With poor product design, weak selection and inefficient processes in the manufacture of valves becoming a concern, the South African Valve and Actuator Manufacturers Association (Savama) says there is a need for training to be emphasised to avoid this reality becoming entrenched.
“In the valves industry, many have general knowledge, but lack in-depth knowledge, which is a disadvantage economically. This can also pose safety risks if valves and pump systems are not up to standard,” says Savama chairperson Pam du Plessis.
She adds that this knowledge within specialised industries, such as valves, is also essential for maximum growth and productivity, as the state of the sector affects industries across different sectors.
Du Plessis emphasises that this applies to maintenance staff, fitters on plants, estimators and engineers who specify equipment, in order to improve the quality and state of the valves industry.
This being Savama’s objective, she mentions that from May 17 to 19, the association exhibited at the industrial and supply technology expo Indutec at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Gauteng.
The event was aimed at State-owned industry bodies and manufacturers in the pumps, valves, pipes, control and automation, tooling, logistics, welding, compressed air and vacuum, as well as tanks, vessels and drums industries.
Moreover, the association was facilitating at the pumps and valves conference on the second day of the expo, where the importance of training in the valves industry was emphasised.
Du Plessis mentions that this facilitation was based on an online training platform that the association formalised in 2006, which presents basic valves, control valves and working with valves courses throughout the year and which takes about six months to complete. Upon completion of this training, attendees receive certification and are in possession of sound theoretical knowledge about valve manufacturing, selling and maintenance.
The Working with Valves course has ten modules that look at principles of valve design, application, characteristics, installation and other subjects.
The Working with Control Valves course also has ten modules and is more specialised. It focuses on the principles of fluid dynamics, trims, sizing software, actuators and desuperheaters, among other subjects.
There are online quizzes and assignments, as well as an exam at the end of the courses. To register for these courses, one can contact Savama course administrator Sam Trollip at firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of the Association
Formed in 1974, Savama currently has 20 members who collectively account for 80% of the valves and actuators manufactured or assembled in South Africa.
Regular association meetings are held under the auspices of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa).
Savama membership also entitles members to Seifsa services, including advice from industry experts in industrial relations, economic and commercial aspects, skills development and health and safety.
Association members also get preferential rates from Seifsa on company level consultations, training courses, seminars and workshops.
Savama aims to inform industry about products and services offered by valve manufacturers, as well as actively drive training objectives to suit South African manufacturing standards, and import and export conditions.
The association encourages membership participation and support to increase its strength in representing, promoting and protecting the interests of the industry.
“We can give companies a powerful collective voice on important issues that affect the industry in South Africa, such as wage negotiations and conditions of employment,” notes Du Plessis.