Ensuring industrial machinery operates at peak performance with reduced maintenance costs – this is the domain of condition monitoring specialists, WearCheck.
WearCheck’s first laboratory opened in South Africa in 1976, and the company flag now flies proudly over 14 world-class laboratories in nine countries across Africa and beyond.
As leaders in the preventive maintenance field, WearCheck services a wide range of industries with an array of different monitoring techniques.
The scientific analysis of used oil, fuel and other fluids is the core business of the company, checking samples in the laboratories for trace particles which indicate which component is suffering unusual wear patterns. This information is analysed by a team of specialised diagnosticians, who make recommendations on the required remedial action for the component in question.
Additional predictive maintenance techniques offered by WearCheck – which are employed depending on the type of machinery being monitored – include reliability solutions (RS) services, transformer chemistry services and advanced field services (AFS) such as non-destructive testing, technical compliance and rope condition assessment.
Managing director of WearCheck, Neil Robinson, outlines the concept of proactive maintenance, ‘By monitoring a component’s condition regularly over a period of time, our scientific techniques provide reliable data which enables our diagnosticians to accurately predict whether and when that component will potentially fail.’
‘We can identify and remedy a potential failure before it occurs and recommend a scheduled maintenance plan. This way, catastrophic failure is avoided, thereby enhancing the availability of the machine and ensuring it provides peak performance in the production line.
‘Unplanned component failure can be extremely costly, slowing – or stopping, in some cases – production while the damaged part is repaired, or spares are ordered. By avoiding this situation, our customers save money on unnecessary maintenance costs and maintaining production levels.
‘WearCheck’s philosophy is this – we help our customers to decrease operating costs and ensure better machine availability. This is directly linked to an increase in their bottom line – in other words, we save our customers time and money.’
There are many techniques to monitor the condition of rotating equipment or machines – for example, whether components need to be replaced or repaired, or how much useful life remains in a system’s lubricant – and we employ many of these methods to ensure that machinery constantly operates at peak performance.
Depending on the operation and the machinery involved, WearCheck technicians recommend the use of different monitoring techniques. The company serves customers in many industry clusters – there is a strong focus on mining, but also construction, manufacturing, earthmoving, industrial, transport, aviation and renewable energy.
The company’s Reliability Solutions team uses cutting-edge techniques such as scientific vibration and thermography analysis, motion video amplification, operational deflection shape analysis and both motor circuit and signature analysis, as well as a host of related tests to increase the lifespan of machinery and keep it operating at optimum levels.
WearCheck’s Advanced Field Services (AFS) specialises in three testing types – non-destructive testing, rope testing and technical compliance.
The key functions of AFS are to create a secure safety environment for both man and machine, and to reduce operational risks. The company’s highly-skilled and experienced inspectors are on call 24/7/365 to assist customers to identify underlying defects and mitigate these risks on critical equipment.
Non-destructive testing uses techniques to test the integrity of a component or system without damaging it.
Technical compliance – expert guidance is given to companies to assist with regulatory requirements, highlighting unacceptable conditions and reticulation equipment compliance during audits.
Rope condition assessment – the integrity of steel rope cables is inspected, as per OEM or international standards.
WearCheck’s South African laboratories are in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Middelburg, while the international laboratories are in Zambia (at Lumwana mine and Kitwe), Mozambique, Ghana, Zimbabwe, DRC, Namibia, India, and Dubai.
WearCheck remains proud of its status as the only condition monitoring company on the African continent with ISO 9001 quality certification and ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management programme, and ISO 17025 laboratory-centric quality management accreditation.