Call to adopt internationally recognised pumps standards certification processes

29th January 2016 By: Malusi Mkhize - journalist

Call to adopt internationally  recognised pumps standards  certification processes

OVERCOMING RESTRICTIONS Cooperation between the South African Bureau of Standards and international standards authorities can pave the way for pumps of South African manufacturers to enter lucrative overseas markets
Photo by: Duane Daws

South African exports to lucrative overseas markets will be simplified when the South African Bureau of Standards’ (SABS’) product certification processes and procedures are amended to be recognised by other international certification authorities, says South African Pumps Systems Development Association (Sapsda) executive committee member Thys Wehmeyer.

He tells Mining Weekly that local pumps manufacturer and Sapsda member Hazleton Pumps, of which he is MD, has for the past ten years repeatedly raised the certification matter with the SABS and other stakeholders to ensure the standards authority improves its procedures.

“In 2005, Hazleton Pumps began exporting pumps to Canada, however, we discovered that the Canadian Standards Authority (CSA) does not recognise the SABS certification. Subsequently, every pump model that is exported to Canada has to be recertified when entering the country.”

Wehmeyer highlights that, as a result, the recertification process delays the delivery period by about two weeks and adds another once-off price of C$10 000 to the price of every pump model.

He further notes that this is also the case for standards authorities in European countries and that Hazleton continues to advocate that the SABS cooperate with the CSA and other certification authorities.

However, Wehmeyer tells Mining Weekly that there are few restrictions placed on products entering the South African market, culminating in the local market being flooded with inferior products sold at cheaper prices than those of local suppliers.

Hazleton Pumps produces the Hippo range of submersible slurry pumps in accordance with ISO 9001 and SANS 60079-1: 2009 – the equivalent of the international IEC 60079-1 standards, as well as SABS flameproof certifications.


Challenges and Global Trends

Wehmeyer explains that the mining industries in overseas countries, especially those of Canada and South America, are growing and expanding, increasing the demand for pumps. Therefore, with the deceleration of the South African mining industry, this means that local manufacturers can use their extra capacity to export pumps to global markets.

“Mining in South Africa is done under very harsh conditions as mines in this country are very deep. The experience gained from servicing this industry successfully can serve the mining industry worldwide, which has a high demand for quality pumps.”

However, not having the proper certification processes and procedures in place continues to hamper exporters of South African manufactured pumps. Wehmeyer argues that this is a lost opportunity for the country to earn foreign currency.

He reaffirms that South African pumps manufacturers have the capacity and skills set to produce products that meet the criteria of the International Organisation of Standardisation.

About the Association

Sapsda focuses on the sustainable development of the pumps and related industries, by providing skills, training, and providing networking opportunities, as well as encouraging transformation and local content procurement, while also lobbying government.

The association offers training courses monthly in Gauteng and yearly in KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town. Sapsda is planning a combined introductory and advanced course from March 9 to 11 in KwaZulu-Natal.

Sapsda has also successfully presented courses in Namibia and Zambia.