Potential downtime and cost considerations are preventing industries from conducting essential pressure vessel testing, says air compression products distributor Tru Compressor Solutions product specialist and sales director Phillip Botha.
“Air compressors and pressure vessels are used in countless industries, such as automotive, mining and food. However, industries tend to put off critical compressed air vessel testing and maintenance, owing to the cost and production downtime associated with the testing process.”
He explains that the testing process can cost between R2 500 and R30 000, depending on the size of the compression vessel. Further, testing and general maintenance require downtime that inevitably costs companies money.
Botha cautions that neglected air pressure vessels are a serious risk to employee health and safety, as ignoring proper testing protocols “could cause compressed-air vessels to explode”.
Pressure vessel testing is required, in terms of the South African Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER), to be performed every three years on any vessel with a working pressure of 50 kPa or higher. SANS 347 is the occupational health and safety code governing categorisation and conformity assessment criteria for all pressure equipment and is incorporated into the PER.
Pressure vessel testing is mandatory to check the integrity of air receivers or other vessels under pressure. Tru Compressor Solutions offers this range of aftermarket care and vessel testing, which comprises inspections on the inside and outside of the vessel to check for corrosion, random thickness testing and hydrostatic testing to check for any leaks or cracks on the vessel.
While compressed air vessel testing may be a grudge investment, Botha maintains that ensuring the quality and safety of the vessels is critical in preventing industry-related injuries and fatalities.
Moreover, the popularity of compressed air vessels has grown significantly in the past 20 years and are now a standard feature when buying most air compressors. They enable consumers to deal with increased compressed-air demand phases, without the loss of machine pressure and production time, says Botha.
He adds that compressed air vessels extend the life expectancy of an air compressor by enabling the compressor to stop for periods of time without interfering with compressed air supply.
Botha notes that there is market demand for affordable compressed air equipment, particularly from smaller businesses.
He states that, with the current South African economic climate, companies are still extremely price sensitive. Therefore, companies need quality air-compressor solutions that would last, but are also affordable. Upon identifying this gap in the industry, Botha and his daughter launched Tru Compressor Solutions in September last year.
Further, Tru Compressor Solutions is now a distributor of China-based Baofn, previously known as Bouwa, compressor products that offer affordability, reliability and availability to the market.
Botha states that True Compressor Solutions offers a five-year warranty on the compressor air-end and electric motor, as well as a three-year warranty on the complete compressor. The company offers longer product warranties because it knows that the products, while not distributed by a big corporation, are of equal quality and will stand the test of time.
Botha states that the company prides itself on diligent aftermarket care for all its customers.