http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 17.89Change: -0.10
R/$ = 16.03Change: -0.05
Au 1173.53 $/ozChange: 18.48
Pt 912.00 $/ozChange: 11.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Sep 28, 2012

Lifts industry stagnating, facing legislative changes

Back
Construction|Expertise|Johannesburg|Port|Africa|Building|Consulting|Design|Health|Installation|Projitech|Resources|Safety|System|Technology|Training|Water|Africa|China|South Africa|Equipment|Escalator Equipment|Maintenance|Products|Service|Services|Transportation|Bill Murphy|Infrastructure|Now|Paul Field|The 2010 FIFA World Cup
Construction|Expertise|Port|Africa|Building|Consulting|Design|Health|Installation|Resources|Safety|System|Technology|Training|Water|Africa||Equipment|Maintenance|Products|Service|Services||Infrastructure||
construction|expertise|johannesburg|port|africa-company|building|consulting-company|design|health|installation|projitech|resources|safety|system|technology|training|water|africa|china|south-africa|equipment|escalator-equipment|maintenance|products|service|services|transportation|bill-murphy|infrastructure|now-person|paul-field|the-2010-fifa-world-cup
© Reuse this



The slowdown in construction activity following the 2010 FIFA World Cup, paired with the lag effect South Africa is experiencing as a result of the 2008/9 world economic crisis, has led to stagnating numbers of new lift and escalator installations, says independent lift consulting company Projitech managing member Bill Murphy.

With 32 years’ experience in the industry, Murphy is the deputy chairperson of the Lift Inspections Authority of South Africa (Liasa) and sits on the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Lifts and Escalators technical committee.

He notes that while there is some demand for new lifts and escalators for several new buildings that are being constructed, this does not necessarily contribute to growth in the lifts industry.

“We often see old, vacant buildings in the city centres where the lifts are no longer being maintained, which essentially reduces the size of the maintenance port- folio of lift service providers whose core business is the after-sales servicing of lifts and escalators.

“Old buildings are also being demolished to make way for new developments and are often replaced with structures that do not require any form of vertical transportation, thereby restricting industry growth,” he says.
Murphy adds that, although the yearly number of newly installed lifts has doubled since 1995, with between 1 000 and 1 200 new lifts a year, the industry is still not growing at the rate lift manufacturers and suppliers would like.

“Given the number of lift companies in South Africa, this is not a huge cake to divide among all the players,” he points out.

Legislation Changes

Meanwhile, Murphy notes that recent amendments to legislation, namely the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Lift Escalator and Passenger Conveyor Regulations, will now more effectively regulate the quality and validity of mandatory inspections on lifts and escalators, which are, by law, required every 24 months.

He says the recent amendments and mooted future amendments will change how lift inspectors and, eventually, lift manufacturers and suppliers operate.

“The amendments by the Department of Labour (DoL), which regulates the lift, escalator and passenger conveyor industry, now requires that any person who wishes to offer his or her services as a lift inspector, or a lift inspection body, must obtain accreditation by the South African National Accreditation System (Sanas).

Sanas has been appointed by the DoL to assess the inspectors against International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and IEC 17020 standards.

“The assessment is not only on the ability of the inspectors to perform inspections, but also sets a list of criteria that inspectors need to have in place before they can obtain accreditation.

“The accreditation will apply only to the specific scope of lift and escalator equip- ment for which the inspection body applied for accreditation,” he says.

Murphy notes that, in the past, lift inspectors inspected all types of lift and escalator equipment, but will now have to prove their capability to do so.

Only once they have obtained the Sanas accreditation for which they have applied, will the inspection body be able to apply to the DoL for certification to perform these inspections.
“Sanas is expected to provide some guidance for lift inspection bodies to [assist in achieving] the accreditation, with the objective of having these inspections performed in a uniform manner across the industry.

“The involvement by Sanas will go a long way towards ensuring that only lift inspection bodies with the correct struc- tures and expertise are allowed to carry out this important function,” he says.

He notes that the accreditation of lift inspection bodies is the first step in the process of regulating the lifts industry in South Africa.

Future amendments to the lift, escalator and passenger carrying conveyance regulations will also require lift manufacturers and suppliers to acquire accreditation by Sanas to operate as lift and escalator maintenance service providers, manufac- turers and installers.

“As a member of Liasa, this is something we have been concerned with for years. There have been too many instances of lift com- panies finding a gap in the market for their products, which can turn out to be unsafe and of poor quality, resulting in additional spending by lift owners to correct the equipment to meet the required standard.

“The lift and escalator regulations clearly stipulate the criteria required for the design and construction of lifts and escalators, as well as when they may be installed and put into use. We see this new development with regard to the accreditation of lift manufacturers as a positive development,” he says.

The way in which lift inspections are carried out will also change, states Murphy.

“In the past, the inspection was carried out in one step and a certificate was issued as a certificate of safety, including a list of items that needed to be completed before the lift was certified as safe.

“Now, an inspector will be required to inspect the lift and, if need be, issue a list of things that need to be corrected. The inspector will then be required to go back to the lift or escalator once the outstanding requirements have been met and issue the certificate only once the lift is fully compliant to the inspector’s satisfaction,” he says.

For consumers, the inspection will be a more lengthy and expensive process, but Murphy says this is because, once the inspector awards the certificate, he or she is stating that the lift or escalator is in compliance with the OHSA and other relevant standards.

Lift inspection bodies’ accreditation will be valid for a four-year period, with a yearly assessment of the business by Sanas.

“Inspectors’ knowledge of the laws and legislation will be thoroughly tested. Sanas is in the process of accrediting its own technical assessors from the lifts industry who will assess the ability of lift inspectors to perform inspections on equipment for which they have applied for accreditation, and ensure that they have kept up to date with the latest technologies and standards.

“We are considering the provision of ongoing training for inspectors, where needed, because the industry will change. Soon we will be introduced to new tech- nologies from overseas, like lifts that operate without any ropes.

“These kinds of technologies are already being used overseas and there is no reason why they should not be introduced here. It is important to know the market and what the domestic market can and cannot afford,” he says.

Challenges

The biggest challenges currently facing the industry are skills and training, says Murphy.

“It is like a double-edged sword. If the market is not growing, expensive training facilities will drain your resources quickly,” he notes.

Murphy says the loss of skills is problematic.

“The lifts industry tends to produce multiskilled people who can easily apply their technical skills to other industries. A lot of people get their qualifications and training, only to move to other industries,” he explains.

Investment, or the lack thereof, in the country, as well as in the construction industry, is a contributing factor to the stagnating growth of the lifts industry, says Murphy.

Further, Murphy’s business partner and industry veteran, Paul Field, adds that technology is growing faster than skills, which can result in companies importing installation teams from countries like China to work in the country for a short period.

“This is a complicated challenge because sometimes local skills are not available or are too expensive. Sending local people overseas for training is also expensive, so this is really a complicated challenge to deal with,” he says.

Murphy identifies the movement of staff between lifts companies as another challenge, as it leaves a vacuum in some companies that needs to be filled.

Future Outlook

Murphy asserts that the state of the con- struction sector will determine the state of the lifts industry, although some lifts companies are optimistic of an upswing in 2013.

“The country has a lot of infrastructure and buildings that are vacant as a result of businesses relocating out of city centres. We see much of this especially in the City of Johannesburg. This opens up a new market, as developers are often looking to turn office buildings in that area into low-income-level apartment blocks.

“This means they will need to modernise the old lifts and, as consultants, we are able to assist them in making the most of the old lift shafts. If there are six lifts in the building, for example, we might suggest modernising three and removing the other three. They would then be able to use the old shafts for services like water reticulation and drainage for the baths and showers,” he explains.

Murphy and Field see this modernisation market growing in the future, resulting not only from old buildings being con- verted, but also from clients who need to upgrade and ensure their lifts comply with new legislation.

Other areas they identify as market opportunities for the industry are large businesses, such as banks and property owners who invest in their existing buildings. This equates to a partial upgrade or a full replacement of existing lifts and escalators, notes Murphy.

“We see multiuse developments emerg- ing, like shopping centres that have reached capacity in terms of shops, but they still need to attract new customers, so apartment blocks and office blocks are built on the properties.

“One shopping centre in Johannesburg plans to build a 60-storey office block and two extra levels of shops within the next few years. This is positive for the lifts industry, as these buildings will need new lifts and escalators,” says Field.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Lifts, Escalators and Passenger Conveyors News
RICHTFEST TESTTURM The tower, which will be clad once completed to fit in with the town’s spires, will function as a technology testing facility for ThyssenKrupp and the surrounding universities
German industrial company division ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s participation in Richtfest skyscraper being built, in Rottweil, will enable it to use the building as an innovation centre for new elevator technologies, such as its prototype MULTI system magnetic levitation...
8 T ICE RINK LIFT The 8 t Ice Rink lift will carry the Rink’s Zamboni up 9.5 m
South African hoist and lift and company Wesant is increasing the capacity of its manufacturing facilities by upgrading and increasing its capital machinery, streamlining its production line, says Wesant founder Digby Wareing and the Wesant engineering team. The...
POSITIVE DRIVE Wesant reports strong order book growth and increased demand from neighbouring African territories
Hoist and lifts manufacturer Wesant reports a buoyant lifts market, noting that demand from commercial and retail segments is robust, and it has seen increased enquiries from Southern African countries, says the Wesant management team under MD Wade Wareing. The main...
More
 
 
Latest News
The Health Market Inquiry (HMI) hearings into the private healthcare sector  will get under way on February 16 at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) International Convention Centre, in Pretoria. In addition to private healthcare consumers,...
With “misinformation” over the Wild Coast Road project spreading among the local communities along the route, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has defended the project that it believes will bring substantial benefit to Eastern Cape region. The...
The Western Cape provincial government plans to invest R2.89-billion in the roll-out of broadband connectivity to its citizens, as research has found that the average resident in the province spends more than 20% of their monthly income on accessing the Internet....
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
Energy Roundup – February 2016 (PDF Report)
The February 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for December 2015 and January 2016 and includes details of a Government Gazette notice that confirms Cabinet’s decision to move ahead with the 9 600 MW nuclear procurement programme; State-owned power...
Energy Roundup - December 2015 (PDF Report)
The December 2015 roundup includes details of State-owned utility Eskom’s application to claw back R22.8-billion; South Africa’s ranking as an investment destination for renewable energy; and a nuclear expert’s thoughts on reactor designs for South Africa’s nuclear...
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Power and automation company ABB is in the launch phase of its highest payload, multipurpose industrial robot, the IRB 8700. The robot has a reach of 3.5 m and can handle a payload of up to 800 kg. “When designing the IRB 8700, we emphasised reach and payload, as...
Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a critical facet of a connected security ecosystem, as controlling the confidentiality, integrity and authorisation of data access and use is key to securing new digital business channels. However, companies face several...
RORY YOUNG Managed security services provide companies with a means to actively monitor their environment and ward against threats
Data underpins digital business models, the digital economy, the Internet of Things and the fundamental changes in the ways people interact and protecting data is crucial to securing new ways of doing business, says T-Systems South Africa information and...
The City of Cape Town will issue a tender for the procurement of electric buses for its MyCiTi service, in line with the council’s commitment to lower its carbon footprint, says executive mayor Patricia de Lille. The tender, to be advertised early in February, will...
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority signed a R10-million contract last month with local tailings storage facility specialists Cyclone Engineering Projects to remove about 100 000 m3 of dredge spoil obstructing the natural course of the uMfolozi river, in...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149