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Spaces where air transportation vehicles can be kept, such as aircraft and helicopter hangars, are places where the risk of fire is always at a high level. Automatic fire extinguishing systems must be installed in such aircraft and helicopter hangars due to both the financial value of the aircraft in these spaces and the high risk of fire due to the possible presence of jet fuel. The choice of automatic fire extinguishing systems type of aircraft hangars is decided according to many inputs and designs can be made accordingly. Today, although there are applications such as traditional water extinguishing systems and water mist extinguishing systems for the protection of hangars, the most frequently applied system is foam type extinguishing systems due to its ability to control and extinguish the fire and system effectiveness. In addition, these systems appear as the type of extinguishing systems with the most detailed standard created in this regard; This is a reason why systems are the most applied to structures of this type.

There are a number of standards that can be used as a basis for aircraft and helicopter hangar suppression systems. Some of these are European standards and some are American standards. The most detailed standard created on the subject is NFPA 409: Standard on Aircraft Hangars. Along with this standard, the “NFPA 11 Standard For Low-Medium-And High-Expansion Foam” standards to which the standard refers should also be taken into account while designing.

The NFPA 409 standard has grouped aircraft hangars into 4 classes according to their characteristics. This classification is Group I Hangars, Group II Hangars, Group III Hangars and Group IV Hangars, respectively, starting from the most dangerous group.

Group I Hangars refer to hangars with a hangar door height above 8.5 meters or with a single fire area above 3716 m² or with a capacity to accommodate aircraft with a tail height of more than 8.5 meters.

Group II Hangars refer to hangars with hangar door height less than 8.5 meters and whose construction type has the table specified in NFPA 409.

Group III Hangars; It refers to hangars whose hangar door height is below 8.5 meters and whose construction type does not exceed the values in the relevant table specified in NFPA 409.

Group IV Hangars, on the other hand, refer to membrane-enclosed hangars with steel construction.

The first input data to be used while designing are the properties of the hangars. In this direction, it is necessary to determine which type of hangars are and to carry out the design in this direction. NFPA 409 has determined different types of extinguishing types and design data according to hangar groups. Since the most dangerous hangar type is Group I Hangar, the highest level of protection parameters have been determined for this type of hangar. Although it varies according to hangar groups, systems such as high expansion type foam extinguishing systems, low expansion type foam extinguishing systems, closed head water extinguishing systems, manual systems can be designed alone or in combination with each other. It is defined in NFPA 409 which systems can be at a sufficient level of protection alone or which systems should be designed in combination with each other.

Another system that is at least as important as these systems, together with its design with extinguishing systems, is fire detection systems. The correct installation of detection systems that will enable the activation of the relevant raid and auxiliary extinguishing systems is also of vital importance for these hangars. In detector selection; Attention should be paid to the importance of early detection, the absence of erroneous and false perception. Some of the most frequently used detection detectors in aircraft and helicopter hangars are; flame detectors, air sampling detection systems and CCTV type detection systems detectors.

Automatic activation, a control station that will enable manual activation of related systems and be easy to access should be installed at the relevant point or points.

In addition to all these, for aircraft and helicopter hangars; In order to maximize the effectiveness of the extinguishing and detection capability of the applied system and to maximize the system performance, it is one of the most essential requirements to work with companies that are experts in their fields and to design the system by adheri


The utilisation of SKF sealed bearings, combined with upgraded internal modifications, reconditioning and locally manufactured custom seals, has increased the average MTBF (Mean-Time Between Failures) of scraper idlers on a customer’s Submerged Scraper Conveyor (SCC) from 3-6 months to 12-18 months.

The submerged scraper idlers convey water-quenched, hot coarse ash to the front of the SSC which then collects and dewaters the Boiler Bottom Ash (BBA) before discharging it at a controlled rate onto downstream plant. The SSC’s water-filled top trough, which works in conjunction with the dipper plates, provides boiler sealing by preventing air ingress into the boiler via the SSC.

The cost of frequent plant downtime to replace the failed scraper idlers was further exacerbated by the regular purchase of new units. SKF’s success with a similar application and design prompted the customer to turn to the bearing and rotating specialist for an efficient and sustainable solution.

SKF proposed the supply of sealed SRBs (Spherical Roller Bearings), a quality reconditioning procedure on the scraper idlers and an overall redesign of the internal sealing arrangement. SKF’s Senior Application Engineer, Cody Petersen, explains that the highly contaminated operating conditions merited the utilisation of sealed bearings. “These bearings eliminate the possibility of contaminant ingress, thus increasing overall bearing life expectancy, equipment availability and subsequently application running time.” SKF supplied 28 units, each unit comprising two bearings, thus giving a total of 56 bearings.

“We proposed a complete redesign of the internal sealing arrangement due to the fact that the existing units were only lasting for approximately six months after installation before either getting stuck i.e. guide wheel seizure or leaking prematurely,” continues Petersen.

The SKF team carried out a redesign of the entire internal geometry, shaft, hub and guide wheel. “We also manufactured custom seal cartridges to house custom seals manufactured by SKF locally and we partnered with an accredited SKF supplier to recondition the housings.”

“Our solution has created tremendous value for our customer on several levels. In addition to a significant decrease in plant downtime, the prevention of water/ash slurry leakage has, most importantly, resulted in a safer working environment. Alongside cost savings, the reconditioning and reuse of the housings also saved the customer on time due to a faster overall turnaround time while lowering CO² emissions, ultimately benefiting the environment.”

Since the installation of the first units, SKF has received a great deal of positive feedback from the customer who has continued placing further orders for reconditioned units. “We have established an excellent working relationship with our valued customer, and we are continually implementing improvements on the current design to deliver the most optimal solution,” concludes Petersen.


Ubunye Mining Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Unitrans, a leading name in the mining logistics industry, has been awarded the prestigious Rio Tinto Safety Award for Best Contract Partner at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM). This remarkable accomplishment holds special significance, considering the vast scope of operations by Rio Tinto, a multinational giant engaging over 18 000 contractors globally.

The coveted Rio Tinto Safety Award is a testament to the unwavering commitment of Ubunye Mining Services and Unitrans to consistently exemplify unparalleled standards in safety, operational efficiency, and responsible practices. Unitrans emerged as an outstanding contract partner to RBM, setting a sterling example of upholding the highest operational benchmarks.

The significant achievement represents Unitrans’ transformation into a global safety exemplar. The diligent efforts of Unitrans’ workforce have cultivated a culture of enhanced safety within the organisation. Daily meetings, a focus on safe practices, and an unwavering dedication to implementing safety protocols, have all contributed to this accomplishment.

Kobus Burger, Operations Executive for the Mining Division at Unitrans, expressed his pride in the achievement, saying, “This award is a testament to the dedication of our team and the transformative journey we’ve undertaken to prioritise safety above all else. Our commitment to fostering a culture of accountability and our collaborative efforts with RBM have been pivotal in achieving this recognition. This accolade will be a powerful tool as we expand our business and uphold the highest safety standards.”

At the end of 2022, Unitrans received the Best Contract Partner Award, following a meticulous audit of its safety performance based on RBM’s Maturity Safety Model. This award underscored Unitrans’ safety track record, particularly in the demanding operational landscape of Richards Bay Minerals, where a workforce of over 5000, including employees and contractors, operates. It also seamlessly propelled Unitrans into contention for the Rio Tinto global awards, which ultimately emerged triumphant as the winner.

“We are proud to see one of our contractors achieve this recognition,” says Werner Duvenhage, Managing Director for Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium Africa Operations. “This accomplishment validates our unwavering commitment to fostering a safety-first culture and underscores the collaborative efforts with Unitrans. As their success story becomes a beacon of safety excellence, it resonates deeply within our organisation, as we continue to find better and safer ways to operate. Unitrans’ achievement reinforces our belief that strong partnerships and a shared commitment to safety can yield transformative outcomes, setting new benchmarks for the industry.”

According to John Kettlewell, Unitrans Chief Operations Officer: Mining, the Leadership in the Field (LIF) initiative, introduced by RBM, provided a framework for Unitrans to collaborate with RBM’s management, identify areas of improvement, and work together to drive safety and operational excellence.

Kettlewell emphasises that the symbiotic partnership between the two organisations has been pivotal in achieving this remarkable milestone. The global acknowledgement by Rio Tinto further elevates the intrinsic value of this achievement. Unitrans’ success in earning the Rio Tinto Global Best Contract Partner Award reflects its determination to ensure the safety and well-being of its workforce and its dedication to maintaining world-class operational standards.

“This award proves our unwavering dedication to safety standards. It validates that our actions speak louder than words. We proudly uphold our commitment, and this accolade is a testament to our conviction – not merely talking the talk, but undeniably walking the walk,” concludes Kettlewell.



The 2023 Road Freight SME Summit held last week at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton enjoyed a highly successful début, with topics delivering to the needs of the audience and the broader trucking sector.

Targeting small fleet owners with 5 to 100 trucks on the road, topics covered included critical success factors for road freight SMEs; safety and compliance; the transportation of mining commodities, industry trends on effective and efficient fleet management; the complexities of securing funding for trucking SMEs in South Africa, and various topics about the next step towards growing a business.

Many industry specialists, topic experts, government department heads, and academia occupied the high-level speaker platform with the likes of Mark Makhubalo – CEO of MLM Logistics; Kgomotso Selokane – Chairperson Transport Sector B-BBEE Charter Council; Jonathan Mphake, National Fleet Manager at SBV; the eminent Prof Nick Binedell; Gavin Kelly, CEO of The Road Freight Association; and, Musa Ndlovu – National Secretary of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry, to mention a few.

Rirhandzu Mashava, Deputy Director General: Integrated Transport Planning at the Department of Transport (DOT), gave the keynote address, pointing out that 90% of the more than 100,000 businesses active in the road freight sector are SMEs. They had a significant impact on the economic landscape, she said. “These SMEs are not merely businesses; they are job creators and contributors to the national economy. The Summit’s primary focus is to provide an enabling platform for these SMEs to scale up and take their businesses to the next level.”

“Small and medium-sized enterprises have a responsibility to scale up and take their business to the next level,” added Makhubalo.

JC Auditors’ Managing Director Oliver Naidoo said that a primary focus of the Summit was raising awareness of safe systems as a key building block for SME road freight businesses. “If we are to address South Africa’s poor road safety record, there is a need for impactful initiatives to promote safe and compliant fleets on our roads.”

Michelin’s B2B Sales Director Charle Lensley steered the MICHELIN Connected Fleet team to highlight how its fleet management services and solutions could benefit SMEs in road freight by reducing costs, improving sustainability, increasing security and boosting safety.

Mashava also highlighted opportunities created by technology. “The rise of technology and digital platforms has provided SMEs in the road freight sector with enhanced opportunities for growth and success. Digital platforms enable them to streamline operations, optimise routes, and offer real-time tracking and customer support. This allows SMEs to compete effectively with larger established companies and provide efficient and reliable services to their clients.”

Managing Director of SME company Atarah Solutions, Lehlohonolo Mpshe said of the Summit: “Frank talk, insightful, enjoyable, thought-provoking  – and commitments were made!”

Sinethemba Cobo of Isuzu Motors said the Summit made him appreciate the company’s support for the sector and re-evaluate how he influences change. He added: “These are the platforms that SMEs require to connect, work together and make a difference.”

Annah Ngxeketo CEO of Mamoja Trading & Projects, found the conversations with industry leaders “insightful”, noting the key learning was to “have a collaborative spirit with other SMEs”.

The inaugural Summit was well supported by industry and support services in the road freight sector including ABSA, Avis Fleet, Isuzu, JC Auditors, MasterDrive, MLM Logistics, Mamoja Trading and Project;  Rambait Trading, MasterDrive, Zibuse Transport, Michelin Connected Fleet, and the Transport Sector Retirement Fund.

Many industry associations also showed support for the event, including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport: South Africa, Freight Logistics South Africa, the Global Federation of Chambers, The Road Freight Association, SAPICS, the African Women in Supply Chain Association (AWSICA) and the SA Express Parcel Association.

Musundwa concluded: “We express enormous gratitude to our stakeholders and the commitment shown by the number of SMEs who attended. We take this as a sincere vote of confidence to run the event again in 2024 – indeed, a number of stakeholders have already pledged their support for our 2024 Road Freight SME Summit.”


Value Logistics proudly announces a historic achievement as the first warehousing and distribution service provider of its scale in South Africa to attain ISO 13485 certification, a globally recognised standard for quality management systems in the medical device industry. This significant accomplishment has been realised well ahead of the January 2025 deadline set by the South African Health Products Regulatory Agency (SAHPRA).

Value Logistics has been awarded the prestigious ISO 13 485 certification, reaffirming its unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards in medical device logistics. Concurrently, they have also received their fourth ISO 9001 re-certification, a testament to their dedication to excellence in quality management.

The highly-anticipated handover ceremony was held at the Value Logistics Johannesburg Super Hub ‘Value City’ in Elandsfontein. Oliver Naidoo, Managing Director of JC Auditors (JCA), presented the ISO 13485 and ISO 9001 certifications to Jattie van Wyk, Divisional Director of Warehousing for Value Logistics.

During his acceptance speech, van Wyk enthusiastically articulated Value Logistics’ company ethos. He emphasised the organization’s steadfast commitment to ” getting the job done” -while consistently adding value to their clients’ operations.

Oliver Naidoo, Managing Director of JCA, provided valuable insights into the integral role of standards in building sustainable businesses. He stressed how adherence to ISO 13 485 and ISO 9001 standards positions Value Logistics as an industry leader, providing a solid foundation for continued growth and success.

Shiroma Bennimahadeo, the JCA specialist medical device lead auditor, provided a synopsis of key risk areas within the medical device sector. She also alluded to future innovations and technology changes in the sector, highlighting the importance of adaptability in an ever-evolving industry.

Bianca Crossley, Projects Manager at Value Logistics, offered a captivating glimpse into the strategic roadmap of the business. She shared insights into their intention to integrate compliance and efficiency, whilst harnessing innovation as a cornerstone of their business continuity drive.

This Value Logistics achievement underscores their relentless pursuit of excellence and their commitment to maintaining the highest standards in the medical device and broader logistics sector.

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