Wednesday, 26 May 2021 12:20


Guinea, West Africa – this is the destination of our latest remodelled container laboratory, where technicians will shortly begin processing used oil samples and other condition monitoring techniques for a Guinean mining company.

The portable laboratory was commissioned by a private mining group, who will run the condition monitoring programme with in-house technicians trained on-site by us. Guinea’s mining industry - mainly iron, gold, diamond and bauxite - accounts for over 50% of the country’s exports.

The unique mobile laboratories are put together at our head office in Westville, South Africa using repurposed shipping containers. The labs have every available safety feature such as ventilation and air extraction systems, fire prevention and more. Each lab is fully-equipped with the latest laboratory instruments and technology, and even has an uninterrupted power supply, air conditioning and burglar bars. As industry needs evolve, the mobile labs undergo constant redesigning.

The laboratory instruments and movable components are carefully packed to avoid disturbance during transport and the container is despatched either by road or by sea, depending on its destination. The container for Atikoo,Guinea will be transported largely by sea from Durban to Conakry.

Our managing director, Neil Robinson, is determined to overcome the lack of infrastructure in certain mining hotspots in Africa through the creation of mobile laboratories in converted shipping containers and placing them on-site. In this way, the local industries benefit from world-class condition monitoring services which otherwise would not be within reach.

Says Neil, ‘Our aim is to make world class condition monitoring services as accessible as possible to operations on the African continent. The extraordinary functionality of the container labs eliminates the need for the customer to supply the services for basic infrastructure such as a building, electricity, internet signal, security and safety features. With these hurdles out of the way, WearCheck then places the designer lab within convenient reach of mining operations.

Once the mobile lab is on-site, a WearCheck technician travels to the location to set up the laboratory and calibrate the instruments. Generally, a local lab manager undergoes training in an existing WearCheck lab and then takes over the reins of the mobile lab along with the necessary technicians. In some cases, the customer manages the laboratory independently.

To ensure that the laboratories always provide our world-class quality condition monitoring services, each mobile laboratory remains connected to the WearCheck South Africa LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System), which allows for quality control of the rest results, and ensures that each sample is diagnosed by our highly-qualified team of diagnosticians. Results are reported via WearCheck’s reporting system.

Offering a wide range of condition monitoring services for the mining sector - including oil analysis, coolant testing, diesel testing and 24-hour sample turnaround time – the mobile labs are also available for use by other industries, such as quarrying, industrial, power generation, transport and shipping operations.

The Guinea-bound container laboratory is the eighth one created by us. The others are operating successfully in Ghana, Mozambique, DRC, Mauritania, Namibia and Burkina Faso. WearCheck operates an additional 14 full-sized laboratories in buildings, in nine countries around Africa and in India and Dubai.

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