Wednesday, 15 August 2018 10:49

Engine Power

Customers in many corners of Africa have signed up for WearCheck training recently, to enhance their investment in their condition monitoring programme.

Technical manager Steven Lumley conducted training for engine manufacturer Cummins recently.

The training for Cummins, which took place at the Cummins South Africa training facility in Johannesburg, was customised especially for the customer.  Topics included an introduction to oils, additives, application storage, the tests performed and the relevance of each one, and well as the interpretation of test results.

Cummins develops engines for specialist applications such as on highway, off highway and marine. Engaging the best possible methods for keeping the engines running at optimum output is of great value, therefore WearCheck training is an important part of the maintenance strategy.

A team from engine manufacturers Cummins recently underwent condition monitoring training by WearCheck’s technical manager Steven Lumley (third from left)

Published in Blog
Thursday, 26 July 2018 12:12

Seoul sisters and brothers

Members of the International WearCheck Group (IWCG) get together each year in a different member country to share ideas about the latest technological innovations, discuss new condition monitoring trends, learn about new laboratory practices and instruments and to keep the international WearCheck business network going. 

Seoul - the beautiful capital city of South Korea – was the venue for this year’s IWCG conference in July. 

WearCheck MD Neil Robinson (back row, fifth from left), along with delegates from Canada, USA, Hungary, UK and Argentina attended the 2018 International WearCheck Group (IWCG) meeting in Seoul, South Korea in July.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 25 July 2018 14:44

Welcome back, Ashley!

Diagnostician Ashley Mayer has re-joined the team of diagnosticians at WearCheck’s head office in Pinetown.

Ashley, originally a Durbanite, holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, as well as a national certificate in Datametrics and has completed an Advanced Business Programme.

His career kicked off in Durban as a mechanical engineer for Chempute, after which he joined the WearCheck team as a diagnostician for four years. A stint at ABB as a tribologist was followed by five years in the USA with the Noria Corporation, finishing up as director of Applications Engineering.

In 2009, Ashley returned to WearCheck as senior technical consultant in Johannesburg, which was followed by two years as manager of the Speciality Laboratory and three years as the company’s training manager. He travelled far and wide running technical training courses for WearCheck customers throughout Africa and beyond.

This year, Durban extends a warm ‘welcome home’ to Ashley. Throughout his career, Ashely has presented several papers at conferences, and has had many of his condition monitoring articles published in professional publications. He has won two gold awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors.

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WearCheck provides condition monitoring services to many sectors, some of which are highly specialised.

One of WearCheck’s long-standing customers in the aviation arena is Honeywell Aerospace - a global company that invents and manufactures technologies that address some of the world’s most critical challenges around energy, safety, security, productivity and global urbanisation. 

Honeywell ‘s SOAP (spectrometric oil analysis program) laboratory engineer Perry Rexroad, from Phoenix Arizona, recently visited WearCheck’s Pinetown laboratory to conduct an audit of the process of preparing the oil filters for analysis as well as laboratory instrument accuracy.

For more than 20 years, WearCheck has analysed oil samples and filters from Honeywell’s aircraft components, and our diagnosticians have based their maintenance recommendations on these results.

As this work is unique and specialised, Honeywell requires that our diagnosticians are specifically trained and certified to diagnose their samples, and that they undergo regular assessment to earn re-certification.

During the audit, WearCheck’s three existing Honeywell diagnosticians (Daan Burger, Ravi Chetty and Steven Lumley) were successfully re-certified, and Ashley Mayer, the newest member of the diagnostic team, also received his Honeywell certification.

Aerospace audit: Perry Rexroad (left) of Honeywell in the USA conducted an audit in WearCheck’s Pinetown laboratory recently. WearCheck’s three existing Honeywell diagnosticians (Daan Burger, Ravi Chetty (inset) and Steven Lumley (right)) were successfully re-certified, and Ashley Mayer (at microscope) received his certification

Ashley Mayer, the newest member of WearCheck’s diagnostic team, is now the fourth diagnostician to be certified by Honeywell, along with Daan Burger, Ravi Chetty and Steven Lumley.


Published in Blog
Monday, 02 July 2018 19:11

Two million samples and counting

WearCheck couldn’t be prouder of diagnostic manager John Evans, who recently diagnosed his two millionth oil analysis sample. 

John diagnosed his first sample back in February 1983 when he worked for Barlows in Botswana.  After a stint with De Beers in Botswana, also in the oil analysis field, John joined the WearCheck team in 1989 as a diagnostician.

His promotion to diagnostic manager in 1997 meant his workload included a bit more admin, however, this did not slow down his sample diagnosing!

Not only has John clocked up the impressive sample diagnosis count, he has also authored more than 30 of WearCheck’s ever-popular Technical Bulletins. Many of John’s articles on condition monitoring have been published, and he has devised many of the company’s customer training manuals. John has also published a book on oil analysis.

Whilst we don’t have official statistics, we do know that it is extremely rare on a global level to have diagnosed this quantity of samples, therefore John’s achievement aligns him with only a handful of top diagnosticians globally who have reached an equivalent milestone – among them, fellow WearCheck diagnosticians Michelle Allis and Rowan Maartens (recently retired).

Caption: WearCheck’s diagnostic manager John Evans recently diagnosed his two millionth oil analysis sample, ranking him alongside only a handful of top diagnosticians globally who have reached an equivalent milestone – among them, fellow WearCheck diagnosticians Michelle Allis and Rowan Maartens (recently retired).

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 12 June 2018 12:16

Making Chemistry

Meet WearCheck’s newest scientist – Vincent Sithole. He joined the company last year as a research and development assistant, and has recently been promoted to junior chemist at WearCheck’s Pinetown laboratory.

Vincent is working on several interesting research projects in the lab, one of which is the assessment of the determination of glycol in used engine oil through headspace gas chromatography.

Vincent explains, ‘The presence of ethylene glycol in used engine oil is an indication of antifreeze coolant leakage into the crank-case of an internal combustion engine, thus predicting engine-wear problems, therefore this is an effective preventive monitoring tool.

‘Glycol coolants break down in a high temperature engine environment, leading to the formation of acids that, in turn, attack nonferrous bearing surfaces, causing reactions with oil anti-wear and antioxidant additives.’

Vincent recently completed his master’s degree in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry, and notes with interest that his WearCheck lab work dovetails neatly with the subject of his thesis and published peer-reviewed journal articles – phosphorus/sulphur metal compounds (applied as antioxidants and anti-wear additives in petroleum products).

Before joining WearCheck, Vincent had embarked on his PhD while working as a teaching assistant at the University of KZN in Durban.

Caption: Vincent Sithole, junior chemist at WearCheck, operates a gas chromatograph.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 17 May 2018 18:56

Monitor 76 hits the streets

Our latest Monitor newsletter features South African stories as well as WearCheck news from places further afield – India, Dubai, Angola, Namibia and Burkina Faso, to name a few.

We discuss the merits of AVT (Advanced Vibration Testing) and the impact this can have on boosting machine/component reliability while reducing maintenance costs.

The winner of our lucky draw prize for the customer survey is revealed, and don’t miss the lube tip in this edition.

If you are considering staff training in oil analysis or reliability solutions, there is information on all the available courses and dates for 2018.

Read all about these stories, and more, in Monitor 76.

Cick here to download the latest issue (477KB)

Published in Blog

When the power, energy and water professionals of Africa gather at AUW from 15 -17 May in Cape Town, WearCheck will be there to showcase how condition monitoring saves money and boosts machine reliability.

Transformer Fleet Reliability:

Reliable energy flow is paramount in any Electrical system and power transformers are a critical, component. As an asset class, transformers constitute one of the largest investments in a utility’s system. For this reason, transformer condition assessment and management are a high priority.

WearCheck’s transformer condition monitoring programme includes regular transformer oil sample analysis, plus Furanic analysis, Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) analysis, Dissolved gas analysis, (DGA), Corrosive sulphur, Moisture content, Total acid number (TAN), Dielectric strength, Stray Gassing Tendency and Inhibitor content.

WearCheck will share stand O2B with sister company Set Point Laboratories, which offers specialist water analysis services. They also offer testing services on platinum group metals, gold base metals including iron and manganese, general silicates, phosphates, limestone and uranium.

Both companies are part of Torre Industries.

We look forward to seeing you at AUW 2018.

Published in Blog
Saturday, 14 April 2018 19:06

Lube Tip 8: Too Much of a Good Thing

When using oil additives, more is not always better. As more additive is blended into the oil, sometimes there isn’t any more benefit gained, and at times the performance actually deteriorates. In other cases, the performance of the additive doesn’t improve, but the duration of service does improve.

In addition, increasing the percentage of a certain additive may improve one property of an oil while at the same time degrade another. When the specified concentrations of additives become unbalanced, overall oil quality can also be affected. Some additives compete with each other for the same space on a metal surface. If a high concentration of an anti-wear agent is added to the oil, the corrosion inhibitor may become less effective. The result may be an increase in corrosion-related problems.

From: The Critical Role of Additives in Lubrication, by Pete Oviedo, Noria Corporation

Published in Blog

Some of our larger customers are required to conduct regular audits of all their suppliers, to ensure that the service they are receiving is of the quality that they expect.

This means that every so often, WearCheck, as a supplier, is audited by a customer-appointed company to ensure that service quality remains excellent.

Recently, WearCheck was endorsed once again by Shell after they conducted an audit in which approximately 100 different aspects of the laboratory processes were assessed.

Aspects that were examined included general organisation, buildings, quality assurance procedures and management, sample management, document control, training, diagnostic capability, calibration, maintenance and statistical quality control.

Shell has been a loyal customer of WearCheck’s since 1986.

Published in Blog
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