Our story began about 40 years ago, when founding directors Lesley and Wally Crawford, and Gary Brown set up oil analysis operations in 1976 in a home laboratory. Their initial test portfolio comprised six elements - viscosity, water, fuel, sludge and debris analysis, with no automation. The company employed 10 people and processed less than 500 samples per month.
From those humble beginnings, the company has flourished and grown, and today WearCheck is one of the leading condition monitoring specialists on the African continent, processing in excess of 600 000 samples per annum. We have evolved into a one-stop-shop for a vast range of reliability solutions services across many industries, and we are proud to be a member of the prestigious International WearCheck Group (IWG).
The IWG is an association of independent laboratories around the globe, dedicated to oil and wear particle analysis. WearCheck’s relationship with the IWG allows for the ongoing exchange of advanced technical information, and the ability to offer a worldwide service.
WHY USE WEARCHECK?
One of WearCheck’s fundamental goals is to save money and time for customers by improving the availability, reliability and efficiency of their machinery through regular maintenance and tailored condition monitoring programmes.
The development of WearCheck’s reliability solutions division embraces the latest approach to proactive maintenance - the search for ways to extend the life of components to prevent premature failure, thereby boosting general plant health. The underlying philosophy is that any good proactive maintenance programme boosts both plant availability as well as plant reliability.
WHO USES CONDITION MONITORING?
Using results from the scientific analysis of used oil, fuels, coolants and greases from components for plant maintenance decisions, many industries benefit from WearCheck’s services, among them mining, earthmoving, industrial, transport, shipping, aviation and electrical operations.
WHERE CAN I FIND WEARCHECK?
WearCheck’s expansive network of 13 laboratories spans the African continent and beyond, including Isando in Gauteng, Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal, Middelburg, Lumwana mine and Kitwe in Zambia, as well as Ghana, Mozambique, DRC, Zimbabwe, Namibia, India and Dubai (in partnership with Precision Machinery), with additional offices in Cape Town, Rustenburg, Steelpoort and Port Elizabeth
WearCheck has a unique achievement – we are the only oil analysis company in Africa with ISO 9001 quality certification and ISO 14001 certification for our environmental management programme, as well as being accredited with the ISO 17025 laboratory centric quality management programme.
OIL ANALYSIS SERVICES
Oil analysis is as important for maintenance engineering as blood testing is for medicine. It is the scientific analysis of all types of lubricants and transformer oils, coolants, greases and filters and is an established method for predictive and preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance programmes are essential for optimising operational efficiency, reliability and performance of mechanical and electrical systems. WearCheck offers many services for predictive and preventive maintenance, including competitive pricing and short turnaround time. Analyses are carried out at state-of-the-art, custom built, automated laboratories with interpretation and reports being completed by our highly-qualified diagnosticians.
The company's services include:
- Water (by Karl Fischer)
- Appearance / colour
- Wear metals
- Particle contamination
- Dissolved gases
- Total acid and base numbers
- Dielectric strength
- Visual colour
- PCB analysis
- RULER test
- Copper and silver corrosion
- Air release
RELIABILITY SOLUTIONS SERVICES
Added to the analysis of oils, fuels, coolants and greases are our Reliability Solutions services, which include:
- Thermal imaging
- Vibration analysis
- Laser alignment
- The Station Thermal Efficiency Program (STEP), Coal Accounting and Plant Performance Monitoring Services.
- Plant Performance Monitoring of Boiler, Turbine and Auxiliary Plant.
- Routine testing and verification of raw data from plant used in the STEP system or similar programs to produce thermal performance results.
- Investigations and report with recommendations on the plant failures or incidents.
- Advice on the plant performance tests, including the load lines, clean air curves, plant inspections, air flow test, air heater leakage tests, O2 verification tests, temperature traverse tests, gas velocity tests, condenser tests, dew point test, pulverized fuel sampling tests, generator H2 leak test, HP & LP heater performance tests and any other performance and testing tests required for the plant optimisation.
- Assistance with the following during outages: air heater shoe gaps and seals settings, pulverised fuel burner settings, mills settings, draught plant settings, zeroing of coal conveyor mass meters and any other settings that may be required during the plant outages.
- Weekly plant walk-downs and liaison with the operating department for any deviations that are visible on the plant for corrective action to be taken. The activities are performed on the whole station, including turbine, boiler, mills and outside plant
WEARCHECK’S LABORATORY INSTRUMENTS
Our ongoing investment in new technology guarantees that all equipment in WearCheck's laboratories is state-of-the-art, and enables us to match - and even surpass - the services offered by our local and international counterparts. The ever-increasing range of advanced equipment in these custom built laboratories includes:
- Inductively-coupled plasma spectrometers
- Fourier transform infra-red spectrometer
- HIAC and PAMAS (GmbH) particle counters
- ISL Houillon viscometers
- Gas chromatographs
- Rotary particle depositors
- Particle quantifiers
- Image processing systems
- Distillation and flashpoint apparatus
- High performance liquid chromatography systems
- Karl Fischer titration
- Dielectric strength testers: Air release tester, Kruss K11 tensiometer, ADU 5 distillation unit, SVM3001 stabinger viscometer, PMA 5 Pensky-Martens closed-cup flash point tester
A high degree of automation in the laboratories ensures reliability of results and has virtually eliminated time-consuming paper work.
HOW FAST ARE SAMPLES PROCESSED?
There are several options to speed up the delivery of samples to the laboratory and more than 95% of all samples are processed within 24 hours of the sample reaching the laboratory.
OTHER WEARCHECK SERVICES
Other WearCheck services include:
- Telephonic, on-line and on-site support
- Advice from WearCheck's highly-qualified and experienced diagnosticians, including in-depth investigations and troubleshooting.
- Suppliers of a wide variety of different sample kits and accessories such as sampling valves and extraction pumps.
- Regular technical publications and conferences,
- A comprehensive training programme, offered both on-site in several countries and at WearCheck's offices. Courses include several levels of oil analysis training as well as a range of Mobius reliability solutions qualifications.
WearCheck Online is a web based service which allows customers to receive their WearCheck results on the Internet and to manage their oil analysis programme from their own computer or smartphone. It also permits two-way communication, enabling customers to use the system to submit information to WearCheck, ensuring that it is immediately integrated into the system. WearCheck Online employs drop-down menus to view results, to print reports, tables and lists, and to create charts and graphs.
Reports are communicated either by e-mail, fax, telephone or by post.