The SAIW held its 68th AGM on May 20, 2016 at the Institute’s City West premises in Johannesburg. African Fusion summarises the 2015/2016 reports for SAIW and SAIW Certification, which were both presented by current SAIW president, Morris Maroga.
“The past year has been a challenging one with much uncertainty in the economy and “change in the Institute,” begins Maroga, referring, most notably, to the appointment of Sean Blake as executive director following the retirement of Jim Guild.
Thanking his fellow SAIW governing board members – Andy Koursaris, Robin Williamson, Frikkie Buys, Dawie Olivier, Joseph Zinyana, Louis Breckenridge, Johan Pieterse, John Tarboton, Gert Joubert, Paul Bruwer, Tony Paterson and Tom Rice – Maroga says: “It is increasingly difficult for people to make time for involvement in organisations such as the Institute and we are very appreciative that these skilled people have been able to assist us with such eagerness and dedication.”
Commenting on the report delivered during the meeting by financial advisor, Eric Berman, Maroga says that the Institute emerged with a significant operating surplus for the year. “Furthermore, we are encouraged that we are now a self-sustaining organisation with just 2.5% of Institute revenue derived from sponsorship.”
SAISI remains a valuable sponsor and with their support, “we are able to offer practical welder training at our facility, which is a costly activity. We thank SAISI members for their continued support,” he adds.
While membership remains a challenge, SAIW is continuing to attract new members, much of it driven by the ISO 3834 certification programme. “But we need to continue to be innovative in order to maintain and encourage membership as well as to provide tangible benefits,” Maroga notes.
The 2015 dinner, held in September last year at Emperors Palace was once again a great success. The SAIW Gold Medal was awarded to Hydra-Arc for the company’s commitment to skills development and quality fabrication in South Africa and its innovation in the field of fabrication. Cornelis van Niekerk from the University of Pretoria won the Harvey Shacklock Gold Medal for the best technical paper; the Phil Santilhano Best Student Award went to Michael Godfrey; and the SAIW Presidents’ Award for the best NDT student went to Alan Reid of DCD Heavy Engineering. “This year we look forward to another enjoy- able annual dinner which will be held at Gold Reef City on the 23rd of September,” Maroga notes.
The Young Welder of the Year competition remains a key event for SAIW. Jaco van Deventer, the winner of the SAIW Young Welder of the Year competition in 2015, competed in the WorldSkills 2015 competition that was held in Sao Paolo in August last year. “Jaco did South Africa proud by finishing the competition in 25th position, missing the medallion of excellence by a mere seven points. Jaco will again be representing South Africa at the 2016 Arc Cup International Welding Competition, which will be held in Beijing next month. Unlike WorldSkills, this competition is exclusively a welding competition with an associated welding conference, both endorsed by IIW.”
WorldSkills 2017 takes place in Abu Dhabi in October next year. “We are going to have a different format to the competition this year as there will be enhanced local participation by World- SkillsSA, Merseta and the Department of Higher Education. The WorldSkillsSA final competition is scheduled for January 2017 in Durban.
Training: Training activity during 2015 continues to be encouraging with a 6.0% growth in total numbers of students trained. There has been a decline in numbers on the Inspectors and Competent Persons courses, however. “We continue to promote the IIW courses and to align our courses with the IIW requirements in order to improve international recognition of the qualifications that we offer.
“We are also promoting the International Welder (IW) scheme: by seeking further training organisations to adopt this programme and targeting its inclusion in the national curriculum for TVET colleges,” Maroga adds.
The recapitalisation of the railway infrastructure and the requirements of EN 15085 are currently of significant importance and the Institute continues to be well positioned to make a significant contribution to capacity building in the railway sector through its related education and training programmes.
Material Testing Laboratory: Surekha Krishnan and Confidence Lekoane have worked tirelessly to complete the implementation of the Quality Management System in the Material Testing Laboratory in order to comply with the requirements for ISO 17025. The accreditation audit was undertaken in February 2016. “All outstanding non-conformances have now been closed out and we are awaiting finalisation of the process for issuing laboratory certification,” he announces.
IIW: The next IIW Annual Assembly will be held during July in Melbourne, Australia.
ICNDT: The 19th World Conference on Non-Destructive Testing will be taking place in Munich in June. SAINT and SAIW will be sending a delegation with SAIW staff presenting four technical presentations at this conference. Harold Jansen continues to serve as the vice chairperson of the ICNDT Certification Executive Committee, further entrenching our position in the international NDT community.
AFNDT: Together with SAINT, SAIW planned a mini AFNDT conference in November last year along with an exhibition in Middelburg. Albeit small, the conference was a success with delegates from ICNDT, Kenya, Sudan, Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda and Algeria along with our South African industry participants.
AFRA/IAEA: SAIW completed the training of nine fellows, four from Cameroon and five from Sudan. In addition, SAIW Executive Director attended a Scientific Forum at IAEA in Vienna last year where he provided an overview of training and certification in Africa.
Regional and African growth: “During 2015 we established a fully functioning branch in Durban. The facility has two classrooms for theory training along with a multi-purpose NDT laboratory. “This is a key development as we strive to expand our business. During 2015 we trained a total of 310 personnel in Durban, which represents a 60% increase on volumes compared to the previous year. “The SAIW Board of directors also believes that expansion into Africa is imperative to continue growth of the Institute and to support skills development on the continent,” Maroga says. SAIW Foundation: SAIW Foundation is now a fully functioning organisation with an operational board of directors. The first group of four students has completed the International Welder training programme and is now receiving workplace experience at a power station. “We are currently recruiting a further five students for the Inter- national Welder programme and two students for the Welding Technologist course,” he reports.
Staff: Renier Mostert left the consultancy department early in 2015 to take responsibility for the ISO 3834 Company Certification scheme and Harold Jansen was appointed to the position of Systems and Quality manager in order to oversee the implementation of both operational and quality systems within the company. Mark Digby was appointed NDT Training manager; while George Walker and Elizabeth Shole were transferred from to Durban to run the new KZN facility. A replacement is being sought for the Technical Services Manager post, vacated by Alan Reid who has emigrated to Australia.
Maroga opened the SAIW Certification report by commending Herman Potgieter and his staff. “The SAIW Certification Governing Board is currently chaired by Gert Joubert who has been a member of the board for a number of years. The Board has the continued support of the SAQCC IPE/CP Scheme Committee, SAQCC NDT Scheme Committees as well as the Welding Fabricator Board. These are composed of dedicated and interested representatives for each certification programme,” he reports.
From an income perspective, SAIW Certification’s 2015 income from qualification and certification activities was up 4.0% over the previous year and, in spite of higher costs, the company reported a small operating surplus for the financial year.
SAIW Certification underwent a surveillance audit by SANAS in March 2016, which affirmed its accreditation and that SAIW Certification conforms to ISO 17024: 2012 and ISO 9712: 2012 for NDT. “Visual Testing (VT) and Eddy Current Test (ET) were both added to our scope of accreditation following this audit,” Maroga says.
“SAIW Certification’s registration of the SAQCC NDT Qualification and Certification scheme under Schedule 2 of the ICNDT Mutual Recognition Agreement is also a terrific achievement as it now puts our scheme on par with other international schemes,” he continues.
The ISO 3834 scheme continues to grow with 91 companies currently certified. SAIW Certification has also made progress with EN 15085 certification, the railway-vehicle welding standard. “In partnership with GSI-SLV, we are bringing this scheme to South Africa. Last year two companies were provisionally certified according to the requirements of this European railway standard,” Maroga says.
During 2015 two appointments were made to the staff of SAIW Certification. Renier Mostert to the position of Manufacturer Certification Scheme coordinator and Elijah Banda to the position of Welding Technology Examiner. The company is also staffed by Jan Cowan, NDT Examiner and Iliske Joubert, who co-ordinates the company certification scheme and oversees quality systems for the company. Support functions are provided by SAIW.
“I thank all the SAIW Board members and staff for their contributions to the Institute. You all play a role in the success of the Institute and I commend you all for your loyalty and efforts this past year,” Maroga concludes.