The Southern African Pump System Development Association (SAPSDA) has developed a local manufacturing plan that will revive the South African Pump Cluster and include all companies that can manufacture components required by industry, as well as encourage member companies to support local manufacturers.
“All pumps that are installed form part of a pumping system and cannot function successfully if the controls are insufficient and the other components are not correctly selected,” SAPSDA administrative director Maureen Wehmeyer explains.
She points out that a pumps manufacturer could design and manufacture the best pump, but if the pump is not used in the correct application and effectively controlled, it will fail without achieving the purpose and/or reliability for which it had been designed and manufactured.
“This was the main reason for our moving away from being an association involved in only pump manufacturing to be a development association involved in all the elements constituting a pump system.”
She states that this has led to the change from the South African Pump Manufacturers Association to SAPSDA, and the constitution of the association has been amended to accommodate all companies that contribute to a pump system.
A pump system caters to the following industries: pumps, sealing systems, bearings, electrical motors, couplings and drives, control valves, control panels and switch gear as well as electrical cables.
Therefore, the new plan for the pumps manufacturing industry will focus on foundries, engineering works, fabrication, bearings and couplings, sealing systems, valves, electrical motors, controls, drives and electrical switch gear, as well as cables.
“The foundry industry is a key area that should enjoy immediate attention because the local manufacturing of pumps and valves would not survive without it,” says Wehmeyer.
She says the South African pumps industry is dominated by international companies, which limits the capabilities and capacity of smaller, local pumps manufacturers.
“We have developed a plan to ensure that locally manufactured products get certified by a local authority to be accepted internationally to increase export opportunities and create job opportunities.”
Wehmeyer emphasises that manufacturing assistance will be offered to previously disadvantaged companies to become future suppliers to the industry thereby developing black industrialists.
She tells Engineering News that SAPSDA will use the export and marketing assistance opportunities offered by the Department of Trade and Industry’s export and marketing assistance programme by participating in the relevant outboard missions and exhibitions locally and internationally.
Moreover, Wehmeyer indicates that the association will form a skills development committee consisting of all members involved in the various elements constituting a pump system. The committee will be responsible for the formulation of a new action plan for skills and training that will focus on theoretical as well as practical development, with the current training material and courses to be revised and updated.
“Colleges and universities will be invited to collaborate with our skills development committee to offer previously disadvantaged students exposure to the industry, with the aim of joining the industry and to offer mentorships at member companies,” she concludes.