INDUSTRY : A New High Tech CAT Lab
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From 1st August 2012 the newly constructed Cat S.O.S. Laboratory, based at Barloworld Equipments Boksburg campus, will be the central hub for all Cat oil and fuel analysis services.
This laboratory will be a dedicated Caterpillar facility manned and managed by Cat experts and serving Barloworld Equipments southern African territory. The new lab replaces an existing one that has been in operation for many years at Barloworld Equipments Isando centre in Johannesburg.
The new S.O.S. laboratory incorporates the latest technologies and processes in the fields of oil condition monitoring and wear rate analysis developed by Caterpillar over 35 years of in-field practice. Testing methodologies, plus equipment selection and calibration all follow the same rigorous standards applied by Cat SOS labs worldwide.
Oil condition analysis is similar to wear rate analysis with one important exception: it evaluates chemical compounds in the oil rather than wear element particles, says Wally Parsons, senior product manager at Barloworld Equipment.
Specific fluid monitoring categories are covered under the Cat S.O.S. Oil Analysis, S.O.S. Coolant Analysis and S.O.S. Fuel Analysis portfolio suites.
"Each operating environment differs and Caterpillars global S.O.S. database has established analysis platforms that precisely interpret mechanical health for every Cat machine class and industry ranging from underground mining to general earthmoving, he explains.
Additionally, S.O.S. forms a core component of Caterpillars research and development programmes on mechanical and hydraulic system designs, as well as the formulation of Cat oils and lubricants.
S.O.S. Services Tests are invaluable management tools that can maximise equipment life and productivity, and minimise operating costs and downtime. Four types of analysis are performed on engine, hydraulics and drive train oil: Wear Rate monitors and tracks metal wear particles, contaminants and oil additive package elements; Oil Condition compares used oil to new oil to see if it is providing adequate lubrication and protection; whilst Oil Cleanliness determines if abrasive contaminants are causing accelerated wear. Additional tests detect water, glycol or fuel in oil.
S.O.S Services results are presented in concise, easy-to-understand reports that either call for specific, immediate action and / or make carefully outlined recommendations according to a Cat alert level system. This enables maintenance personnel to implement before failure repairs, where required.
S.O.S. software packages assist in this maintenance planning process, plus customers can log onto the S.O.S. Web Manager to track the progress on each and every sample bottle submitted.
Thanks to the S.O.S. programme, Caterpillar continues to lead with components, oils and lubricants that meet and exceed worldwide industry standards.
Barloworld Equipments investment in the Cat laboratory in Boksburg ensures that customers have access to the latest analysis tools to keep machines running for longer at the lowest owning and operating cost per tonne, adds Parsons. This customer commitment forms part of our all-encompassing equipment management solutions offering.
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