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 Regulation News
Article contains comments
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...