly skilled. Laboratories are largely automated and integrated with the latest information technology. Research and development play a major role in the company’s continuous commitment to improving systems. The condition monitoring app makes the company’s expertise available at all times, while an unswerving commitment to ethical operations and accuracy ensures that all operational areas are managed to standards that ensure products and services comply with strict international standards.

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