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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Maintain compressors 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
253494  Maintain compressors 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Generic Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Engineering and Related Design 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard replaces: 
US ID Unit Standard Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Credits Replacement Status
13323  Maintain compressors  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15   

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
Learners in the field of engineering require the skills, values and knowledge reflected in this unit standard.

The learning outcomes in this unit standard also contribute to the exit level outcomes required for the National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering Fitting (NQF Level 4) and related qualifications.

Qualifying learners are able to:
  • Identify and discuss compressors and their applications.
  • Plan and prepare for compressor maintenance.
  • Maintain, repair, remove, replace and set up compressors.
  • Maintain and care for tools and equipment. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • This unit standard has been designed as part of a progression. It is one of a series of unit standards for machine and equipment maintenance in the engineering area.
  • The credits allocated to this unit standard assume that a learner has already learned to maintain pipe systems, static seals, and sling loads safely. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    The ranges as indicated under the specific outcomes determine the scope and level of this unit standard.

    However for the purpose of assessment, compressors include but are not limited to the following categories:
  • Reciprocating compressors.
  • Rotary screw.
  • Rotary vane.
  • Centrifugal compressors.

    And under the following operational conditions:
  • Single stage and multi-stage.
  • Single- and double-acting.
  • Low and high pressure conditions.

    Environment contexts include but are not limited to:
  • Manufacturing and Engineering (Metals, Plastics, Tyre and Rubber, Electrical Power Generation, Automotive Manufacturing).
  • Chemical and Petrochemical.
  • Mining.
  • Transport (Maritime, Road, Rail and Aviation).
  • Civil Engineering and Construction.
  • Food and Beverages.
  • Other engineering-related industry sectors.

    The learner should be able to:
  • Work autonomously with minimal supervision and according to worksite and manufacturer specifications and occupational safety, health and environmental legislation.
  • Work in a workshop, plant or underground environment with varying levels of light, space and safety risks.
  • Work in a team environment. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Identify and discuss the applications of compressors. 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
    This outcome covers the knowledge required in order to identify and explain:
  • Basic compressed air principles and principles of operation.
  • Classifications and types of compressors.
  • Applications.
  • Distinct features and characteristics of various types.
  • Maintenance and repair (parts renewal, assembly procedures, calculations).
  • Troubleshooting techniques (Reduced capacity or pressure; water in system, motor overload, and vibration). 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The classifications and types of compressors are identified and discussed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The applications and the distinct features and characteristics of various types of compressors are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Discuss and explain incidents and problems related to compressor maintenance. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Maintenance and repair procedures are discussed and explained in terms of worksite practice and manufacturers' specifications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Trouble shooting certain conditions during start-up and operations are discussed and explained in terms of worksite practice and manufacturers' specifications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The terminology used when explaining and discussing compressors and compressor components, is in keeping with manufacturer and worksite norms and standards. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    For the purpose of assessment, compressors include, but are not limited to the following categories:
  • Reciprocating compressors.
  • Rotary screw.
  • Rotary vane.
  • Centrifugal compressors.

    Under the following operational conditions:
  • Single stage and multi-stage.
  • Single- and double-acting.
  • Low and high pressure conditions.

    Understanding confirmed:

    Respond to `what if` and `why` questions covering:
  • Compressors, their characteristics and working principles.
  • The maintenance process - sequence, procedures and techniques.
  • Tools and equipment used.
  • Quality awareness: implications of compressor maintenance that do not comply with operational requirements.
  • Applicable compressor maintenance theory.
  • Safety.
  • Reporting and documentation requirements.
  • Discuss the implications of not adhering to the sequence of activities and operations as described in the specific outcomes and making decisions inappropriate to the task.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Plan and prepare for compressor maintenance. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Planning and preparation includes reading and understanding task instructions engineering drawings and breakdown scheduling, identification of the equipment to be maintained, obtaining maintenance schedules and manufacturer specifications for specific equipment to be maintained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The compressor/s are inspected and assessed for its work requirements in terms of maintenance, repair and/or removal. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The planning and preparation for the maintenance, repair and/or removal of the compressor/s is explained, in accordance with manufacturers' specifications and work instructions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Site and equipment are prepared for compressor maintenance. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Maintenance equipment and resources are correct for the task, available on site by the agreed time, and checked for serviceability in accordance with regulatory and worksite practices. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Resources include personnel requirements, tools, equipment, vehicle/s for transport and mechanical handling, support materials, applicable documentation and personal protective equipment.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Where required, handling space is cleared, potential obstructions are removed and personnel are notified, prior to the maintenance, repair and/or removal task. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Pre-operational checks are carried out on removal and securing equipment, in accordance with work instructions. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION NOTES 
    Indicators:
  • System is confirmed to be isolated.
  • Compressors are handled and transported according to specifications.
  • Compressor is inspected and non-conformances identified.
  • Maintenance requirements are determined.
  • Compressor consumables, parts and/or components are selected, fitted and adjusted to meet operational requirements.
  • The compressor is checked for conformance with manufacturer specifications and safety standards.
  • Non-conforming, damaged or sub-standard components and equipment are identified and appropriate corrective action taken.
  • Compressor records are completed and processed.

    Understanding confirmed:

    Respond to `what if` and `why` questions covering:
  • Safety.
  • Reporting and documentation requirements.
  • Discuss the implications of not adhering to the sequence of activities and operations as described in the specific outcomes and making decisions inappropriate to the task. 

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Maintain compressor. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
  • Maintenance includes identifying non-conforming components, removal, repair and installation of components and parts and confirming pressure release at predetermined pressure.
  • Problems include but are not limited to reduced maximum pressure, leaks, wear and damage, air-filtration, crankcase lubrication, drive maintenance, inlet and outlet valve efficiency, electrical faults, cooling/overheating, etc.
  • Operational requirements include the meeting of required pressure criteria (functionality, flow-rate, pressure regulation, etc.).
  • Checks include pressure-gauging, pressure regulation, condensate prevention, air-filtration, crank-case oil-levels, efficiency of delivery, cooling, methods.
  • Checks for conformance in terms of regulatory and legislative requirements. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The compressor is maintained and repaired in compliance with operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Faults are identified and corrective action is taken according to standard operating procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    All work is performed safely with due care for self, fellow workers, machines, equipment, materials and environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The system is tested for functionality in terms of operational requirements and in accordance with quality assurance procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The system operation and running condition is confirmed, recorded and reported after the maintenance and repair process, according to work-site practice and/or manufacturer's specifications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Work area is restored to a safe and serviceable condition. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION NOTES 
    Indicators:
  • System is confirmed to be isolated.
  • Compressors are handled and transported according to specifications.
  • Compressor is inspected and non-conformances identified.
  • Maintenance requirements are determined.
  • Compressor consumables, parts and/or components are selected, lapped and sealed, fitted and adjusted to meet operational requirements.
  • Maintained compressor is checked for conformance with manufacturer specifications and safety standards
  • Compressor records are completed and processed.
  • Work is carried out in a safe manner in accordance with schedules and manufacturer specifications.
  • The time taken for the maintenance task meets workplace requirements.

    Understanding confirmed:

    Respond to `what if` and `why` questions covering:
  • Compressors, their characteristics and working principles.
  • The maintenance process - sequence, procedures and techniques.
  • Tools and equipment used.
  • Quality awareness: implications of compressor maintenance that do not comply with operational requirements.
  • Applicable compressor maintenance theory.
  • Safety.
  • Reporting and documentation requirements.
  • The implications of not adhering to the sequence of activities and operations as described in the specific outcomes and making decisions inappropriate to the task. 

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Care for and store system maintenance tools and equipment. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Tools and equipment include absorbent material, hand tools and cleaning equipment, fluids, lifting equipment and tackle. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The proper care and storage procedures for tools and equipment in accordance with work site practices and specifications is explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Work area is restored to a safe and serviceable condition. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Tools, equipment, lifting equipment and tackle is stored in accordance with manufacturer's specification and requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Malfunctioning tools and equipment is reported and the necessary arrangements for the repair thereof is made according to accepted worksite practice. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION NOTES 
  • A clean and tidy work environment is maintained.
  • No delays are caused as a result of poor planning and identifying problems.
  • Applicable health, safety and environmental procedures are adhered to.
  • Non-conforming consumables, damaged or sub-standard components and equipment are identified and appropriate corrective action taken. 


  • UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • The assessment will be governed by the policies and guidelines of the relevant SETA ETQA which has jurisdiction over this field of learning. The assessor will be registered with the relevant ETQA and have a technical qualification in this learning area.
  • The learner can be assessed in the language of his/her choice although s/he has to report incidents or conditions to someone else. The learner will be assessed on his/her ability to report in the language commonly used in his/her working environment.
  • The learner will be assessed in the workplace but s/he can submit documents, projects, test results and assignments that were not produced in the workplace.
  • The learner can be assessed against this unit standard to obtain credits or as part of an integrated assessment for a qualification. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Names & functions of:
  • Types of compressors.
  • Compressor components.
  • Tools and equipment used in the compressor maintenance process.
  • Quality terminology and concepts.

    Attributes, descriptions, characteristics & properties:
  • Typical compressor faults and defects.
  • Various end users of compressor.
  • Compressor equipment and components.
  • Characteristics of different types of compressors.

    Sensory cues:
  • Sensory cues (what I see, hear, smell, feel) utilised for identifying compressor related defects and non-conformances and the causes thereof.

    Purpose of:
  • Preparing site and equipment for maintenance process.
  • Maintaining compressors.
  • Quality checks and procedures.
  • Reporting problems.
  • Identification of wear patterns on components.
  • Verifying pressure regulation methods.
  • Pressure testing and settings.
  • Sealing and/or locking procedures.

    Processes, events, causes and effects, implications:
  • Implications of non-conformance.
  • Causes of and implications of not relieving pressure.
  • Causes and responses to common problems.
  • Maintenance sequence and process.
  • Implications and consequences of situations such as, e.g., using poor quality, damaged or faulty equipment in the maintenance process, delaying reports about problems in work area.

    Procedures and techniques:
  • Ensuring system is safe.
  • Identifying component defects.
  • Maintaining compressor components.
  • Pressure testing and setting.
  • Preparing consumables, replacement components/parts for maintenance.
  • Quality checks and procedures.
  • Reporting procedures.

    Regulations, legislation, agreements, policies, standards:
  • Applicable safety, health and environmental protection legislation and standards.
  • Applicable company policies and procedures.

    Theory: rules, principles, laws:
  • Applicable mechanical theory relating to the maintenance of compressors, e.g. torque, pressure.
  • Applicable mathematical concepts.
  • Pascal's law and pressure calculations.

    Relationships, systems:
  • The relationship of compressor maintenance to the production process. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems:
  • Recognise and respond to non-conforming components/parts. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as a member of a team:
  • Interact with colleagues and team members in order to maintain compressor. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage my activities and myself:
  • According to procedures, following regular, consistent methodical work patterns.
  • Manage resources and my time. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information:
  • Collect sensory and numeric information from the compressor maintenance process.
  • Classify the information and identify deviations from the norm. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively:
  • Record outputs and incidents. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically:
  • Understand and explain mechanical theory relevant to the compressor maintenance process. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems:
  • Understand and explain the purpose of compressor maintenance to the production process.
  • Justify my actions as appropriate. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    This unit standard replaces unit standard 13323, "Maintain compressors", Level 4, 16 credits.
  • The scope and coverage of the unit standard, "Maintain compressors" - SAQA ID 13323, was deemed as being too narrow and has been amended to be inclusive of all categories of compressors, namely, both positive displacement and centrifugal compressors.
  • The term "maintain" is defined as inspect, determine faults, assess requirements for repair, remove, replace, repair, adjust, re-align, seat components, reassemble and install and test.
  • This unit standard excludes the competency requirements for the overhauling and commissioning of compressors. A separate unit standard/s has been developed in this regard.

    Notes to Assessors:

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessments at title level are unmanageable, it is necessary to then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or a group of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Rather make sure the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgements should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, directness, authenticity, sufficiency, openness and consistency.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    Credits may be obtained by applying to an accredited/approved training provider/institution in order to have prior learning recognised in lieu of work experience. Work experience must relate to the specific outcomes contained within this unit standard. The ensuing assessment of candidates seeking recognition of prior learning should not be so onerous as to deter them from doing so. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  59669   National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Fitting  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Reregistered  2023-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Coastal Kzn F.E.T. College - Swinton Road Campus 
    2. Customised Training Specialists Trust T/A CTS (PINETOWN) (TP) 
    3. Eastcape Midlands Public FET College - Uitenhage (High Street)Campus 
    4. Enstra Learning and Development Centre (Pty) Ltd (SPRINGS) (TP) 
    5. Gijima AST Holdings (Pty) Ltd T/A Fundi Training Centre (BENONI) (TP) 
    6. Majuba FET College - Newcastle Technology Centre 
    7. SEDIBENG TRAINING CENTRE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.