Jul 13, 2012
Counterfeit electric equipment in SA threatens livesBack
Engineering|Africa|CBI-Electric|Components|Copper|European Conformity|Fire|German Verband Der Elektrotechnik|Safety|Underwriters Laboratories|Africa|South Africa|United States|Authentic Electric Equipment|Counterfeit Device|Counterfeit Devices|Earth Leakage Devices|Electric Equipment Manufacturer|Equipment|Low-voltage Equipment|Manufacturing|Products|Steel|Michael Grant|Far East
© Reuse this
Consumer awareness of these goods in South Africa and demands for authenticity, how- ever, could ensure that contractors use authentic electric equipment.
The counterfeit circuit breakers and earth leakage devices look almost identical to CBI-Electric’s low-voltage equipment and are fraudulently stamped with the company’s name.
“These devices are meant to protect lives, but 100% of all counterfeit goods tested by us, under supervision of the SABS, have failed all rating tests,” he notes.
Grant says that some of the components in the counterfeit devices are made of steel instead of copper, which increases the heat generated, and the devices fail to interrupt a fault current.
“The plastic components of our devices contain special fire retardants and degassing additives and are, therefore, high-quality components – the counterfeit goods have no such additives and readily burn.
“However, CBI-Electric tests its products according to high standards, including SABS standards and international standards set by US-based Underwriters Laboratories, German Verband der Elektrotechnik and European Conformity, and the authentic products pass, and even surpass, all rigorous tests. The counterfeit devices do not,” he notes.
The counterfeit devices are also fraudulently imprinted with the accreditation marks of these international standards authorities, but Engineering News witnessed, under controlled conditions, how a counterfeit device smoked and burned before the rated current was achieved. CBI-Electric also carried out standard breaking capacity tests on a counterfeit device, which exploded.
“These counterfeits fail even under normal operating conditions, not to mention fault conditions. They are apparently imported from the Far East. The State is working with industry to prevent the influx of these goods, but consumers must be aware of the presence of these devices for their own safety,” highlights Grant.
The counterfeit devices fail the mandatory tests that electricians must carry out on them before they are installed. Contractors generally buy them because they are cheaper, but by ensuring that your contractor buys the goods from authorised distributors, you can ensure that authentic equipment is installed, he notes.
All CBI-Electric devices have a complete and traceable history of their manufacturing.
“Local manufacturers anchor skills in the South African economy and we adhere to strict international standards for electrical devices. We call on any individuals, electricians, contractors, electrical installation companies and industry to contact us about manufacturing history and authenticity, and for approved distributors on our hotline – 0860 273257,” concludes Grant.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
The World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Sweden have agreed to provide Zimbabwe and Zambia with $294-million for the repair of structural deformations on the Kariba dam wall and avert the possible collapse of the...
Executive chairperson of the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) Philippe Joubert says energy utilities globally, together with the business community more generally, have come to terms with the science of climate change, particularly as extreme weather events begin...
JSE-listed Emira Property Fund reported distribution growth per participatory interest (PI) of 9% for the six months ended December 31, 2014.
Sub-Saharan Africa is still faced with the challenge of providing citizens access to electricity and an additional $450-billion will need to be invested to ensure that people in urban areas have access to electricity by 2040.
Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) last month said it was dismayed that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) was seconding 35 Cuban engineers on a two-year contract to share their expertise with South African engineers in the water sector.