SGB-SMIT POWER MATLA (previously known as Powertech Transformers) laboratory at our Pretoria operation has been in existence since 1973. The main activities of the laboratory are testing of materials for transformers. The testing of transformer oil forms a large part of the testing activities, and this service is also offered to external companies.
The testing of transformer oil is part of a preventative maintenance plan, also known as condition monitoring. The oil inside a transformer forms an integral part of the insulation system, but is unfortunately subject to quick deterioration if the preventative maintenance schedule is not adhered to. Adverse load conditions also affect the oil. It is therefore common practice to have the oil tested annually. Certain tests also give an indication of the condition of the transformer itself and, if interpreted correctly, and acted upon, can prevent catastrophic failure of a transformer. The laboratory is well equipped to perform all the important tests related to condition monitoring, using some of the best equipment available on the market. The laboratory staff has more than 18 years of experience in the analysis of transformer oil and the interpretation of results.
The laboratory has the facilities and expertise to calibrate most of the measuring equipment used in the various plants, including electrical, dimensional, temperature, pressure and mass measuring instruments. The electrical facility has been accredited by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS). Accreditation is aimed at technical competence and SANAS has mutual recognition agreements with most western European countries, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. Our laboratory is one of the signatories to the EAL Multilateral Agreement for the mutual recognition of calibration certificates.