An intrepid team of WearCheck staff, family members, and Set Point Group colleagues from around South Africa entered the popular, but daunting, 94.7 cycle race in Johannesburg last Sunday. Some of the team members gathered to show off their snazzy WearCheck-sponsored cycling kit just before the start of the race.
Among the finishers from the Pinetown laboratory were WearCheck MD Neil Robinson and lab manager Paul Swan, as well as sales developer Kay Meyrick. Finishing at the head of the pack in a flying time of 3hrs 17 minutes was Set Point Group CEO, Graham Horsfield.
All who participated agreed that training and racing together was a great team-building exercise, and went a long way towards boosting the cyclists’ fitness levels and the improved motivation of having set and achieved goals.
WearCheck’s diagnostic team, who between them boast 125 collective years of oil analysis experience, successfully completed their International Council for Machinery & Lubrication (ICML) exams last year, and are now ICML certified for Level II Machinery Lubricant Analysis.
This certification is equivalent to category II of the ISO 18436-4 standard covering lubricant analysis for machine condition monitoring. It is directed toward advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting, integration with other technologies and programme management.
‘This internationally recognised certification reflects our ongoing quest for operational excellence, our policy of employing technical specialists of the highest calibre and our commitment to the advancement of our employees,’ said managing director, Neil Robinson.
WearCheck, a member of the Set Point Group, is the only oil analysis company in Africa to have ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification.
Photo: WearCheck’s ICML certified diagnosticians (front, from left) John Evans, Michelle Allis and Rowan Maartens and (back) Steven Lara-Lee Lumley, Ravi Chetty and Daan Burger. Absent: Quinton Verster.
Oil analysis by WearCheck Africa proved instrumental in avoiding machine failure on two of Middelburg mining contractor Atlantis Mining’s earthmoving units recently by detecting component wear in time.
All of the Middelburg-based mining contractors’ fleet Caterpillar, Komatsu, Hitachi, Volvo and Terex equipment have been on WearCheck’s oil analysis programme for the past 12 years.
On this occasion, one of the machines was a Caterpillar D9T bulldozer where samples on both final drives were diagnosed by WearCheck as borderline. The oil was resampled and drained but the samples came back as borderline again. Atlantis resampled the new oil after 100 hours in use and submitted this to WearCheck. Again the sample was borderline.
‘The misleading factor was that the magnetic plugs showed no signs of contamination,’ said Mark Johnstone, managing director of Atlantis Mining. ‘We continued to run the machine whilst monitoring the final drive oil samples until we were advised of a critical sample at 9028 hours. Again the magnetic plug showed no signs of contamination, but it was decided that the final drives should be opened.’
Machine failure avoided
Three weeks later the workshop removed the final drives at 9192 hours. On disassembly it was found that the inner bearing had started to ‘pit’ and that the wear was starting to go through the hard facing. All the bearings were replaced and a major failure was avoided.
‘This was thanks to our successful oil sampling programme, accurate diagnosis by Wearcheck technicians and timeous action,’ Johnstone said.
‘Knowing that we can rely on our oil analysis programme gives us peace of mind, particularly as we are working with machines that are costly to replace and where equipment downtime quickly eats into profits. It is a cost-effective conditioning monitoring tool that has proved its worth time and time again.’