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The Client: Douglas Colliery’s, Wolwe-krans Mining

The Business:
Open Cast Coal Mining

Test Kits Used:
Mobile 1 (MOB 1)
Mobile 2 (MOB 2)
Mobile 3 (MOB 3)

Laboratory Used:
WearCheck South Africa.

Oil Anlaysis Keeps Costs down at Douglas Colliery

Marks Mdluli, engineering superintendent (diesel) at Douglas Colliery’s Wolwe- krans opencast coal mine

The client:
Douglas Colliery’s, Wolwe-krans
Opencast Coal mine
Witbank , Natal, South Africa

The business:
Open Cast Mining

Test Kits used:

Mobile 1 (MOB 1)
Mobile 2 (MOB 2)
Mobile 3 (MOB 3)

Laboratory used:
WearCheck South Africa.

Wearcheck’s oil analysis programme has been helping to reduce maintenance costs and extend the life of equipment at Douglas Colliery’s Wolwekrans opencast coal mine outside Witbank for the past 16 years.

Says Marks Mdluli, engineering superintendent (diesel) of the opencast section, ‘Wolwekrans has benefited a great deal from using Wearcheck over the years. We no longer drain the oil from components unnecessarily and generally only do so when it is indicated on the Wearcheck reports. This means that many of our components have passed the benchmark hours set by OEM by far. This makes a substantial contribution to our cost saving programme.’

The other major advantage is that it enables us to identify problems in good time, preventing failures that could cost the mine a great deal of money,’ says Mr Mdluli.

A recent example is a Caterpillar D11N dozer whose engine protection system kept tripping. The artisan took pressures on the fuel and oil systems as well as the hydraulics, but these came up normal. When the tripping continued, we sent a sample through to Wearcheck for analysis. The results showed fuel dilution above 12% so we replaced the fuel transfer pump and injectors immediately’If we had not pinpointed and corrected the problem so quickly, we could easily have lost the engine which would.have cost the mine about R 680 000. We have also been able to extend the service interval way beyond the standard 14 000 -16 000 hours, and the machine has now run for more than 23 000 hours without an overhaul.’

‘About 90% of the mine’s pumps and drills and its fleet of 26 mainly Caterpillar earthmoving machines are on the Wearcheck programme. They also commission RPD ferrogram analysis when necessary and make extensive use of Wearcheck’s technical training courses.

‘All our artisans, servicemen and service truck operators have been on Wearcheck’s training courses,’ says Mr Mdluli. ‘They now all have a good under- standing of the basics of clean oil and the importance of working and topping up cleanly.

This case study provides a good idea of what WearCheck can offer to this type of business. To see the recommended Oil Analysis tests that are availble to this industry, go to the Mining Oil Analysis Services page.