SAFPA


From the President’s desk

First Quarter 2021 SAFPA

For this issue, Motion Control interviewed SAFPA’s new president, Michael Abbot, to get to know him a bit more and find out about his plans for SAFPA.

Michael says that he was interested in mechanics from an early age and has always loved working with machines and related components. He qualified for the National Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Wits Technikon, followed by a B Tech in 1997. He ran the operations side of CT Hydraulics from 1998 to 2003. Following this he took over the business entirely and has been running it ever since. He says that one of the important things is to understand the business from the ground up, and know and understand the basics, especially in areas such as fault-finding.


SAFPA President, Michael Abbot.

He is married to Tracylea and has two boys at Jeppe High School. Both are good at sport and he spends a fair amount of his spare time watching cricket. Cycling is his passion and he loves to get out on the road early in the morning with his boys. His other passion is cars; he has grown up around cars, and one day hopes to enjoy social racing on the track.

With respect to SAFPA, he says that last year was a tricky year. “We couldn’t do what we wanted, and we couldn’t get involved in what was required. Covid put a spanner in the works with a lot of issues,” he continues. “Even though we have moved our activities online, Covid is still putting a brake on many things. One challenge now is to find new ways of putting information out there in the industry.” Despite this, SAFPA has nearly finalised a couple of projects. One of these is the two-day Hydraulic Hose and Fittings course which will be run online on 24 and 25 February. SAFPA is also finalising the Pressure Vessel booklet that will be released into the industry. This will be guided by SANS 347 standards but will be enhanced by SAFPA’s own experience. It will be tailored to the fluid power industry and include topics such as the componentry that SAFPA believes is important.

“Another challenge is that SAFPA is an independent council and operates differently to BFPA which has permanent employees, whereas all SAFPA council members are giving their own time. Our goal is to improve the information being given to the end users, clients and SAFPA members with respect to what’s currently available and to become more market focused”.

SAFPA is always looking for something new to offer its members, and Michael believes that training is the way to go. SAFPA is considering sending out a survey to find out what training is needed. The goal is to be industry-specific rather than being product-focused. Companies want to see people trained but they would also like the benefit of being able to claim their training expenditure back in the current tough economic times.


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