Proactive maintenance boosts the bottom line of mines

Condition monitoring specialists WearCheck have demonstrated over and again how a good condition monitoring programme saves their customers money by increasing the reliability, productivity and availability of machinery, and avoiding costly unscheduled component breakdown.

WearCheck’s primary goal is to help customers save time and money through condition monitoring – decreased operating costs lead to increased profitability.

 

Using a variety of monitoring techniques – including the scientific analysis of used oil and fuel, vibration analysis, laser alignment, thermography and balancing – WearCheck provides proactive maintenance services to a wide range of industries ,with a particular focus on mining, but also including construction, manufacturing and road transport. Other industries that benefit from the services are earthmoving, industrial, transport, shipping, aircraft and electrical.

 

Additional services include the analysis of fuels, transformer oils, coolants, greases and filters.

WearCheck’s flag flies high over 15 world class laboratories across Africa and beyond. The labs, which are typically located near key industry clusters such as mining hotspots, are situated in South Africa (Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Middelburg) and the international labs are in Mozambique, Ghana, Zimbabwe, DRC, Namibia, India, Dubai and Zambia.

 

There are also support offices in RSA in Bloemfontein, Rustenburg, Steelpoort, Kuruman and Port Elizabeth as well as across the border in the Ivory Coast.

 

The company’s Reliability Solutions division ensures that WearCheck is a ‘one-stop shop’ for condition monitoring, offering vibration monitoring, laser alignment, thermal imaging and balancing.

 

The transformer analysis and maintenance division, created with the recent merger of Transformer Chemistry Services (TCS) into WearCheck, performs transformer oil analysis and other transformer health monitoring services.

 

Managing director Neil Robinson elaborates how condition monitoring can save customers money. ‘By interpreting the “clues” about the health of machinery via the condition of used oil or other diagnostic services, customers can make informed decisions about the maintenance of components. Our team of diagnosticians, backed my many years of experience, analyses test results and recommends how to rectify any abnormal findings. This goes a long way towards preventing expensive, catastrophic machine failure.

‘Furthermore, an oil analysis test may determine that the oil is in good health, and the scheduled oil change is not yet necessary. By extending the life of the oil, the cost of replacing the oil unnecessarily is avoided.

Robinson’s vision for the company to remain at the helm of the condition monitoring industry includes ongoing investment in new technology to ensure that all laboratory equipment is state-of-the-art. All laboratories are largely automated and integrated with the latest information technology. Research and development plays a major part in WearCheck’s commitment to continual improvement.

 

An example of the company’s latest investment in new technology is the recent launch of a brand new interactive customer application (app) pioneered by WearCheck.

 

Robinson believes that WearCheck is one of only a handful of condition monitoring companies in the world, and possibly the first in Africa, to develop and launch an app of this nature. He is confident it will substantially improve customers’ benefits from their condition monitoring programme by allowing them to make virtually instantaneous maintenance decisions based on reliable data which is highly accessible.

 

WearCheck customers can now download WearCheck Mobile and, at their fingertips via their mobile device, access a host of critical information pertaining to machinery condition. This data is immediately available even while patrolling the factory floor or inspecting mining machinery on-site.

 

It is no longer necessary to wait until returning to a desktop computer to view test results, and maintenance decisions can be made there and then based on live data.

 

‘Our investment in the creation of the app is in line with the company’s dedication to technical innovation and continuous improvement,’ says Robinson.

 

And what, exactly, does the app enable customers to do?

 

WearCheck’s IT manager Eddie Perumal outlines some of the app’s features.

 

‘Using the app is straightforward as we have designed it to be intuitive and logical, allowing for ease of use by all generations. The design is an extension of our website look and feel, so the WearCheck branding lends a sense of familiarity.

 

‘All data is secure and the login process uses the same username/password credentials as our WearCheck Online website. Those customers registered on the website can start using the app immediately.

 

‘Once the app is downloaded, customers can access reports and view their current samples list. As an optional feature, this keeps track of unread web/app reports, and notifications about items on this list are sent out as reminders.

 

‘Sample reports can be viewed on the mobile device as either one page (“concise”), or two page (“full”) pdf documents. Single or multiple pdf reports can be emailed to different recipients simultaneously.

 

‘Sample data can be submitted, either via the equipment/component search option (recommended), or via the “submit samples” option, where equipment/component verification is needed for currently-listed machinery. Where applicable, new equipment/components information is created in the WearCheck system. Customers can also view their five-day submission history.

 

‘One of the highlights and unique features of the app is the interactive key, where customers can ask a diagnostician about a specific sample, and receive an emailed reply on their mobile device.’

 

 

WearCheck is the only condition monitoring company in Africa with ISO 9001 quality certification and ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management programme, as well as ISO 17025 accreditation for its laboratory-centric quality management programme.

 

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