From the president's desk
3rd Quarter 2010, SAFPA
It is now post-2010 FIFA World Cup, and we are all hoping that South Africa does not enter into some sort of post-euphoria hangover. Not being an avid soccer fan, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the vibe. It is now time to get back to business as usual, but hopefully keep alive the energy of a nation united.
Pressure equipment regulations
We recently hosted a technical meeting on the new pressure equipment regulations (PER) previously referred to as vessels under pressure (VUP). A presentation was given by Jim Guild of the South African Institute of Welding. It was well attended and well received. In a nutshell, for the purposes of the fluid power industry, the following notable changes are applicable:
* Manufacturers, importers, and suppliers of pressure equipment are to ensure the equipment complies with PER as well as SANS 347:2007. PER is downloadable free from www.info.gov.za/view and SANS 347 is available from SANS at a cost. It is worth noting that SANS 347 has contradictions and is currently being updated.
* PER came into effect on 1 October 2009.
* Hydraulic piping is now included in PER, but high pressure piping is only considered a pressure vessel if greater than 200 mm diameter.
* Pneumatics fall outside PER, except for air receivers.
* Pressure equipment needs to be categorised (I, II, III or IV), and this category will need to be specified on the name plate/pressure vessel.
* Minimum and maximum operating temperatures need to be on the name plate. Manufactured equipment needs a certificate from a local Approved Inspection Authority (AIA), or a foreign inspection authority as accredited by ILAC or IAF.
* Pressure equipment of category II or higher (eg, accumulators) must still be tested by a competent person (CP) every 36 months, but the CP must be a part of an AIA in-service. CP’s have until 1 April 2011 to be incorporated with an AIA in-service.
* Actuators (eg, cylinders) are excluded from PER, regardless of their size.
* The red line required on the pressure gauge indicating maximum pressure is no longer a requirement, although it is unanimously agreed that this is good practice.
SAFPA will endeavour to join the Technical Committee rewriting SANS 347 to ensure that the voice of the fluid power industry is added.
Hose assembly accreditation
This has now upped a gear with all documentation complete. Downloads of the application forms are available on the SAFPA website, which includes a self-evaluation. Companies considering evaluation should cover this carefully so as to get their house in order before being audited.
SAFPA will, within the next month or two, be offering a one-day safety course on hose assemblies. We are currently busy with ‘training the trainer’. This will be a regulated course and a list of candidates will be held on the SAFPA website. This will prevent fraudulent courses being offered, thereby keeping the standard of training at a requisite level.
President: South African Fluid Power Association