Brakes are one component on which no vehicle owner or operator can afford to skimp. How do you know the replacement items you buy are the real deal?
There is a plethora of braking component suppliers in the South African aftermarket, with many different products at different price points and quality levels. While some buyers don’t mind buying a cheaper item that “does the same job for less”, there are those for whom quality is a non-negotiable and who believe “you get what you pay for”.
For these buyers, knowing they are purchasing a quality product, which has undergone the relevant testing procedures and received the correct certification, means good business practice.
Suppliers of quality aftermarket original equipment (OE) parts, such as Federal-Mogul, implement stringent testing procedures to ensure their components are of the highest quality.
During 2016, the Federal-Mogul Motorparts – Braking Division Test Centre in Prospecton, Durban, received ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation, for Performance and Safety Testing, by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS).
SANAS was established to satisfy the need for testing laboratories to achieve national and global recognition, as well as to conform with international standards.
Having achieved this accreditation means that the Prospecton-based Test Centre is recognised as a SANAS-accredited test laboratory for the testing of light-vehicle brake pads and commercial-vehicle linings to the South African Regulatory Braking Standards (SANS 20090:2010).
The Automotive Brake Test Institute (ABTI) Testing Centre is manned by technically proficient engineers and supported by Federal-Mogul’s Global Technology and Braking teams. The centre is fully equipped with dynamometers to meet various customer needs.
“The main driver for pursuing the accreditation is to further the interests of safety in the South African automotive braking sector, as all friction materials have to comply with local braking regulations (SANS 20090:2010),” says Test Centre general manager Mervin Paideya.
“These have been established by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specification (NRCS), which is affiliated to the Department of Trade and Industry.”
The Prospecton Test Centre now joins the top league of similar Federal-Mogul facilities globally, as well as representing a significant expansion of the company’s local testing capabilities. “It also creates additional local capacity, as there are only two test centres in South Africa accredited to ISO/IEC 17025,” Paideya explains.
Paideya also highlights that the flood of imported automotive components has raised questions about the certification and accreditation of these international manufacturers. “It is the mandate of the NRCS to ascertain if all these imported products conform to all of the necessary requirements. We therefore decided to take the lead by extending our own testing capabilities in this regard...”
While the main aim of the Prospecton Test Centre is to ensure that Federal-Mogul itself is compliant in terms of all the regulations, it will also commence testing for the open market in the near future. This will enable an efficient compliance testing process that could be of great assistance to the NRCS teams based at the Test Centre.
“While we still have to investigate what standards are applicable in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, our long-term goal is to introduce this testing capability into the broader southern African market,” Paideya concludes.
Hopefully, with this type of initiative in place, “getting what you pay for” will be the non-negotiable most buyers subscribe to.
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