Yesterday (24 June 2019) in Pretoria, the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) advised customers that testing conditions have been disrupted as a result of cable theft in the Pretoria area. The unforeseen disruption will cause delays in testing and the issuing of customer test certificates.
Electricity cables were stolen during May 2019 and on 19 May 2019 the SABS Building Management System (BMS) was negatively impacted through a power surge. While the repairs to the BMS have been prioritised the aged system has not been able to stabilise the environmental conditions required by the SABS laboratories.
The SABS customer communication states that ‘over the last four weeks the supply of testing conditions, namely temperature and humidity, from its central plant room to its laboratories has been interrupted by a faulty building management system (BMS) which was damaged in an electrical power surge on 19 May 2019, caused by the theft of municipal power cables in the Groenkloof area and that the SABS has not yet been able to fully restore testing conditions.’
The SABS said that although repairs were prioritised, the BMS control panel is still unable to fully monitor and control the hot and cold water system. This system provides the stable testing conditions to the laboratories on the 21-hectare campus. The engineering team has recommended that the existing boilers operate below the required capacity, at 80°C to prevent any further disruptions to operations.
This decision has slowed the SABS’ ability to fully restore operational testing requirements. While repairs are ongoing, the Bureau is currently investigating interim localised or standalone solutions for each laboratory.
The SABS, which has initiated a plant renewal programme for the 40 year old plant room, said that the disruptions to laboratory testing would cause delays in the issuing of customer’s test certificates.