Three South African foundries accredited with PED 2014/68/EU certification standard, which enables them to supply castings with internationally recognised CE marking

NFTN supports initiative to get Kimberley Engineering Works, RelyIntracast and Vestcast audit ready. As a result of the TUV accreditation the local content pump and valve initiative gets clout and SOCs loophole is closed.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s (DTIC) decision to designate valves for local procurement by State-owned companies (SOCs) was one of the main reasons for valve manufacturers to form VAMCOSA (The Valve and Actuator Manufacturers Cluster of South Africa) in 2011.

One of the main goals of VAMCOSA is to grow the South African valve and actuator industry and encourage localisation, which will, in turn, improve job creation and skills development. VAMCOSA promotes the manufacture of products in South Africa with locally produced castings, forgings and materials, which will, in turn, create jobs through local procurement, increasing the value chain both upstream and downstream and promote growth and sustainability. The VAMCOSA platform provides the opportunity to promote interaction between the local valve and actuator manufacturers and SOCs and municipal-owned enterprises (MOEs). Through this effort, it becomes easier to define what the SOCs and MOEs require from local valve manufacturers, as well as to compare their requirements equally with the products offered by local and international manufacturers.

Promote export of locally manufactured valves and actuators
Additionally, VAMCOSA, in conjunction with the SACEEC (SA Capital Equipment Council), will continually develop export marketing strategies which will provide the opportunity for the local valve and actuator manufacturers as a whole to present their products at appropriate international trade shows and encourage the development of relations with key export markets.

Addressing the challenge of adhering to international standards
The local procurement designation includes a broad spectrum of valves, from simple household taps to complex valves used in specialised industrial and mining applications, with the local content of each valve or actuator required to be 70% by value. This provides an opportunity for local valve manufacturers to develop and add to their range of products the valves that might not have been available with a local manufacturer’s stamp prior to the designation.

RelyIntracast have also been awarded PED 2014/68/EU certification and have cast this aluminium pressure tight electrical housing used in the coal mining industry using the standard

A lot of resistance was encountered from SOCs to buy locally made valves and this was largely owing to the SOCs’ perception of locally manufactured products being of ‘inferior quality’.

“This is a real crying shame because a lot of the local valve companies have been exporting their products to overseas markets for many years, with no issues. If locally made valves are good enough to export, then why are they not good enough for local clients?” questioned VAMCOSA’s Greg Walker.

However, despite there being increasing acceptance of locally made valves, SOCs continued to use loopholes in some cases to acquire imported valves because of the persistent ‘inferior quality’ perception.

As a result, VAMCOSA formed working group tasked with identifying three categories of valves – those already available on the local market, those that should be manufactured locally and those for which local manufacturing will not be feasible. And of course, strategies to close the loopholes that were being put forward by the SOCs.

PED is 2014/68/EU certification
One of the biggest stumbling blocks was that none of the local foundries were accredited with the industry standard PED 2014/68/EU certification. Compliance with all applicable requirements bestows on the manufacturer the right to affix the CE (European Conformity) marking to the pressure equipment. CE marking is a mandatory conformity marking for products sold within the EU, especially pressure equipment and assemblies. The marking is also recognised as the general standard worldwide.

Manufacturers of pressure equipment selling into most European countries (the European Economic Area) must make sure they comply with the requirements of the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED 2014/68/EU).

The PED sets out essential requirements for pressure equipment and assemblies. They vary according to how much pressure, liquid, or gas the equipment is designed to contain. The PED does not tell manufacturers how to meet these requirements, allowing them the flexibility to meet the requirements with various manufacturing standards.

All equipment covered by the PED falls into one or more risk categories. After determining which category applies to your equipment, it has to comply with one or more conformity assessment modules which define the level of quality assurance and third-party involvement, including:

• Product inspection, testing and certification
• Material approval
• Design examination
• Type examination
• Quality system approval
• Approval of joining personnel and procedures
• Approval of NDT personnel qualifications

The current version of the PED is 2014/68/EU, which took effect July 19, 2016. For more information about these changes, click here. Prior to that, the version of the PED was 97/23/EC.

NFTN involvement
“The NFTN’s (National Foundry Technology Network) vision is to increase the global competitiveness of the South African foundry industry through the provision of appropriate services in order to reduce import leakage, increase local production, and increase investment in the sector. The PED support was identified as a strategic intervention to enable the local foundries to penetrate the global valves and pumps market and localise this sector in line with the industry norms. This milestone is a proof that local foundries are competent to manufacture to the internationally accredited standards and therefore no need to import similar castings,” said Sandy Majatladi, Programme Manager for the NFTN.

Only one South African foundry has previously been accredited with PED 2014/68/EU certification. This foundry was liquidated in 2016, thus leaving a void in the industry. This gap has now been closed with three foundries – KEW (Kimberley Engineering Works), RelyIntracast and Vestcast – now attaining PED 2014/68/EU certification, thanks to an intervention sponsored by the National Foundry Technology Network (NFTN).

This picture shows butterfly valve components used in the petrochemical and power generation processes and a flap valve housing used in the marine/shipping industry

“The European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) 2014/68/EU is a set of jurisdictional rules and regulations which aim to eliminate or mitigate the potential dangers and risks associated with pressure equipment with a maximum allowable pressure greater than 0.5 bar(g). This is achieved by mandating that manufacturers, suppliers and importers of pressure equipment for use in the EU adhere to the regulations, essential safety requirements (ESR’s), hazard categorisation and conformity assessment modules set forth in the PED,” explained Jaime Goncalves, Technical Director of KEW.

“CE Marking stands for the abbreviation of the French phrase Conformité Européene, meaning European Conformity. CE Marking indicates product compliance with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation. In other words, it ensures transparency and safety in the European Union and the European Economic Area,” continued Goncalves.

“Due to potential dangers and the associated risks, pressure vessel regulations in Europe are complex. Manufacturers must comply with government or jurisdictional rules and regulations for different product standards each targeting specific types of equipment.”

DN150 and DN50 butterfly valve body and discs manufactured to PED standards by Vestcast

“We went through the audit process and have been recommended by TUV for certification, which will be issued in the next few weeks. We were contacted in August 2018 regarding the implementation of PED as an additional CE certification to our existing ISO 9001:2015 quality management system,” explained David Barnes, Marketing and Sales Manager at Vestcast.

“The NFTN did an assessment of the foundry and determined that we met the criteria of a foundry capable of producing castings to the CE standard. They then arranged for a consultant to work with us on a pre-determined timeline in order to get us audit ready. Once the whole PED system was incorporated into our ISO system, it was time for TUV, the company appointed to do the PED audit, to assess us. This they did in February 2020 and we were recommended for certification,” continued Barnes.

“The NFTN supported the intervention to get Vestcast audit ready and also for the first TUV Audit that was done. Going forward it will be our responsibility for the maintenance and cost of maintaining our accreditation.”

“Our main target group is, as I am sure it is with the other two foundries involved in the initiative, all the companies that are involved in the local manufacture of pumps and valves and those that are supplying these companies. These companies will also have to be PED certified and this will allow them to supply all local companies that require CE certified products and components. Currently many of these products are being imported from countries such as China, India and Brazil. It will also allow the companies to export their products worldwide,” said Barnes.

More examples of castings manufactured by Vestcast to PED 2014/68/EU standards. In the picture is a plug valve body on the left, a 1½ inch and a ½ inch plug and on the top right a 25mm cast body

“Now that Vestcast and the other two foundries are PED certified it will assist the DTI in its drive to enforce the local content initiative. There will be no more loopholes to exploit or excuses that the SOCs can give. We are not exporting directly ourselves but our clients are,” said Barnes.

“The PED certification has been mandatory throughout the EU since May 2002, with the 2014 revision fully effective as of 19 July 2016. It enables most international inspection agencies to provide verification and certification services to assess compliance to the requirements of the pressure equipment directive,” said Ian Barratt-Gibson, Managing Director of RelyIntracast.

“Pumps and valves are pressure vessels, so they must be certified for the country in which they will be used. Certifications vary, often quite significantly, depending on the application they will be used for and their country of destination. Sorting through the myriad of requirements that may be encountered is a daunting task. A truly global certification standard would be the ultimate solution, but that remains all but impossible to achieve due to the parameters that must be met for individual country regulations,” explained Barratt-Gibson.

“This normally isn’t a problem for equipment sold and used in most countries, but what if the machine your company produces heads to the EU? The PED certification is internationally recognised and we are happy that we are conforming to these high standards that are set out in in the documentation,” continued Barratt-Gibson.

“The NFTN’s main mandate is to manage, coordinate, and facilitate economic development towards the establishment of a globally competitive South African Foundry industry through appropriate skills training, technology transfer, and diffusion of technologies.”

“We would like to thank the NFTN, on behalf of all three of us, for assisting in our accreditation,” concluded Barratt-Gibson.