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Understanding testing and certification Part 4

Written by Eamonn Ryan

Testing houses

Omega Test House is being managed by Allen Scholtz. It is one of the new testing houses bridging the testing shortfall that has arisen in South Africa. “What differentiates Omega Test House,” says Scholtz, “is the ability to utilise the latest IoT (Internet of Things) technologies into the testing procedures.” This also adds the ability to do product research and development (R&D). Its application for SANAS accreditation is being processed and is expected by year end, at which point it can broaden its offering. Omega is a SA Watermark approved test facility – this means it has been audited by third party auditors to the SA Watermark requirements – the objective of which is to promote confidence in the operation of laboratories.

Omega Test House seeks to add value to its clients by offering innovative solutions that go beyond simple compliance with regulations and standards, thus reducing risk and improving the performance of their products.

Scholtz is a qualified electrician and plumber and holds a technical signatory status at the SABS Alternative Energy and Fluid Technology Laboratories. Omega Test House currently has the equipment to perform all test methods encompassing the most common high demand plumbing products: water taps, vacuum breakers, ball valve levers, non-return valves, single control mixers, metering taps, spring-loaded non return valves and more.

“The vision of the laboratory is to grow its functionality and capability to service the industry on all major products. Our competitive edge is on cost and great partnerships with IoT companies such as RCT (Rhizoo Christos Technologies). We have developed a model for constructing equipment which is more cost-effective and more durable. Most replacement parts are locally available, this consequently reduces downtime.”

Once a product has been successfully tested, Omega Test House assists the client with the paperwork to obtain the SA Watermark, getting all the documentation ready for the submission. Once SA Watermark approves it, the product will be able to use the Watermark certification/ trademarked logo.

On the affordability of testing R&D products, Scholtz explains: “It’s a lot cheaper than a manufacturer continuing with development only to find at the end stage that it is not compliant – that’s when the expense becomes considerable. We recommend manufacturers do the testing early in the product development life cycle. We are then in a position to guide them towards the final end product. This saves enormously on the process of trial-and-error.”

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