I would like to wish everyone a happy new year and a prosperous 2016. In the last four months SAFPA has made significant progress towards the development of a fluid power qualification. JFA² Technical Training Institution has been identified as the training partner and a service level agreement has been signed. JFA² has submitted accreditation documentation to Merseta for the full suite of fluid power qualifications from NQF level 2 to 5. This includes the previously deregistered levels 2 and 5.
Furthermore, JFA² took the initiative to obtain accreditation for the City and Guilds level 3 Diploma in Engineering with specialisation in maintenance, installation and commissioning. This increases the attractiveness of the qualification as it creates the opportunity for international portability. The fluid power qualification can therefore be seen as a dual-certified qualification. The SAQA accreditation will be considered the primary qualification with the option of extending this to the City and Guilds qualification. The structures are therefore in place to present NQF levels 2 through to 5.
Recent changes made to SANS 347:2012 have affected legislation regarding the supply and maintenance of accumulators within the hydraulics industry. It is expected that this will be finalised during the course of 2016. Below is a short summary of some of the critical aspects relating to the fluid power industry. SAFPA will circulate all relevant information as if becomes available.
The classification of an accumulator as a pressure vessel depends on its working pressure and volume. This can be determined from relevant graphs within the standard, namely categorisation and conformity assessment criteria for all pressure equipment.
If an accumulator is classified as a pressure vessel, the onus lies on the supplier to ensure that all documentation is available with each accumulator. This documentation must also be certified by an AIA. The accumulators have to be permanently stamped by the AIA to show that that they conform to the SANS standards and the original documents have to be supplied to the customer.
In order to design and set up an accumulator, the standard requires a certified competent person within the pressure vessel industry to verify the design and work carried out.
End-users in the mining industry are required to test every accumulator prior to use. This can only be carried out by a certified competent person. The safety pressure valve for the accumulator must also be certified. It must be inspected by the competent person and wire-locked to the correct setting. Three years after the date of certification, the accumulator must be removed, stripped, inspected and shell pressure tested. Accumulators in industrial use must be removed, stripped, inspected and shell pressure tested after two years.
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