Dekra Industrial: keeping industry on the safe side with holistic NDT and solutions

Dekra is one of the world’s leading experts in industrial inspection and non-destructive testing (NDT), backed by 95 years in the industry, with the vision of being ‘the global partner for a safe world’. With a presence in more than 50 countries and on five continents, Dekra is committed to ensuring long-term safety, health, quality, and environmental protection globally, across a broad spectrum of sectors and industries.

In this highly competitive field, the company has an established reputation as the global leader in inspection services, non-destructive testing (NDT), material testing, laboratory services, advanced NDT, asset integrity services and industry training. The company also has a presence in South Africa, Dekra Industrial RSA.

Great expectations

Industry’s expectations of NDT and inspection are the highest they have ever been in terms of the accuracy, reliability and quality of inspections. This is because big industry, such as mining, power generation and petrochemical, has realised that there is a wealth of strategic information available from high-quality NDT and inspection services – of the type and standard which Dekra Industrial produces.

This is according to Johan Gerber, Director at Dekra Industrial.

On the training side, Gerber believes that Dekra Industrial’s training arm – the Dekra Institute of Learning – is well-positioned to offer HSE training through its various online courses, and that the Mozambique LNG and other pan-regional projects will also boost this demand.

A seasoned South African NDT stalwart

“Dekra Industrial was previously Raysonics, an industry stalwart with a long-standing track record in NDT, established 36 years ago in 1984. In 2013, Dekra Global acquired Raysonics, officially changing the name to Dekra Industrial RSA in 2014,” explains Gerber, one of the original founders of Raysonics.

Dekra RSA is comprised of Dekra Industrial and the Dekra Institute of Learning, a separate division within Dekra Industrial.

“Our corporate tagline is ‘On the safe side’ and, as a service-orientated company, covering all things safety, we practise this in everything we do. As such, we deliver NDT, Advanced NDT and inspection services to various industries, including power generation, nuclear, oil and gas, construction, petrochemical, manufacturing, fabrication, pulp and paper, rail, mining, steel industry and foundries,” Gerber advises.

“In addition, through our Institute of Learning, we deliver HSE-based online and classroom-based learning across the industrial and private sector, as well as to some public sector entities.”

The ‘heroes of safety’: Dekra’s differentiators

Dekra Industrial is the operations side of the company, ensuring that deployment of NDT and inspection equipment and resources is optimised – locally, nationally, and globally – and always with safety and customer service top-of-mind.

“Regardless of where we need to deploy resources, we make sure that we have the best solution for our clients,” Gerber explains.

“Demand for our services is steady, but also tends to be industry-dependent,” he says, commenting that out of approximately 300 companies in South Africa offering NDT services, only a handful of these companies are active in the advanced NDT sector, including Dekra Industrial.

While Dekra Industrial’s goal is to ultimately move from being a service provider, to a holistic testing and solutions provider, they are confident that – apart from our 95 years within the industry – there are also number of differentiators which set them apart, Gerber points out.

“For example, we are in the really fortunate position to be able to call on our parent company’s international pool of expertise, research and development (R & D) resources for support. This strategic advantage is complemented by our extensive experience in sub-Saharan and pan-Africa, having successfully completed projects in Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, DRC, Ghana and St Helena Island.

In addition, we have recently registered a legal entity in Northern Mozambique – Dekra Industrial Inspection LDA – offering NDT services to the LNG sector, and current associated construction projects. The company is also registered on local tender portals as an approved supplier on the

various local gas projects: Achilles and the SAIPEM CCS JV, for work on Area 1 and ExxonMobil, Area 4,” Gerber points out.

“We also have a paperless environment and an electronic reporting system; and a live, interactive, totally electronic, cloud-based NDT quality management system (QMS), which expedites our strategic and accurate report generation. These capabilities are market differentiators, and are all of significant benefit to our clients,” he adds.

To further enhance client service, he notes that in the pipeline, and due for rollout by the year-end, is a cloud-based, Dekra NDT reporting tool for customers.

Teaching industry a thing or two!

The other arm of Dekra Industrial RSA is the Dekra Institute of Learning, offering mainly HSE-related training across multiple industries; as well as being open to the general public and corporates. The Institute is the best choice in online and HSE classroom-based training and HSE consulting locally, and within pan-Africa.

Christopher Mӧrsner, Head of Training at Dekra Institute of Learning, explains what sets the institution ahead of the competition: “When a Skills Development Provider (SDP) offers training, or wishes to provide training in short skills or occupational health and safety, NQF level 1 – 5, occupational and/or part-qualifications, they must be accredited with both the Sector Education Training Authority (SETA) or QCTO (Quality Council for Trades and Occupations); and they must comply with the minimum criteria for accreditation.

Mӧrsner points out that the Dekra Institute of Learning is QCTO-approved and is also in the process of re-registering with the Health and Welfare SETA (HWSETA) to provide level 02 and Level 03 full national qualifications – and that this is a major market differentiator.

He adds: “The Dekra Institute of Learning is also registered as a corporate member of the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (SAIOSH), which is recognised as one of the professional registration bodies for occupational health and safety practitioners in South Africa.”

“While most of the training courses we offer are online — with demand having grown during the national lockdown — classroom-based and distance learning is also available.

“The Dekra Institute of Learning ensures that — while staying within the requirements of legislation and the OSH Act — we recognise that not ‘one-size-fits-all’. We therefore develop training which is suitable for all levels, including for those who prefer face-to-face learning or do not have access to the internet. Recently, we have also been investigating the viability of live streaming/digital learning,” he explains.

“While our main focus is training in HSE, we are also looking at offering different options in ISO training, including ISO 9001 – Quality, ISO 14001 – Environmental Management, and the latest Safety standard, ISO 45001. CPD-accredited courses are also available,” he elaborates.

Standing the ‘test’ of time

“Dekra Industrial and the Dekra Institute of Learning will, we believe, stand the ‘test’ of time, and continue to evolve in line with industry’s demands and challenges – while maintaining poll position in NDT and inspection services locally and pan-Africa: ensuring that industry remains ‘on the safe side’,” Gerber concludes.