WearCheck Zimbabwe

The leader in the field of Condition Monitoring Services, through our knowledge and experience of al

Condition monitoring specialists WearCheck was originally launched as an oil analysis operation in 1976 by husband and wife team Lesley and Wally Crawford, and Gary Brown. 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. Today, WearCheck is a mem


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Technical Compliance Testing - Bulk Handling Today 23/08/2021


Technical Compliance Testing - Bulk Handling Today Specialised Container Agencies (SCA) - suppliers of niche market container products - has developed SCA Intermodal Side Tipper Bins, that provide efficient bulk handling rail solutions, encouraging greater utilisation of rail wagon container haulage.

FAQ Oils 23/08/2021


FAQ Oils WearCheck Africa serves the earthmoving, industrial, transport, shipping, aircraft and electrical industries through the scientific analysis of used oil from mechanical and electrical systems.


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We're Hiring
Country Manager - Dubai

The position of Country Manager is now available in the Dubai Office.

The role is responsible for Business Development, Technical Support and overall Management of the local WearCheck company, reporting to the South African Head office.

Responsibilities of the role:
Managing all operational aspects of the local company and staff. Providing technical support to customers. Retention and increase in the Sales revenue. Responsible for ensuring the company meets all goals and objectives in a timely manner. Business development, increasing the customer base in the region.

Key Functions:
Growing the region through increased sales. Managing the customer relationship process. Negotiating and managing contracts. Presentations. Sales and Sales Forecasting; Market Segmentation. Strategy planning and implementation (i.e.: Identify business opportunities). Technical Support, Failure Analysis, and Fault-Finding. Onsite training. Liaise, oversee and manage office staff, logistics, and support systems. Oversee sales, delivery, distribution, pricing, accounting, and customer service. Resolve/oversee customer queries and service issues. Keep up with industry trends; attend trade shows, conventions, and seminars as appropriate or as directed. Actively take part in the promotion and attainment of compliance, including WearCheck’s Quality System and Health and Safety matters for Dubai company.

3 year tertiary technical qualification. 6 – 8 years’ industry-related experience, 5 of which should ideally have been in a managerial role. Mechanical engineering or maintenance background with knowledge of condition-monitoring, preferably oil analysis. Experience working within an ISO environment. Proven track record in Business Development/revenue growth. Excellent Leadership, Communication, Team Building and Change Management skills. Methodical, accurate, conscientious, energetic and technically-minded. High attention to detail and ability to work under pressure.

Availability: The successful candidate must be available to start in their position as soon as possible.

Remuneration: A competitive salary and company benefits is offered for the right candidate.

Only CVs sent to the following email will be considered: [email protected]

Please note: Applications close on 10th May 2019 only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


Monitor 78 hits the streets

Limits vs. Trends – this topic is discussed in detail by our diagnostic manager John Evans in the latest issue of WearCheck’s Monitor newsletter.

You will also find news of the customer survey lucky draw winner, and stories on WearCheck’s lab opening times over the festive season, 2019 training course dates and information, insights and pics from all the latest industry expos and customer training sessions, some noteworthy achievements by the company and an introduction to some new WearCheck faces.

The children of St Vincent’s orphanage were treated once again by our kind-hearted staff to some Christmas cheer – read all about these stores and more in the latest issue of Monitor.

Click here to downloadhttp://www.wearcheck.co.za/shared/M78.pdf


L**e Tip 12: These additives don't exist - Part 1

I’m afraid I have some bad news . . . and no, it’s not about the economy. It’s about what I often call “imaginary additives”. These are the additives that seem to exist in the minds of many lubrication practitioners but don’t exist in the physical world of lubrication reality. They seem to provide solace to those who pay the bills of machinery unreliability. As good as modern lubricants may be, they are never a panacea for bad lubrication practices.

Conversely, real additives can be real problem-solvers that enhance the performance and reliability of both the machine and the lubricant. So, there’s a difference between the real and imaginary. I want you to know the difference. This column will go down the list of imaginary additives and discuss the many misconceptions that pervade the lubrication community. I hate to be a myth-buster, but reality is reality, so let’s get started:

ANTI-DIRT The only remedy for dirty oil is a filter or an oil change. Even better is not having dirty oil in the first place (via routine contaminant exclusion). Don’t imagine that there is some virulent, dirt-curing additive in your lubricant’s formulation. Dirt doesn’t care how sophisticated your lubricant’s chemistry might be. Whether your lubricant emerged from a backroom or a space-age laboratory, dirt will spare no effort to cut, abrade, dent and score your machine surfaces.

L**E TIP by Jim Fitch of Noria Corporation


WearCheck at Windaba

Showcasing the very latest oil analysis and condition monitoring techniques at Windaba this month was WearCheck’s transformer maintenance division.

Burgeoning growth in Southern Africa’s renewable energy sector is a result of the universal need to develop alternative power sources, and WearCheck is well positioned to provide predictive monitoring for the industry.

WearCheck technicians highlighted how power-generating equipment can be transitioned into optimum performance with minimum maintenance costs by investing in condition monitoring.

The WearCheck team at Windaba (from left to right), Ian Gray, Des Rodel, Steven Lumley and Philip Schutte.


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.


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.


L**e Tip 11: Comparing the cleaning ability of group III and IV oils

QUESTION: How does a Group III engine oil compare to a Group IV in its cleaning ability?

I have read and understood the potential problems of switching a higher mileage engine from a conventional oil to a synthetic PAO, but is there less inherent risk with switching to a Group III? From my understanding esters act more like a solvent (more aggressive, I assume) and detergents and dispersants more or less attach themselves to sludge and other contaminants and carry it away in that form.

ANSWER: Most engine oils are now formulated with Group II (hydrotreated) or a mixture of Group I (conventional mineral oil) and Group II base oils to meet the latest API gasoline (SM) and diesel (CJ-4) performance designations. Because Group III and Group IV (PAO) base oils are both considered synthetics (since 1999), any oil labelled as a full synthetic, would contain either Group III or PAO, or both.

Any oil labelled as a partial synthetic or semi synthetic or synthetic blend would contain Group I or Group II (mineral oil) plus some amount of Group III or PAO (synthetic). There are no designations for us, as end-users, to know what specific base oils the oil formulator has used, so your question is a bit academic in nature. We would never know if we were purchasing a Group III engine oil vs. a Group IV (PAO) engine oil. But, from an academic point of view, I would expect the cleaning ability of a Group III and a PAO to be similar (generally poor). Again, academically, I would expect less risk of seal issues etc. when switching from a Group III (as opposed to a Group I) to a PAO, as the Group III and PAO are chemically similar. Ester synthetics have a higher degree of solvency than Group II, III or PAO base oils. This means they will dissolve additives and deposits more readily and may cause some seals to swell slightly (they also can remove some paints). These characteristics (not the paint removal) can be beneficial and some oil formulators will add some small amounts of ester base oils into their synthetic (Group III and PAO) formulations to improve these characteristics. - Courtesy of Noria Corporation


Look out for Monitor 77

Do you understand the intricacies of PQI? Did you know that the test for illuminating paraffin contamination in diesel is quick and easy? and that you can now earn CPD points with WearCheck training?

The latest issue of Monitor has more details on these topical issues, as well as plenty more - such as WearCheck’s “greening” practices, a useful l**e tip, the launch of a new laboratory, news of some amazing staff achievements including 2 million samples diagnosed by one person, and 40 years at the company.

To have a read of the latest issue of Monitor – simply click on this link:http://www.wearcheck.co.za/shared/WearCheck%20Monitor%2077.pdf


Oil analysis training in Namibia

Calling all industrial operations in Namibia - bookings are now open for WearCheck’s next oil analysis training sessions to be held in Namibia 11-13 September.

Courses: WearCheck One - The Fundamentals of Oil Analysis and WearCheck Two - The diagnosis process and report interpretation.

Seats are limited, so book yours now - contact Michelle on [email protected] or [email protected]

Remember – a well-trained workforce boosts profits!

View full training schedule at http://www.wearcheck.co.za/shared/WCK%20Training%20Schedule%202018.pdf


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).


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.



You talk…we listen! WearCheck’s annual customer survey closes 31 August. We truly value your feedback - your answers and suggestions are used to improve our service offering to ensure we are meeting our customers’ needs.

This year the survey is very fast - it only takes two minutes to complete. All respondents will be entered into a lucky draw for a cash prize.*

The questionnaire is available at https://online.wearcheck.co.za/PRODUCTION/anon/survey.aspx/

*Terms and conditions apply. No WearCheck staff or their families may enter the competition. Only current WearCheck customers may win the prize. The judges’ decision is final. Winners will be notified during the first week of September 2018 after the survey closes.


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.


L**e Tip 10: Oil Additives

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 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 Practical Handbook of Machinery Lubrication – 4th Edition”


WearCheck passes Honeywell audit once again

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.


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).


Keep it clean to save money.

Keeping tight control on contamination is proven many times over as a sure way to enhance the reliability of industrial equipment, and in so doing, boosting a company’s asset management.

A recent study found that 70% of machine failure is caused by the degradation of metal surfaces, which is largely caused by mechanical wear, which is a result of solid particulate contamination.

With statistics such as this, can you afford to ignore contamination control?

Lubricants play a crucial role in achieving machine reliability – so much so, that they are now seen as integral to the mechanical componentry that they lubricate and protect.

To read the full discussion by WearCheck’s technical manager Steven Lumley - on how to achieve target cleanliness for lubricants – please view Technical Bulletin 65: Keep it clean.

Here’s the direct link:http://www.wearcheck.co.za/shared/TB65.pdf


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.


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 l**e 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.

Click here to downloadhttp://www.wearcheck.co.za/shared/WearCheck%20Monitor%2076.pdf


WearCheck at African Utility Week 2018

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.


L**e 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


WearCheck passes Shell audit with flying colours

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.


IPL 2018 Fixtures

Tomorrow, cricket fans are in for a treat as the maiden ball is bowled in the action-packed, hard-hitting Indian Premiership League (IPL) cricket event in India.

The IPL, which features the best cricketing superstars from all around the world, takes place annually over two months, and has been running for 10 years.

Eight teams will battle it out on the cricket pitches of India, with the finals taking place in Mumbai on the 27th May.

WearCheck have made it easier for you to follow your favourite players and teams. Click here to download our handy 2018 IPL Fixtures Lists. (5.1MB)


We would like to wish all the WearCheck staff at our branch in Chennai the best of luck as they support their local team, the Chennai Super Kings.


High 5 for Hitachi!

WearCheck’s laboratories in Gauteng recently welcomed new clients Hitachi Ltd., who signed up for condition monitoring services - in particular, oil analysis - for their mining and construction operations across the African continent.

The Japanese-based company focuses on social innovation across a range of business sectors, including power and infrastructure systems, information and telecommunication systems, construction machinery, high functional materials and components, automotive systems, healthcare and others.

Hitachi has engaged WearCheck as a support chain partner in the development of their oil analysis programme.

Delegates from Hitachi Ltd. recently attended an oil analysis training course in Johannesburg, run by WearCheck’s technical manager, Steven Lumley

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Opening Hours

Monday 07:30 - 16:30
Tuesday 07:30 - 16:30
Wednesday 07:30 - 16:30
Thursday 07:30 - 16:30
Friday 07:30 - 16:30

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