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SANAS accreditation for transformer testing facility

The Pretoria factory test department of Powertech Transformers recently received South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accreditation conforming to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. The company is the first transformer original equipment manufacturer (OEM) within South Africa to receive this particular accreditation.

SANAS is recognised by the South African Government as the single National Accreditation Body that awards formal recognition to laboratories, certification bodies, inspection bodies, proficiency testing scheme providers and good laboratory practice (GLP) that their test facilities are competent to carry out specific tasks.

The process which commenced more than two years ago involves the integration of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard into the current system which Powertech Transformers’ test department has in place. This entailed following guidelines set by the ISO/IEC17025 in creating a quality process that would suit the industry. The main challenge for the team was the absence of a base to work from in terms of an accreditation process for transformers.  Normally a set standard can be found based on other facilities’ accreditation processes; however with Powertech Transformers being the first transformer manufacturing company in South Africa to be awarded this accreditation, the standard had to be created from a zero base.

Bernard Meyer, CEO says, “Powertech Transformers has embraced the importance of SANAS accreditation many years ago. Our first facility to reach ISO/IEC 17025 status was our electrical calibration laboratory back in 1990. Since then our temperature and torque calibration laboratories followed in 2000. Without a doubt this recent achievement for our high voltage power transformer test facility to gain ISO/IEC 17025:2005 status is a major milestone for us. Having an independent in-house SANAS accredited facility to perform factory acceptance testing will bolster customer confidence for adherence to IEC 60076 test criteria.”

Powertech Transformers is 80% owned by Power Technologies (Pty) Ltd (Powertech), the largest power-electrical group in Southern Africa and 20% owned by Power Matla (a local black empowered company). Its main business is the design, manufacturing and selling of a complete range of power and distribution transformers for the African continent.