Aug 03, 2012
Quality of pipes, regulation of industry important – industry bodyBack
Construction|Gold|Africa|Efficiency|Fabrication|fittings|Installation|Mining|Pipe|Pipelines|Pipes|Plastics SA|Platinum|System|Training|Waste|Water|Welding|Africa|South Africa|Equipment|Maintenance|Pipes|Products|Telecommunications|Infrastructure|Jan Venter|Mike Smart|Waste|Pipe
Sappma CEO Jan Venter points out that pipelines are at the heart of a country’s infrastructure and should, therefore, be functional and reliable for many years.
He stresses that water distribution, waste disposal, irrigation and telecommunications all rely on pipelines to function and adds that more than 50 years is not an unusually long time for pipes to function.
“It stands to reason that the products should be of a high quality and comply fully with the relevant standards. Most customers insist on pipes and fittings that have the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) mark of approval; however, the regulating system is not always water- tight,” Venter says.
He adds that thousands of metres of piping finds its way onto the South African market every month, noting that, under- standably, it is difficult for the SABS to regu- late all the products.
Budget constraints most likely restrict the SABS from increasing its monitoring in the market and this might be one area that needs the attention of the Department of Trade and Industry, says Venter.
To support the industry in promoting high-quality products, Sappma assists the SABS in matters of standards and quality through the implementation of various quality-assurance measures and initiatives, as well as demanding additional good practice measures from its members.
One such initiative is the welder identification system, which Sappma affiliate, the Installation and Fabrication Plastics Pipe Association (Ifpa) has implemented to ensure the consistent high-quality welding of pipes.
The system requires that the welders of all Ifpa members be issued with identification stamps, which track them to every welding task they perform.
This ensures that members continuously adhere to the high standards of plastic pipe fabrication and installation.
Ifpa chairperson Mike Smart says welders were required to be recertified before they were issued with their stamps.
“The yearly recertification of welders was instituted in 2000 by a representative of the South African plastics industry, Plastics SA, to further ensure the high quality of practical work.
“However, in September 2010, it was decided that Ifpa members would be able to recertify their welders once every three years, while non-Ifpa members would be required to certify their welders yearly,” says Smart.
Every Ifpa welder has been issued with a unique number printed on an identification card, which includes his or her photograph. Every Ifpa member company is required to follow the system of traceability with the use of the stamp on each weld, displaying the Ifpa company number, the welder’s number and the Ifpa logo.
“Sappma fully endorses and supports this programme, which proves our commitment to go further on the quality value chain. This move has also been welcomed by customers, who appreciate the level of transparency and accountability that Sappma tries to introduce and maintain,” says Venter.
Nevertheless, the pressure and rising input costs that the gold and platinum mining sectors are facing are also affecting the pipe industry.
Meanwhile, to increase output and efficiency, the industry is continuously upgrading production machinery and investing in laboratory test equipment.
But the industry needs skilled people, such as polymer technologists and extrusion operators with a proper work ethic. Plastics SA is tackling this problem through a range of short training courses that can be applied in the pipe industry.
However, Venter says government also needs to deal with problems that result from skills shortages.
“It is important that every citizen has access to clean water and that waste is properly disposed of; therefore, the expansion and maintenance of piping infrastructure in South Africa should be a high priority for government because the plastic pipes industry is able and ready to do its part to achieve this goal,” says Venter.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Other Pipes, Tubes and Hoses News
Local industrial equipment, electrical and mechanical components supplier Elquip Solutions together with Taiwanese manufacturer YLM, is bringing the best in global tube-bending technology to the local industry. YLM is a specialised computer numeric control (CNC) and...
Recent Research Reports
Energy Roundup – May 2016 (PDF Report)
The May 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for April 2016 and includes details of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s proposal to introduce a coal benchmark cost as part of its final decision on Eskom’s multiyear price determination...
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...