Start-up tests vital for mining equipment
The mining industry is showing signs of recovery after the downturn and companies are keen to ramp-up production, but what does this mean for equipment, trucks or fixed plant that have been sitting idle or used infrequently?
It is not just a matter of turning the engine over and getting back to work as this can do more harm than good, but it is where Techenomics comes in with start-up testing.
When equipment and engines are left idle, there are a number of factors that can cause the oil to degrade, according to Techenomics CEO Chris Adsett, making it unsuitable for continued use. These include oxidation, sedimentation and moisture ingress.
“If equipment is used when the oil is in this condition the risk of breakdown or total failure is very high.
“When fuel is stored in tanks or in machinery, heat causes the tanks to expand and contract, and condensation can form. This is not an issue if turnover is high as the amount of water is minimal, but with infrequent or no use, bacteria and fungi can grow on the surface water, and this can foul injectors and fuel systems, resulting in costly repairs or component replacement, both of which impact production.”
Chris Adsett says in order to make sure equipment is ready to go when needed, start-up testing is vital. “This is outside regular servicing and as an independent fluid management specialist Techenomics is perfectly placed to carry out the testing through its network of accredited laboratories.
“Our standard testing determines the quality of the oil and if it is usable, operators will be spared the expense of dumping the oil and flushing the system. If there are issues, these will be identified and operators can take appropriate action to ensure their equipment works effectively upon restart.
“If needed, Techenomics can undertake more specialised testing, for example, Karl Fischer tests for moisture, FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) tests for gear and transmission oils, filter patches or diesel bugging.”
Chris Adsett says start-up testing should be used by mining companies or mine contractors that have had equipment left idle or used infrequently, and is particularly relevant for smaller items such as graders, rollers and surplus units that are more likely not to have been kept in standby duty.
“Larger equipment such as haul trucks and excavators would normally be maintained in standby mode to keep them operational but if not, start-up testing is a must.”
For information about start-up tests and other tests available through Techenomics as well as its total fluid management solutions visit www.techenomics.net.
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