Sparks Electrical News September 2016

• Earthing, lightning and surge protection • Distribution boards, switches, sockets and protection • Lighting FEATURES



Contractors’ corner | Buyers’ guide | People on the move REGULARS:


NCC The National Consumer Commission says it has requested a meeting with the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) and CBI-electric: low voltage “to get a briefing on the court judgement, and to decide on the best way to move forward and ensure protection of consumers who have been exposed to the counterfeit switches.” According to its spokesperson, Trevor Hattingh, the meeting will take place in the next few weeks. Regarding a recall of the counterfeit products, Hattingh says that a decision will be taken after that meeting. No comment Media enquiries were sent to the NRCS but, by the time of going to print, no official comment had been received. THROW THE BOOK AT THEM A NRCS media release dated 24 March this year covering an event where unsafe goods – confiscated from ports of entry and suppliers and certified as sub-standard – were destroyed, Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, said “those who are using the South African market to dump … illicit unsafe products shall face the full might of the law”. The Minister said, “Trading such sub-standard goods and low quality prod- ucts is a criminal enterprise and shall be treated as such. He added: “non- compliant goods are harmful to consumers and create unfair competition against local firms, which produce compliant products and, therefore, the book of law needs to be thrown at the perpetrators to make sure that these products don’t make their way back into the market”.

TWO SAFEhouse members whose companies were listed in court documents as having purchased counterfeit circuit breakers and earth leakage devices from convicted importer, Abdool Khan, between 2009 and 2011, are both taking steps to trace these safety critical devices even though, at that time, they were not members of the Association. Pierre Nothard, chairman of the SAFEhouse Association made it clear that as SAFEhouse came into being in October 2012, the counterfeit de- vices were sold before the two companies, Voltex and Kensington Electrical Wholesalers, became members of SAFEhouse. In response to questions fromSparks Electrical News, Nothard replied that, on joining the Association, all members of SAFEhouse sign an undertaking that they will “immediately inform customers and end-users” should any of their products “fail because of defective design or where it is discovered that products are unsafe or contain hazards”. They also undertake “to take such steps as are necessary and prudent, in order to recall or remove such products from circulation and use, and to take such steps as necessary to repair such products or replace them with suitable other products”. In addition, members have to comply with the requirements of the Consumer Protection Act, 68 of 2008, insofar as the safety of products is concerned. Right thing He adds, “It may be a technicality as far as SAFEhouse’s ‘authority’ is concerned vis-à-vis this particular issue, but the code of conduct that members sign says they will act in a certain way when they discover that a product they have supplied is sub-standard and, as far as I am concerned, they should act in the spirit of what they have signed even if the letter of the

undertaking may be challenged. Irrespective of SAFEhouse membership, one would expect any responsible organisation to do the morally right thing.” Nothard, says he has had “several interactions with the two members concerned”. “In the case of Globe Electrical (Voltex), I received written notification that they are actively pursuing the matter but that there is a problem in tracing the product routings via their documentation system, which is necessary for effective action to be taken,” explains Nothard. Sparks also received written notification from Voltex indicat- ing that it would approach CBI-electric: low voltage for help in obtaining any documentation that would have been supplied to the court in order to link the products to Globe Electrical. Nothard says the other SAFEhouse member, Kensington Electrical Wholesalers, had “copied the Association on a letter that had been sent to their customers, recalling the products”. “We will remain in contact with KEW regarding the re- sponse to the recall notification,” Nothard says. Not informed News that counterfeit products had been sold at one of its branches came as a surprise to Voltex management. “It only recently came to our attention that our branch was mentioned in legal proceedings by the State against the accused,” says Demetra Panagiotopoulos, legal general manager at Voltex. Panagiotopoulos says that the company was not informed of the alleged sale of counterfeit products to its branch by the accused (Khan) and “accordingly, we were not provided with an opportunity to investigate the matter and ensure a recall of any counterfeit products”. “Voltex does not condone the sale and distribution of any counterfeit products and products that do not conform to SABS and/or other industry standards.”

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find a quote that addresses the ‘season’ such as: “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated consistently,” and “People rarely succeed un- less they have fun in what they are doing”. Sparks: Name three things on your ‘bucket list’ (things you want to do before you ‘kick the bucket’). JvN: I would like to do complete the Comrades Marathon; ride a five- day mountain bike stage race; and do an overland trip that will include Etosha, Moremi, Chobe, Savuti, Victoria Falls, Luangwa, Ngorongoro, Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and the Masai Mara.

Power Station; implementing the drives solution on the longest over- land conveyor in South Africa at Zibulo Colliery; one of the first MV variable speed drives (VSDs) with frozen charge protection at the Burnstone Gold Mine; a man-riding conveyor; a hot metal crane with a dual hoist drive; and a ship-to-shore bucket crane system. Sparks: Have you won any awards? JvN: I achieved the highest marks in the Republic for electrical tech- nology when I was an electrical engineering student. Sparks: Who has been your inspiration or have you had a mentor who has influenced your career? JvN: I haven’t had a specific mentor and there hasn’t been one individ- ual who has been an inspiration, although I do admire the leadership of Abraham Lincoln. He put together a diverse team during an extremely difficult time in the US’s history. Throughout, he was forgiving – and accepting – of those who opposed him: his enemies and those who were on his team but who failed him. In many ways, one can see simi- larities between Lincoln and our own Madiba. Sparks: What, to your mind, is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry at this time? JvN: The biggest challenge for this industry is the general decline in standards locally – especially when seen in conjunction with the opening up of international markets and the aggressive expansion by China into Africa. This is placing additional unnecessary pressure on the industry. Sparks: What do you enjoy most about your job? JvN: I enjoy beating major international competitors, seeing oppor- tunities opened up for people, and bringing innovative solutions into industry. Sparks: How do you motivate your staff? JvN: I try to allow as much liberty and room for individual initiative as possible within a framework of trust and responsibility Sparks: If you could ‘do it all again’, would you change anything? If so, what would that be? JvN: No, because I don’t like to think along those lines. Sparks: Would you advise a person leaving school to enter the electri- cal industry? And why? JvN: Yes, I would because this is an industry that is essential and in- dispensable; and it provides an exciting and stimulating environment in which to work. Sparks: What is your advice to electrical contractors and/or electrical engineers? JvN: My advice would be to continually strive to maintain and improve a professional standard. It is essential that we do not compromise simply because it seems as if that is what the entire country is doing. Sparks: What is your favourite quote? JvN: I don’t have an all-time favourite quote although periodically, I will

Johan van Niekerk.

JOHAN van Niekerk is the chief commercial officer at Shaw Controls, part of the Zest WEG Group. He’s been at Shaw Controls for 14 years and is one of those rare people who loves what he does and has fun doing it. A deep thinker with an analytic mind, Johan pays close attention to each minute detail and carefully considers every possible potential outcome before making a final decision – in other words, a born engi- neer. He’s cool, calm and collected – a mainstay in a crisis and the go- to person when a problem needs to be solved. Integrity is everything to Johan – there are definitely no short cuts and no compromises on quality. Not ever. Sparks: Where were you educated? JvN: I went to St Benedict’s Preparatory School and Dawnview High School. I studied electrical engineering at Germiston Technical College. Sparks: How long have you been involved in the electrical industry? JvN: I’ve been in the electrical industry for 32 years. Sparks: When and where did you start your career? JvN: I began my working career at AECI Modderfontein, initially as an apprentice and thereafter as a technician. Sparks: What are the greatest changes you have seen over the years? JvN: I would say that, for me, the greatest change has been South Africa’s move from being an isolated nation to its integration into the international community. I say this with reference to the resultant changes in thinking, the benefits of technology flow and also the chal- lenges presented by international competition. Sparks: What major projects have you worked on and what is your greatest accomplishment? JvN: I have worked on many diverse projects. Some particular high- lights for me were: the upgrade of drum reclaimers at Sishen in the Northern Cape; the spent fuel handling crane at Koeberg Nuclear

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I WAS called out to look at a problem on a ship, a tug to be precise. The problemwas that the port rudder was stuck in the hard port po- sition, regardless of the helm position. I looked into it and found that a control relay, which operated the rudder control hydraulic cylinders, had contacts that had welded closed. The relay was an Omron LY4 relay. I bought one replacement and one spare, fitted the new relay and everything worked again. Having had long experience with Mr Murphy’s laws, I made them swing the helm over a few times from full port to full starboard. After about 10 evolutions, the helm stuck again, hard starboard this time. Another relay had burned out. I concluded that the hydraulic control valve coils were defective and bought one replacement and one spare and repeated the experiment; everything worked. But I

delict: If you are sued for delict, what must be proven is: (a) An event happened, which was neglectful – doing something or failing to do something. (b) A person suffered harm (physical or financial). (c) The conduct of the person sued must be wrongful – a duty was not carried out. (d) There must be fault, which must have occurred intentionally or neg- ligently. (e) There must be causation – a causal connection between the con- duct of the wrongdoer and the damage that is suffered. So, let’s get back to our ship: A fake relay was installed to control a hydraulic circuit (neglectful). The owners of the ship lost a business opportunity because they could

noticed a strange thing: the relays that I bought had the circuit en- graved into the plastic case, whereas the relays on the ship had the circuit printed on the plastic case. So, I took a relay from the ship to the Omron agent and asked, “What do you think of this?” The agent looked at the relay and she said, “It’s a fake.” I went back to the ship and gave the captain and the agent the good news. The following morning they sailed for Singapore to have all the fake relays replaced. The cost to the construction dockyard must have been enormous. I have heard many electrical contractors (to whom I tell the sto- ry) say: “Well, it’s not my fault if I install fake electrical stuff, is it? How am I meant to know? I assumed it was the genuine article .” My readers, do not take this attitude. Let me explain the law of

Standby power generation solutions for brewery not use the ship that was being repaired (financial harm). The electrician did not check whether the relay was genuine or not – the agent could have easily been consulted (negligent conduct, fault). The existence of the fake relay caused no dam- age; it was the installation of the fake relay that caused damage (the damage and the wrongdoer are causally connected). So, let us assume that the cost of sailing the ship back to Singapore amounts to US$80 000 and the business loss claim is US$100 000. The poor electrician who installed the relay would be ruined financially. How could he have avoided this? Firstly, he could buy parts from the agent and make the agent sign a document stating that those parts are genuine. Secondly, after installation he could take out a relay randomly, go back to the agent with the relay and ask: “Is this genuine?” So much more simple. But very often this does not happen. I know it’s a hassle but do you see how much trouble you can avoid? And another thing you can do is be aware. Look at the components you are about to install. Do they look genuine? Are the terminal mark- ings engraved or printed on the component? Does the item look as if it’s been made in a hurry or does it look as if there’s been some quality assurance? I promise you, the moment you do this, the moment you think and ask yourself: “Is this a fake?” you are staying out of trouble. If you have any doubts, phone the agents and ask them to come and have a look. This is just another way of working safely and intelligently. SABMiller and its affiliate ABI can ensure uninter- rupted production and supply of its brands after installing standby power generation solutions sup- plied by Cummins at six facilities nationwide. Four fully containerised C2500 D5A genera- tor sets at the SABMiller Alrode Brewery, south of Johannesburg, were supplied and commis- sioned onsite by Cummins Southern Africa. General manager for power systems, Warrick Gibbens says the gensets were installed for emergency standby power. “The generators were imported with a 50 °C radiator mounted, before being containerised in modified 12 m shipping containers and electrically assembled in collaboration with our South African engineering partners. The 6.6 kV generators boast a prime rating of 1 800 kVA, and are powered by a Cummins QSK60G8 engine,” he explains. The SABMiller Polokwane Brewery in Limpopo was supplied with two fully containerised C1675 D5 gensets. The 11 kV gensets feature a prime rating of 1 400 kVA. In addition to the breweries, Cummins also supplied power generation solutions to Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI) at Devland in Soweto, ABI Pretoria and Phoenix in KwaZulu-Natal.

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Distributing counterfeit products results in CRIMINAL CONVICTION

After 4 years of investigation and legal procedure, in a recent landmark case Mr Abdool Kadar Omar Khan was convicted in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court for importing nearly 124 000 counterfeit earth leakage devices and circuit breakers . Not only are the products counterfeit, they also do not meet compulsory specifications and are unsafe. Miniature circuit breakers are essential safety devices . These counterfeit products installed in buildings will not perform their intended function.

The results of installing counterfeit products may only be evident when it is too late.


• All re-sellers concerned to recall the products from the market, including from users that may have the products installed in their buildings. • The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) to institute the action required in terms of its mandate to protect users. • The National Consumer Commission to institute the action required in terms of their mandate to protect consumers who may be potential victims.

The applicable court papers and information on how to recognise the counterfeit products are available at

The SAFEhouse Association is a non-profit, industry organisation committed to the fight against sub-standard, unsafe electrical products.

For more information contact : Pierre Nothard: 011 396 8140 Email:

SAFEhouse members have signed a code of conduct: Your assurance of commitment to offer only safe electrical products.


As at 08/08/2016



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PROPERLY QUALIFIED SUPERVISION AND CONTROL ON THE WORK SITE HERE we are, nearly at the end of winter, but still there is no end in sight to the many hot topics we can still discuss. This and the next issue’s discussion could very easily turn into a bun fight; hopefully they won’t.

(b) Has obtained an en- gineering diploma in ei- ther the mechanical or electrotechnical (heavy current) fields with an academic qualification of at least T3 or N5, or of an equivalent level, and who subsequent to achieving such qualification has had not less than two years’ practical experi- ence in the operation and maintenance appropriate to the class of machinery he is required to super- vise. (c) Is a graduate engineer and has had not less than two years’ post-graduate practical experience in the operation and mainte- nance appropriate to the

work … Getting back to my statement earlier about a single-phase tester supervising an installation electrician… it is unlikely that the single-phase tester will have the technical knowledge to guide the installation electrician or even a master installation electrician in the completion of his duties, for that matter. Next, a double check on … “Installation work” means (a) The installation, extension, modification or repair of an electrical installation; (b) The connection of machinery at the supply terminals of such ma- chinery; or (e) The inspection, testing and verification of electrical installations for the purpose of issuing a certificate of compliance; The above, of course, also links into the general control issue dis- cussed earlier. Next we move onto sub-regulation (5). First, allow me a necessary introduction: Have a look at the fol- lowing from the General Machinery Regulations 1988. This has a definite bearing on the content of sub-regulation (5) and sub-reg- ulation (6) of the Electrical Installation Regulations, too. The Gen- eral Machinery Regulations, also forming part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, states that a … “Competent person” in relation to machinery, means any per- son who – (a) Has served an apprenticeship in an engineering trade which in- cluded the operation and maintenance of machinery, or has had at least five years’ practical experience in the operation and maintenance of machinery, and who during or subsequent to such apprenticeship or period of practical experience, as the case may be, has had not less than one year’s experience in the operation and maintenance appro- priate to the class of machinery he is required to supervise.

So many things have changed on the training front in South Africa. ‘T’ and ‘N’ level diplomas have been phased out, but the regulations still refer to them. And, it’s definitely not easy to substantiate the “of an equivalent level” statement in the General Machinery Regulations 1988, which we will touch on in this column. A shortage of apprentices entering the electrical industry does not help matters, either. A few years ago there was only a single en- rolled apprentice in the Western Cape. I doubt if the situation in the rest of the country is any better now – and it’s not only the electrical trade that’s having a hard time – the civils’ guys are in a tight spot, too. Perhaps not as far as the number of competent people who enter the work place, but their standards are really taking a beat- ing. I recently observed a respected outfit hand-trenching for some cable to be laid. Apart from not wearing all the prescribed personal protective equipment (PPE), there was no warning tape put up to prevent people – or vehicles – falling into the trench. A little way further, I observed road repair workers dashing back and forth in- between cars and trucks on a national road. Dash … drop the filling into the pothole … dash … stomp, stomp with the hand compactor … and then dash back to the side of the road again … There wasn’t a flag person or warning cone in sight to warn oncoming traffic. If all of this wasn’t actually putting people’s safety and lives at risk, it would have made for some hilarious YouTube videos. All of which brings me to the topic for this column: properly qual- ified supervision and control on the work site. Oh yes, a reminder of where I get my reference material from: we are currently having a go at the Electrical Installation Regulations 2009. These regulations form part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993), of course. We now continue with Regulation 5 (under the heading, Design and Construction), from where we left off last time, with sub-reg- ulation (4) which reads: (4) A registered person shall exercise general control over all electrical installation work being carried out, and no person may allow such work without such control. I am sure the legislator thought long and hard about the above statement. Or perhaps not because, at face value, there is noth- ing that might be hiding in the shadows, right? Or is there? Let’s have a look. In broad strokes, the sub-regulation tells us no work may be carried out unsupervised – a chaste thought that, unfor- tunately, sadly doesn’t always happen that way. Then there seems to be a little hole in sub-regulation (4), too. “Ag nooit!” I can almost hear some say, “Not again! You always have these mini conspiracy theories.” No, seriously, I believe that someone could easily misread this sub-regulation and promote a single-phase tester (a registered person – see below) in an organisation to the level of a supervisor of sorts. This sometimes happens because the person in question is perhaps not the ‘sharpest tool in the shed’, but is very good at

Hannes Baard.

class of machinery he is required to supervise and who has passed the examination on the Act and the regulations made thereunder, held by the Commission of Examiners in terms of regulations E5 (2) of the regulations published under Government Notice R.929 of 28 June 1963; or (d) Is a certificated engineer. And another hot topic will follow next month …

the admin that the others hate. This single-phase test- er will then oversee all the electrical installation work of the company’s teams, including three-phase work. Oops… Remember then … horses for courses. This is then also a good a place as any to review some of the more important words in the sub-regu- lation, which are definitions in their own right, namely: “registered person”, “electrical installation work” and “general control” . First let’s have a quick look at … “Registered person” , which means a person registered in terms of (a) Regulation 11; or (b) Regulation 9 of the Electrical Installation Regula- tions, 1992, as an electrical tester for single-phase, an installation electrician or a master installation electri- cian, as the case may be … And, just in case you are wondering where 1992 comes from all of a sardine: “Electrical Installation Regulations, 1992” means the Electrical Installation Regulations, 1992, promulgated by Government Notice No. R. 2920 of 23 October 1992. And Regulation 11 (from the Electrical Installation Regulations 2009, the document we are currently dis- cussing) covers the procedure to follow when you apply to become a registered person. The reference to 1992, is there for the “ou manne” who registered way back when. Then there is… “General control” , which, in relation to electrical installation work that is being carried out, includes instruction, guidance and supervision in respect of that

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transfer of knowledge in order to build local capacity so that we can support Kusile Power Station after the completion of the project.” The Kusile power plant belongs to a new gen- eration of high-pressure, high-temperature ther- mal power installations known as ‘supercritical’ plants, which are more efficient than conven- tional coal-fired plants, and have lower emissions and fuel costs. Kusile will be the first plant in Africa to use wet flue gas desulphurisation technology in all boilers. Eskom generates more than 90% of its electricity from coal-fired stations, and state-of-the-art clean coal technology will be installed at Kusile to help ensure a long term, reliable source of baseload electricity for the region. ABB automation and software increases the effectiveness of plant processes by improving operational awareness, response times with de- cision making, resulting in better availability and efficiency.

for all six of the station’s 800 MW generating units, which will supply power to the entire country when the plant is completely operational by the last quar- ter of 2022. The solution also includes unit and balance-of-plant automation, field instrumentation, cabling, boiler protection and plant simulator, engi- neering, installation, commissioning, optimisation and training. “The ABB Kusile team comprises about 40% local engineers,” says Leon Viljoen, country managing director, South Africa. “With this, we are dedicated to ensuring that there is adequate

ABB’s biggest automation order at Kusile ther- mal power plant in South Africa has achieved its first important success. Comprising six units of 800 MW each, Eskom’s Kusile Power Station will be the world’s fourth-largest coal-fired power sta- tion and will help to boost South Africa’s capacity to support the country’s economy. ABB is on schedule to complete automation for Generating Unit 1 of the power station with suc- cessful factory acceptance tests (FATs) of the bal- ance-of-plant and the unit performed late last year. “With record timing as a key deliverable of such

an intrinsically complex project, there is excellent cooperation between the Eskom and ABB teams with very strict monitoring on each element of the project to ensure that deadlines are adhered to, “ says Kevin Kosisko, ABB’s power generation busi- ness managing director. “We are extremely pleased that our technology will be the keystone to bring reliable power supply to consumers and a step ahead in the development of South Africa’s power infrastructure.” As part of the order, ABB is supplying the con- trol system, software and instrumentation solution

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New general manager for business unit S y Gourrah, a well- respected electrical engineer who has

held key posts at Buffalo City Municipality (East London) and, as a con- sulting engineer, has been involved in a range of elec- trical infrastructure pro- jects in various parts of the country, has been appointed general manager of ACTOM Power Systems, the ACTOM group’s sub- station project manage- ment business unit.

Sy Gourrah, general manager of ACTOM Power Systems.

Gourrah, a Bachelor of Electrical & Electronics Engineering graduate from Mangalore University in India, took up the position on June 1. She has been a contracts manager at the business unit for the past year. She was born in India and grew up and attended school in Zambia and South Africa and has spent her entire working career in South Africa since graduating from Mangalore University in 1995. Gourrah obtained a Master of Business Admin- istration (MBA) earlier this year. She is a Fellow and council member of the SA Institute of Electri- cal Engineers (SAIEE) and is an active volunteer on the Engineering Council of SA (ECSA). She was president of the Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities (AMEU) from 2008 to 2010. She is also an advisor to deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, on the Eskom turnaround strategy. She was employed at Buffalo City Municipal- ity from 2001 to 2011, initially holding the post of deputy city electrical engineer and later appointed general manager, electrical and mechanical ser- vices. She has also worked for several firms of consulting electrical engineers and associated companies in various capacities, including that of deputy CEO of an electrical infrastructure con- struction company. Sybrand Nel, divisional CEO of ACTOM’s engi- neering projects and contracts division, says, the company welcomes Gourrah as general manager of ACTOM Power Systems to head up this key business unit saying her appointment is “well- deserved” as is her “impressive track record and proven expertise and experience in this field”.

Enquiries: +27 11 430-8700







WORLD’S FIRST SMARTPHONE WITH THERMAL CAMERA Now that we understand the definition of integrity, I will leave it up to you to decide whether or not you conduct your business (or live your life) with integrity. B Y the time you read this column, millions of eligible South Africans would have cast their votes in the local elections and, for many people, it will be the beginning of the wait for the delivery of those promises made by politicians in the run up to the elections. Sadly, the wait could be a long one, with the possibility that many of those promises may never be kept. In time to come, when we hear of strikes, disrup- tions or corruption, we will remember those prom- ises and we’ll be disappointed because we’ll come to realise that they’ve been broken through a lack of integrity. But, aren’t we just like many of those dishonest politicians? In our daily lives how many of us prom- ise we will be at our clients’ houses on time, that our work is of the highest standard and that we’d never ‘rip them off’? Can you honestly say that your staff members are registered with the National Bargaining Council for the Electrical Industry, that your company is registered as an electrical contractor and that you are on top of all the relevant electrical regulations as required by you, the registered person, in the industry? Do you promise you will be on site every day for the duration of the work? Do you operate with integrity or are you just like those politicians who make promises that are difficult to keep – just to get the job? Integrity Let’s look at how the Oxford dictionary defines ‘integrity’. It’s a noun and defined as “… the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles …” It’s worthy to note that the definition uses the word ‘honest’ and the adverb ‘honesty’ is defined as “… in a truthful, fair, or honourable way …” And ‘moral principle’ is defined as “… the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group …”

So, how did you score? Did those questions make you feel a little embarrassed or perhaps leave you feeling a little guilty? Acting with integrity is a way of living – you can’t turn it on and off – you are an honourable person or you are not. You will find that, when you act with integrity, you will make more money in business; and it comes with a warm, fuzzy feeling … Knowing that people trust and believe you makes you feel better about yourself. It’s a win-win way of life. Remember: “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” - C. S. Lewis

• When you go to the shops and the cashier gives you too much change or charges you less that the marked price, do you act with integrity? • Have you bribed a traffic officer or a policeman to get out of a ‘situation’? • Have you bribed a clerk, public servant or poten- tial client just to get a sale or a job? • Have you purchased and/or installed electrical components that you knew were not compliant? • Do your clients get what they paid for? • Do you always support your family with integrity? • Do you take short cuts and deliver work that is less than your best?

During my life, I have come across many people in the electrical industry – registered persons and contractors who claim they act with integrity but who do not actually display those characteristics. Are you one of them? Here are some things to consider: • As a learner, do you conduct your studies with integrity? • When you provide a quotation to a potential cli- ent, are you sure that you are going to act with integrity? • When you drive your car, do you drive with integrity?


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Moral duty In referring to this aspect alone, Sparks Electrical News published an interesting lead article in July 2016 in which a conviction was obtained for the selling of counterfeited circuit breakers. The concerning aspect here is that it was stated: “more than 106 000 non-compliant circuit breakers and earth leakage devices not accounted for . an estimated 25 000 premises are at “significant risk”. In my opinion all registered persons have a moral duty to become the entities to find these devices that have not been accounted for when they inspect and test electrical installations for the purposes of issuing Certificates of Compliance. This duty, in any event, remains a legal requirement in this particular sub section to determine compliance of products where temperature is concerned.

CONTINUING my previous columns – in which I’ve attempted to give a better understanding of the ‘general safety principles” underpinned by the SANS 10142-1 as a whole, this month I’d like to continue with sub clause 5.1.2 – Temperature. This particular sub clause consists of two parts, and the first fundamental principle to be dealt with relates to equipment, that is: Unless otherwise permitted by an applicable standard (see 4.3 and table 4.2), electrical equipment shall be so designed, positioned and protected that accessible parts under normal operating conditions do not reach a temperature (safe touch temperature) that exceeds a) 70 °C in the case of metallic parts, and b) 90 °C in the case of non-metallic parts. An important aspect here is the reference to compliance with other

standards; that is Table 4.2, which gives a list of commodities, the applicable standards and recommended performance standards. With this aspect alone, a great deal of responsibility lies on the shoulders of registered persons who are required to inspect and test electrical installations and determine the safety thereof. Unlike many of the inspection techniques that I witness on a daily basis, where only general circumspection is given to an electrical installation as a whole, this aspect alone requires more detailed understanding of the “applicable standards” referred to and that apply to electrical equipment. Clear guidelines are provided in the sub clause for the application thereof: “The commodities given in column 1 shall comply with the standards given in column 3 and it is recommended as good practice to comply with the standards given in column 4.

Fire risk area The second part of this sub clause has three aspects of particular reference when equipment has to be mounted in a ‘fire risk area’ or adjacent to flammable material: If electrical equipment has to be mounted in a fire risk area or adjacent to flammable material, the equipment shall be: (a) of, or enclosed by, thermally non-conductive non-flammable material, or (b) so designed or positioned (or both) that the flammable material is not subjected to any hazardous heating, or (c) so designed or positioned (or both) that any arc or sparks are contained within the enclosure. The first important issue is to determine a “fire risk area”. In this matter I believe it important to under- stand what elements are needed in order for a fire to start. These we know to be: 1) Material needed for combustion; 2) Atmospheric oxygen in order for ignition to take place; and 3) A source of ignition, such as a spark. In determining this, it is clearly evident that all electri- cal installations have the potential for these condi- tions to exist. In particular, it becomes important to look at enclosed roof spaces. These roof spaces are predominant in residential or domestic electrical in- stallations as well as in commercial installations. Enclosures As an AIA, we are confronted with this particular aspect of SANS 10142-1 every day, particularly where PVC insulated cables have been installed in roof spaces. Of concern in this method of ca- ble installation is the ‘jointing’ of cables where the circuit splits to various parts of the installation, particularly lighting circuits. In many of these roof spaces, the fact that equipment is being mounted next to or in close proximity to flammable material, for example, wooden beams and rafters, etc, the only means of complying with the requirement of this particular sub clause is to place these ‘joints’ in enclosures or boxes. This has always been a fundamental safety issue where arcs or sparks are concerned and the point at which these arcs and sparks are likely to occur. Therefore, in understanding that electrical fires are not only caused by overloads, short circuits and earth leakage currents but also by electric arcs in cables and connections, it makes sense to contain these arcs or sparks within an enclosure. It is also important to note that these dangerous electric arcs may not be detected by earth leakage protection devices or by circuit breakers. Safety requirement This aspect alone is the cause of many prob- lems where certification is being done and, I may add, was recently discussed at some length at the SANS 10142-1 Working Group. It was agreed that the fundamental principle of using enclosures or ‘boxes’ was, in fact, an underlying safety requirement of SANS 10142-1. In various training programmes presented by this AIA, we endeavour to achieve an understanding of these requirements by registered persons rather than them relying on advice received from people who may not be affected by certification responsibilities. We strive to ensure a common un- derstanding of these requirements. Registered per- sons are urged to apply skills learned rather than act on advice they may have received.


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OFFERING COMPLETE CONFIDENCE, CERTAINTY AND COMFORT I T is never just about supplying products or tech- nical support to the market. It is also about im- plementing best practice across all companies and in particular manufacturing operations. operations director, explains that the manufacturing planning and execution system being used is well proven at other WEG manufacturing facilities. tion process has begun. Being dynamic, the system allows for the simulation of the change to be done and an accurate prediction made with respect to the impact in cost, time and order conclusion.

Zest WEG Group’s panel manu- facturing facility in Cape Town.

“The system facilitates full control of all our man- ufacturing operations, and importantly provides ac- curate cost and time control. Access to this level of information allows a high degree of certainty and creates an environment where customers can have complete confidence and comfort,” Vargas says. “Continuous improvement programmes have en- sured that the system functions optimally and what is most important is that the system implemented at the South African manufacturing operations has been localised,” he explains. “This means that South Africa was able to draw on the experience of all WEG facilities with the result that the system con- siders the exact Zest WEG Group operational condi- tions while still achieving best practice criteria.” Zest WEG Group currently operates four separate manufacturing facilities being Shaw Controls, WEG Transformers Africa Wadeville, WEG Transformers Africa Heidelberg and Zest WEG Group Generator Sets Division. Vargas says the system will enable greater and transparent communication with customers in terms of the status of each order. “Access to in- formation is in real time and is so specific that at any point in time a customer can find out the exact stage at which the product is during the manufac- ture process,” he says. This is most significant especially given the dy- namic nature of business at the moment where manufacturing facilities often receive change no- tices or order amendments even once the produc-

Commenting on the actual implementation, Var- gas says that the planning stages started mid-2015 when the alignment between the Zest WEG Group and the WEG teams was made. In November 2015, a team of skilled practitioners from WEG Brazil visited the South African facilities to assess these operations and establish the status compared to WEG global best practices in manu- facturing. This took place over a three week period to ensure in-depth assessment of all four facilities. Comparisons were done with WEG facilities in Colombia, Brazil and Mexico. These operations produce the same or similar products which meant that the manufacturing processes are the same and similar. These facilities already complied with WEG best practices, and Vargas says that some had done so for more than 20 years. “The resultant gap analysis between the Zest WEG Group status and that of WEG’s best practices formed the foundation from which the implementa- tion stage began,” Vargas says. The gap assessment was discussed in depth with WEG Brazil and the implementation plan was de- veloped in conjunction with a local partner in South Africa. The implementation phase started in March this year and consisted of a couple of facets. A team of practitioners from Brazil that had already im- plemented similar systems at other WEG facilities joined the local team, and the system went live mid- June with the support of the full team.

Louis Meiring, chief executive officer of the Zest WEG Group, says that it is this operating philosophy that has seen the Group’s holding company, WEG Brazil, continue to invest in the local operation’s manufacturing facilities. Significantly, Zest WEG Group will be exhibiting its locally manufactured custom equipment at Electra Mining Africa 2016. Meiring says that the most recent investment has been in best practice production control pro- grammes that will allow the Zest WEG Group manufacturing operations to improve processes thereby accelerating production and meeting the shortened lead times which have become the norm in the market. He explains that decision to introduce WEG’s manufacturing planning and execution system into the South African operations forms part of the glob- al sustainability strategy. “It was always the intention to implement best practices at these facilities with the long term objective of enabling these manufac- turing plants to produce product for the internation- al market,” he says. Eventually, WEG will be able to manufacture at any of its centres worldwide. “Zest WEG Group as an organisation is very ex- cited about this step and particularly the very clear benefits that our customers will see,” Meiring says. “It will make a massive contribution to the success of our local manufacturing facilities and put us into the international space.” Juliano Vargas, Zest WEG Group logistics and

Vargas pays tribute to the implementation team and all at the Zest WEG Group manufacturing op- erations as he underscores the fact that on day one of going live it was possible for all facilities to oper- ate normally. “We cannot say it was effortless, but we can say that the implementation was thorough and custom- ers have already started realising the benefits of the significant investment WEG has made in the four manufacturing operations,” Vargas says. Meiring concludes by confirming that being re- sponsive to the market has always been the corner- stone of Zest WEG Group’s success on the African continent. “It is this ability to adapt our business that we believe will enable us to become the supplier of choice to the market.”

Enquiries: +27 11 723 6000


wind and solar, as well as agricultural tractors and self-propelled ma- chinery. Covrad’s turnkey radiator cooling packages feature high-per- formance cores and low horsepower fans, engineered into a compact envelope to deliver maximum cooling, in the smallest footprint. A critical part of Vert Energy’s service is the availability throughout Africa of factory and OEM trained technicians who cope efficiently with any electro-mechanical breakdown situation or routine preventative maintenance procedures.

the new automatic sustainable controller (ASC). This is the first fully integrated control solution between renewable energy inverters and traditional diesel generators. Vert Energy will also be showcasing the ASCO Series 230 automatic transfer switch, which consists of an intelligent controller and a modular load break switch that automatically transfers the load to the emer- gency power source when it detects under and over voltage, under and over frequency, or phase failure. Avtron and Froment power test solutions are used effectively for the exercise and verification of diesel gensets, gas turbines, UPS systems,

Extended Guarantees on WEG Products Vert Energy is the exclusive distributor of Leroy Somer LS alterna- tors, the largest producer of alternators for gensets globally. These alternators are available from 5 kVA to 20 mVA from 48 Vdc to 11 000 V. On display will be the new LS range of two-pole alterna- tors for portable power, as well as variable speed alternators, designed especially for the telecoms market. Also on show will be DEIF power and control components, including VERT Energy is participating at the Powerex show at Electra Mining, to be held at Nasrec from 12 – 16 September 2016 (Stand B06, Hall 9). “As a service provider to the diesel, gas, wind and hydro generator set building industry, we believe this show will be the perfect forum for Vert Energy to display and demonstrate our solutions and support service to key players in the electric power generation and electro-mechanical sectors,” says Vert Energy’s managing director, Grant Robertson. “Escalating energy requirements have placed power utilities under enormous pressure throughout the African continent, which is why companies are investing in alternative sources of electricity production. “Through an extensive range of quality branded EPG products and a highly skilled team of technical experts, Vert Energy plays a major role in providing dependable power to companies, even in the most remote regions. “As part of our commitment to the genset manufacturing sector, for the swift supply of reliable components, the company has made a substantial investment in sourcing the finest components that pro- duce electric energy from mechanical energy and which withstand harsh operating conditions.” Vert Energy has been appointed distributors in sub-Saharan Africa for leading brands, which are supported by original spare parts and accessories. These components include Leroy Somer alternators; a wide range of electric motors and drives; DEIF controllers; ASCO automatic transfer switches; API Covrad radiators and Avtron and Froment load banks, as well as customised control panels.

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Please contact your nearest sales office for further details. Tel: +27 11 723 6000

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