Wednesday, 28 November 2018 09:13

Condition-based monitoring of tap changers

The role played by on-load tap changers (OLTCs) in power generation is a critical one, which requires that they perform at their peak output during operation and unscheduled failure is avoided at all costs.

Regular maintenance coupled with condition monitoring such as oil analysis is now recognised as essential to help avoid unplanned outages for OLTCs. One of the key predictive maintenance tests that is conducted is DGA (dissolved gas analysis).

Technical Bulletin 66 unpacks the fine points of DGA, discusses the interpretation of results and what action to take when different amounts and ratios of various gases are present.

Three interesting case studies are discussed, in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of DGA in OLTCs.

To learn more about this proven reliability improvement technique that is summarised clearly by WearCheck’s transformer division manager Ian Gray - please view Technical Bulletin 66: Condition-based assessment of on-load tap changers. Here’s the direct link: http://www.wearcheck.co.za/shared/TB66.pdf

Published in Blog
Monday, 26 November 2018 14:21

WearCheck Welcomes New Faces

WearCheck welcomes new faces

Accounting, Thabani…
Thabani Dlamini is WearCheck’s accounts assistant and holds a BTech degree in cost management accounting. He is currently studying for his certificate in CIMA.

Before joining the WearCheck family at the end of 2017, Thabani served as finance assistant at a medical company.

At WearCheck, he is responsible for many accounting processes, including processing invoices, controlling manual delivery notes, updating credit limits and more.

Thabani works in a slightly unusual situation, as he is currently the only man in a department of six ladies!

Capturing, Bianca…
Bianca Louw recently joined the WearCheck family as the data capturer at the WSL (WearCheck Specialty Lab). She is primarily responsible for uploading data from samples that have been tested in the lab onto Giza, the computer software that manages the database.

Bianca, who is currently in the process of completing her diploma in analytical chemistry, began her career as a junior quality technician for an international coffee processing company before joining WearCheck.

We welcome both to Team WearCheck.

Published in Blog
Monday, 12 November 2018 14:22

Smooth operation

Valvoline manufactures synthetic lubricants and additives, including motor oils, gear oils, greases, anti-freeze, automatic transmission and others. Valvoline is the approved supplier of engine oil to Cummins.

WearCheck is proud to announce that we have signed a partnership agreement with Valvoline to do their oil analysis in Africa and the Middle East.

Says Steven, ‘Condition monitoring training adds value to an operation in several ways. As well as aiding maintenance staff to keep machinery running at optimum output, thereby maximising their investment in the oil analysis programme, the training course give enhanced insight to product developers. For example, Cummins and Valvoline have indicated that they will use the information from the condition monitoring courses to fine-tune their engines and lubricants at the developmental stage, adapting design and composition to help minimise future wear.’

Lubrication specialists Valvoline sent a team for condition monitoring training with WearCheck’s technical manager Steven Lumley (fourth from left). Also on this course was a team from Fleetgard, a division of Cummins that supplies filtration for Valvoline.

Published in Blog
Monday, 29 October 2018 17:32

WearCheck at Windaba

WearCheck’s transformer maintenance division will be showcasing the latest oil analysis and condition monitoring techniques, with technicians on hand to answer your questions at Windaba 2018.

The renewable energy sector in Southern Africa is growing fast to accommodate the global need for alternative power sources, and WearCheck is well positioned to provide predictive monitoring for the industry.

Come and see how investing in condition monitoring can transition power-generating equipment into optimum performance with minimum maintenance costs.

Windaba takes place on 7 & 8 November 2018 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Come and find WearCheck at stand no. 48

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 02 October 2018 10:20

Rowan retires

Diagnostician Rowan Maartens has retired after serving at WearCheck for 36 years.

Rowan’s career began in 1982, when he joined WearCheck as a diagnostician. He diagnosed an impressive 2,5 million used oil samples in the three and a half decades he was with the company.

In 2014, Rowan reach the 2 000 000 samples milestone, which placed him among the top few diagnosticians in the world, if not the first person ever, with this incredible number of diagnoses to his name. Now THAT is impressive.

Managing director Neil Robinson wished Rowan well. ‘Thank you, Rowan, for your loyal service to WearCheck and our customers, and also to the condition monitoring industry.’

Rowan plans to spend his golden years enjoying his free time.

 

 

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 25 September 2018 10:56

Sizwe hits 40 years at WearCheck

1978 was the year when Sizwe Ndlovu joined the WearCheck family, 40 years ago.

At that time, WearCheck had begun initially as a soil analysis company, which later changed to oil analysis in 1976. So, at the then fledgling oil analysis company, Sizwe began his career as stores assistant, where he was tasked with keeping the stores neat and tidy and clean.

Today, and as the company has grown, he is now in charge of the store room, as well as holding many other responsibilities, which include looking after all the chemicals used in the laboratory. He re-orders chemicals and gas cylinders when stocks get low and fills all the machines with chemicals. Sizwe has completed a course in the control of Hazardous Materials and Basic Fire Fighting training.

The only employee who has been at WearCheck longer than Sizwe is laboratory supervisor Vigie Manikum, who is in her 42nd year with the company.  And, keeping it in the family, Sizwe’s brother Wellington Ndlovu has also reached an important milestone this year – he celebrates 35 years with WearCheck.

It doesn’t end there - there are also four employees who have spent an impressive three decades working at WearCheck this year – Sheila Naidoo, Prinda Narasi, Lyn Gengan and Sheila Moodley all clocked up 30 years in the Pinetown office.

Managing direction Neil Robinson expressed gratitude for long term dedication from staff. ‘I offer sincere congratulations to Sizwe Ndlovu for staying with us for 40 years, and to Wellington Ndlovu, for being here for 35 years.

‘Staff who remain for long periods really get to know our business, and our customers, inside and out. This reduces the need for retraining, and keeps processes running smoothly, which in turn boosts our customer service and helps maintain WearCheck as a successful operation. Thank you to all long-serving members of our family. We feel honoured as, these days, there are not many businesses who can boast about having as many long-time staff members as we do.’

WearCheck’s storeman Sizwe Ndlovu has worked at the company for 40 years

Stores assistant Wellington Ndlovu has worked at WearCheck for 35 years

Senior laboratory technician Sheila Naidoo has been with WearCheck for 30 years

Quality administrator Prinda Narasi has spent 30 years with WearCheck

Customer support officer Lyn Gengan has worked at WearCheck for 30 years

DP admin clerk Sheila Moodley has been employed by WearCheck for 30 years

Published in Blog
Friday, 21 September 2018 10:11

WearCheck is green at heart

At WearCheck we embrace earth-friendly best practice in every facet of our business model - as an extension of our ISO 14001 certification for environmental consideration, and because we care about our planet.

Our latest environment-friendly action is the installation of a 2 500 litre JoJo tank outside our Pinetown laboratory, which harvests rainwater from the roof of the building. This water is then used to flush the toilets.

Quality administrator Prinda Narasi explains, ‘The tank has a reserve of 750 litres of municipal water to keep the system working even if there is not enough rain. We estimate that by substituting municipal water with rainwater, this will save many thousands of litres annually.

‘Furthermore, we meticulously ensure that none of our process waste - including plastic waste - ends up as landfill. Instead, all our plastic oil sample bottles, caps and cores are recycled. They are melted down into pellets, which are used to manufacture industrial products such as drain grids.

‘The oil from the oil samples that are submitted to WearCheck is not simply discarded but is also recycled. After the oil and water are separated, the oil is processed and then re-used in other applications. The oily tissue is converted to refuse-derived fuel and is used, for example, as a fuel for cement kilns.

‘Another eco-friendly practice is that we hand all plastic courier bags and office paper to a recycling company, ‘says Prinda. ‘We will continue to explore new ways to decrease WearCheck’s footprint on our planet.’

Getting tanked: WearCheck has embraced earth-friendly practice in every facet of our business model. Here, quality administrator Prinda Narasi (left) and Siphiwe Mazibuko (stores) give the company’s new rainwater harvesting tank the thumbs up

Raw material: All WearCheck’s oil sample bottles are collected, emptied and handed to a recycling company which converts the plastic into pellets. These are then used to manufacture industrial products. Here, WearCheck workers Nathi Manzini (left) and Wellington Ndlovu empty oil from bottles awaiting recycling

WearCheck’s Sizwe Ndlovu points out the company’s underground tank, where used oil samples are collected before being recycled


Published in Blog
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 10:58

Win with WearCheck!

Calling all Electra Mining 2018 guests - would you like to win one of these awesome WearCheck hampers valued at over R1000? Of course you would! To stand a chance of winning, visit WearCheck at stand #K10, Hall 6 and pick up a free key. You then try your key in the padlock. If it unlocks the treasure chest, BINGO! You’re the lucky winner of the day, and you get to take your loot home with you.

We are giving away a treasure chest every day during Electra Mining, so head on over to the WearCheck stand to try your luck.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 05 September 2018 20:17

We’re EXHIBITING!

Join us at Electra Mining 2018.

Electra Mining – Africa’s largest mining, industrial, construction and electrical trade show takes place from 10 – 14 September 2018 at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg.

Come and learn more about oil analysis and the latest condition monitoring techniques, and how our services can provide you with an outstanding return on investment!

Our technical and sales teams will be on hand to offer you advice in Hall 6 Stand K10.

Click here to register online for your complimentary entrance http://www.tisevents.co.za/Event/EMA/Default.aspx?id=3620

Published in Blog
Monday, 27 August 2018 11:32

WearCheck opens second Namibian lab

WearCheck’s newest laboratory is officially open in southern Namibia, bringing to 16 the number of laboratories that we operate in nine countries around Africa and beyond.

Situated at Skorpion Zinc mine near Rosh Pinah, the new lab is strategically placed to answer a growing call for world class condition monitoring services in the region, particularly in the burgeoning mining and construction industries.

The lab is open to any industry requiring used oil analysis and other reliability solutions services.  It is fully equipped with the latest instruments and technology and is backed by its own uninterrupted power supply. To enable maintenance managers to make quick decisions, the lab offers 24-hour sample turnaround time.

A second Namibian WearCheck laboratory has provided condition monitoring services to the Husab Uranium Project since 2016.  Swakop Uranium, owners of the mining operation, awarded WearCheck a contract to supply and operate an on-site laboratory.

WearCheck MD Neil Robinson is determined to make world class condition monitoring services as accessible as possible to industrial operations on the African continent. ‘The learning curve for equipping and operating a remote laboratory has been a steep one, however every project is a learning experience and with each new laboratory, the implementation process is bettered.

‘As industry needs evolve, we are constantly redesigning our labs to present reliability solutions in areas which previously seemed almost impossible to imagine having a world-class laboratory present.’

Offering a wide range of condition monitoring services for the mining sector - including used oil analysis - WearCheck Namibia is available for use by other industries, such as quarrying, industrial, transport, power generation and shipping operations.

In addition to two in Namibia, WearCheck’s labs can be found in South Africa (six), Zambia (two) and one each in Zimbabwe, DRC, Mozambique, Ghana, Dubai and India.

WearCheck Namibia is situated at Skorpion Zinc mine site, about 25km north of the town of Rosh Pinah and can be contacted via email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or telephone +264 81 229-6926.

 

WearCheck Namibia is open for business! Laboratory manager Leandra Smith is standing by to process used oil samples and other condition monitoring services for industrial operations in the southern Namibia region.

The instruments for WearCheck’s newest laboratory are carefully packed and secured before transportation from Durban to Namibia. Diagnostic manager John Evans (left) and laboratory manager Meshach Govender conduct a final inspection before the boxes left Durban.

Published in Blog
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