WearCheck’s bypass filters save the day for fleet operators

Bolted externally onto the machine is one of WearCheck’s bypass filters for the transmission. The filters have already saved a mine over R1,5 million during an initial trial process.

Condition monitoring specialist, WearCheck, has extended its fuels, lubricants, air and coolants (FLAC) maintenance programme to include unique bypass filters, which minimise contaminants, thereby extending the life of the oil and fuel.

The filters were initially trialled at a chrome mine on three GHH machines running air-cooled motors. Once proven effective, the filters were then fitted to a further 27 machines in the same mine. The mine has already recorded savings of R1,7 million after paying for the implementation of the WearCheck programme.

Also known as depth filters, the bypass filters are bolted externally on each component, and the oil or fuel of that component passes through the filtration system, similar to how an individual dialysis machine would assist a patient to filter their own blood.

The filters function best as part of a comprehensive condition monitoring programme, and, following the successful trials, they are being widely installed on different machines.  They are designed to clean oil and fuel used in a variety of industries, including mining, earthmoving, transport, construction, manufacturing, shipping, electrical and aircraft.

Fuel typically passes through three filters – first the OEM water separator, next the OEM diesel filter, and finally WearCheck’s depth filter, which is last in line, and which provides extremely fine microfiltration, screening particles between 0,5 and 1 microns in diameter.

The filters can either be fitted to existing components or installed during construction or rebuilding of the machine. Chris Hattingh, operations/ technical support for WearCheck, outlines some of the advantages of the process. “By ensuring the fuel at the injector tip in a diesel engine is super-clean, it protects the moving parts and keeps these within spec for much longer, allowing for better atomisation.

“During the trial process for the filters, our FLAC programme initially identified the correct oil to be used for different components, and outlined optimum cleanliness procedures for bulk oil storage. The bypass filters were then fitted and found to extend the oil’s longevity and boosted the components’ life,” says Hattingh.

“The advantage of cleaner burning fuel means more power. Because there are now potentially fewer by-products passing into the crank case oil, such as soot, the additive packages don’t have to work so hard, so they may also last longer.

“By using scientific data on the oil’s condition, and knowing that the filters have cleaned the oil or fuel effectively, we can advise customers when it is feasible to extend the oil drain interval without risk, thereby saving them money.”

Equipment Africa says: Any potential saving is a welcome relief for the beleaguered mines operating in one of the toughest eras of their existence. Particulate contamination is recognised as a key culprit that causes the majority of unscheduled machinery failure. In bypass filters, WearCheck seems to have the answer to this problem.

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