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Aug 01, 2008

Growth inspires African expansion

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Construction|Engineering|Expertise|Africa|Environment|Fire|MSA Africa|Safety|Africa|Europe|Angola|Nigeria|United States|Chemical Suits|Emergency Services|Equipment|Fires Service Products|Mining|Oil And Gas|Oil And Gas Industries|Portable Gas Detection Device|Product|Products|Safety Equipment|Safety Products Manufacturer|Service|Services|Supply Namely Mining|Dharmesh Lakmidas|Hayley Arnesen|Operations|Seven-segment Display Technology
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Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) supplier and safety products manufacturer MSA Africa is looking to expand its footprint in Africa after the company experienced a 35% growth in its African interests in the past year.

MSA Africa marketing director Hayley Arnesen says that the company is anticipating continued growth in its African interests, specifically in the oil and gas producing countries of Nigeria and Angola.

"We are constantly looking at providing our products to these regions and will continue to offer the full range of safety equipment for all our target markets," she says.

Arnesen states that MSA Africa's objectives are to increase the company's market share in four areas that form the core-PPE markets of supply namely mining, oil and gas industries, construction and fire and emergency services.

She mentions that MSA Africa realised a 30% growth in its local operations compared to the 2007 financial year.

Arnesen says that the company's technical product offering has been well received in the local industry, providing a range of PPE including chemical suits, fall protection, hand protection, as well as head, eye, face and hearing protection, and a range of fires service products.

The company's supply of more technical products has been particularly more successful and has contributed significantly to the growth achieved by the company in the last year, mentions Arnesen.

MSA Africa launched its own locally developed and manufactured product for use in the mining industry in April, reports Arnesen.

MSA Africa senior product line manager Dharmesh Lakmidas, the company has developed a new portable gas detection device for use in the detection of methane and carbon monoxide.

"The MSA D008 Detector provides a visual alarm in underground monitoring for methane and carbon monoxide. It warns the person of gases pressures and potentially hazardous gases in a mining environment," reports Lakmidas.

He says that the new gas detection device, which mining personnel can wear throughout the working day, is one of the smallest and lightest portable gas detectors in its class, providing reliable protection without interfering with the users range of movement.

The instrument has a continuous run time of 22 hours in non-alarm conditions and is charged on an optional five-way or 10-way charger.

Configured to detect one or two gases, the instrument features audio and bright visual alarms, reports MSA Africa.

The display is easy to see in low-light mining conditions, owing to improved contrast specifications, and also requires no backlight, which is made possible by a seven-segment display technology.

Arnesen says that MSA Africa, which is a local subsidiary of MSA worldwide, provides a product mix specific to the South African market, which has its own unique working conditions and apparel and safety requirements.

While the company supplies many of the products developed by MSA in the US and its subsidiaries in Europe, to the local market, Arnesen says that MSA Africa looks at viable local opportunities to develop products that are suitable to local working conditions.

"We look at the viability of developing products to satisfy clients' requirements," mentions Arnesen.

"We follow a stringent process to ensure that the product is manufactured to global standards on par with Europe or the US," adds Arnesen.

She says that the local company benefits from the international operation's expertise and technical staff.

"We are a global company, and therefore we can call on our engineering base in the US to assist in developing a product specifically suited for the local market," states Arnesen.

Lakmidas mentions that MSA Africa currently enjoys a 23% market share in the local gas detection market.

Edited by: Laura Tyrer
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