JP Muller, Project Leader: Industrial Lifting Inspections division at Dekra Industrial
As a fully registered Lifting Machine Entity (LME), Dekra Industrial SA is able to provide registered Lifting Machine Inspectors (LMIs) in various approved categories, to conduct comprehensive inspection and load testing services of lifting and rigging equipment. This includes overhead cranes, truck-mounted (TM) cranes, lifting tackle, mobile elevating work platforms (or ‘cherry pickers’ as they are commonly referred to), with offshore cranes shortly to be added.
“We are very pleased to have attained our LME registration,” says Johan Gerber, Managing Director of Dekra Industrial RSA. “Furthermore, the addition of the lifting inspection division broadens our offering even further, being the third element in our ‘one-stop’ approach as a holistic provider of non-destructive testing (NDT) and inspection, in addition to corrosion control with rope access, and drone NDT inspections.”
The role of Project Leader: Industrial Lifting Inspections division has been filled by prominent industry expert Jarques (‘JP’) Müller, who is well-known and highly regarded within the lifting industry both locally and pan-Africa, and has been registered as an LMI (Lifting Machinery Inspector) since 2008.
With over 20 years of experience in the inspections, maintenance, NDT and lifting industries, Müller brings a wealth of experience to the table, having been at the helm of a number of successful companies over the years before joining Dekra Industrial. These include SSA Acoustic & Specialised Inspections, Acumax – which Müller founded – SGS South Africa, EnerMech, and uNyazi Sales and Services.
By making use of his extensive lifting inspection-related business development and project management experience, Müller will be responsible for a substantial portfolio including divisional set-up, LME applications, procedures and documentation, development and implementation – as well as for driving the management, growth and expansion of the lifting division, and extending Dekra Industrial’s lifting and rigging client base throughout Southern Africa.
“Dekra Industrial is already entrenched in the steel sector, and this new division now opens up opportunities within other vertical areas, for example the maritime industry as well as the general industrial and manufacturing sectors, industrial refineries, oil and gas, light and heavy engineering and mining, petrochemical, offshore and even agriculture. Every sector uses cranes and truck-mounted cranes, offering limitless possibilities,” clarifies Müller.
“My aim is to ensure that the highest priority is given to effective operational set-up and management of the lifting inspections division, in order to meet and exceed client requirements for high-quality, safe services,” he notes. “With an experienced team behind me, and access to the required skills, market intelligence and willpower, I am able to guide a company, division and / or project to success.
My experience in lifting and rigging around the world includes working in the Netherlands and Nigeria before my return to South Africa in 2007. I was also involved in one of the heaviest load tests ever carried out in South Africa: namely, a 1200 tonne load test in Cape Town harbour. I am therefore greatly looking forward to bringing my extensive lifting-related experience and skills to Dekra Industrial in this next exciting stage of my career!” Müller comments.
“We are very pleased to have JP on board,” adds Gerber, “as he is extremely well-known in the industry, with a true wealth of experience which will assist us in bringing new opportunities to our current and future clients across a number of industries. Our expansion also includes access to qualified LMIs, and we will ensure the transfer of lifting industry skills within the company too.”
Dekra Industrial’s lifting inspection division is certified in the areas of all lifting tackle, truck-mounted cranes, overhead cranes and aerial mobile elevating work platforms or cherry pickers, with a certification in offshore cranes currently pending: “Dekra Industrial is also certified by the IWH (Institute for Work at Height), which – while not a requirement of lifting inspections per se – certainly equips us to perform lifting inspections at height if the situation at a client’s site requires it,” notes Gerber.
“Our lifting inspections division further elevates Dekra Industrial’s complement of core NDT inspection service offerings. By making use of our current presence on-site with our NDT services, we can expand our offering so it becomes part of our one-stop strategy, to include certifying and testing cranes for lifting tackle. This potentially presents a suitable set of circumstances to extend our services – we are able to leverage our existing skills and presence into new opportunities.”
Future business opportunities and market segments to target include the offshore arena – where the certification is pending – as well as heavy engineering, petrochemical and industrial.
Explains Müller: “This is because, in these industries, some 80 percent of companies make use of overhead cranes, truck mounted cranes and lifting cranes, where Dekra Industrial is already certified, and where these areas offer long-term relationship possibilities.
We have specific existing and new clients in target industries, such as agri-companies, fabricators and engineering workshops, foundries, mines, distribution centres, retailers, distilleries, shipping yards and crane companies. In addition, we will also be expanding and providing the lifting inspections in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Gerber adds: “With regards to Africa, there are significant opportunities in the lifting arena, for example in mining, as well as the oil and gas industries. Across the continent, many companies look at South Africa’s skills and experience with Lifting Machine Entities and Lifting Machine Inspectors with high regard for the qualifications that we adopt and endorse here. This means that these firms have confidence in using a South African operation, as they know it is properly registered.
We are thus looking to expand our services within sub-Saharan Africa, both from the NDT as well as the lifting inspections perspectives. Once again, Dekra Industrial’s one-stop offering will stand us in good stead. The new division therefore offers an ideal opportunity to extend our services within a number of industries, both current and new,” he concludes.