MSA's General Monitors Safety Solutions

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in Gas & Flame Safety

MSA is the industry leader with the world’s largest installed base of fixed gas and flame detectors. No matter whether your facility is large or small, MSA has a scalable solution to protect you, your coworkers and your plant.

MSA Fixed Gas & Flame Detection Solutions

MSA chose General Monitors over 10-years ago, providing a combined experience of over 160 years, to help us revolutionize fixed gas and flame detection. We’re better together as a team, providing reliable safety solutions that work in plants large or small to protect hundreds of thousands of workers around the globe.

Safety in Numbers with MSA

Our numbers speak for themselves and give you the confidence that we are experts in the field of Fixed Gas & Flame Detection (FGFD), with 165+ years of experience. And this is without counting the years of experience in the field developed by our experts.

As the FGFD leaders, we are continually pushing the boundaries in technology to develop advanced detectors which increase the level of safety for your people and facilities. Like all our customers around the world, you are in safe hands when using MSA products.

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Why MSA?

Safety without compromise—that’s our promise. We’re constantly innovating and continuously improving our detectors to keep you safe while making your job easier. You’ll find our detectors and systems at work in hazardous industries and environments, from the arctic, to the desert to the tropics or at sea.

Your Questions Answered

MSA offers a wide range of fixed gas and flame detection solutions, see below for answers to frequently asked questions.

Does MSA have solutions to lower the maintenance costs of gas detectors?

Yes, the MSA X/S5000 detectors with H2S/CO XCell sensors have the lowest cost of ownership of any detector we have ever developed. Incorporating TruCal® self-calibrating technology, extends calibration periods from 3 months up to 2 years. Also, their operating life has been extended from 1 - 2 years up to 5 years.

What are the benefits of using the Diffusion Supervision H2S / CO sensor?

MSA's H2S and CO sensors with TruCal® technology and optional Diffusion Supervision do not require any servicing in between manual calibrations, which can be extended up to 2 years. Therefore, no inspection / bump tests (safety functional test) are required, as they would be for the non-Diffusion Supervision sensors.

If the sensor detects it needs servicing, it will initiate a signal (<4mA) calling for manual check or calibration.

How can I compare the cost of ownership of the MSA fixed point gas detectors?

The OPEX cost is often overlooked and can be many times more than the initial CAPEX cost over the life of the detector.

To assist you in evaluating the cost of ownership of different gas detectors, MSA developed an online cost of ownership calculator. This calculator includes both CAPEX and OPEX costs, so it gives you a true picture of how much the detector is really costing.

We are currently using the MSA's Ultima X and also the General Monitors 4000 series gas detectors. What are their replacements?

The Ultima X® will soon be discontinued and the GM 4000 series was discontinued in 2020. The X/S5000 models are the direct replacements and have the same footprint as the previous models, can use the same cabling and mounting accessories, and the control system does not need to be changed. Upgrading couldn't be simpler!

Is it possible to remotely calibrate inaccessible sensors located in HVAC ducts or pits?

Yes, MSA developed the CalGard Remote Calibration Adapter for exactly this application. It can be used for a bump test like other gassing adapters, but also an accurate calibration can be performed. This is possible as the pneumatically activated internal bellows mechanism ensures the right concentration of the calibration gas reaches the sensor.

How does MSA ensure that along with the supply of detectors, my Service Technicians are trained, especially with the current Covid-19 restrictions?

Introductory and refresher training on our life saving equipment remains critical, even during COVID restrictions. To keep supporting our customers’ training requirements, MSA has launched online training courses for remotely based Service teams. Virtual-Led Training courses will give a real-time learning experience as if technicians were participating in an in-person session.

How can I improve the probability of detecting a gas leak?

It is no longer recommended to only rely on Point Gas Detectors when designing a gas detection system. Instead, "Multiple Layers of Protection" should be used, which incorporate different sensor technologies. Depending on the application, these would be MSA's Point, Open Path and Ultrasonic Gas Leak Detectors. This combination increases the probability of detecting the gas leak and is even more important in a voting system.

Does it matter exactly how a flame detector is installed, as long as it's in the correct location?

Yes, both the horizontal and the vertical angles at which the detector is installed is critical to ensure the flame detector is covering the field of view it was designed for. Ensuring the main risk is in the field of view is most important, but installing the detector with its centre line pointing 20˚ to 30˚ below horizontal is usually the optimum angle to maximise the coverage area.

Does it matter exactly how a Point Gas Detector is installed, as long as it's in the correct location?

There are various aspects to consider when positioning a point gas detector, including characteristics of the target gas, the potential leak sources and the environment (e.g. wind direction). If mounting the detector on a pipe, then it is also beneficial to rotate the detector so the display is not exposed to direct sunlight. The pipe and the back of the sunshade will then offer protection to the transmitter and the sensor.

How can I design a system to detect gas leaks faster?

The earlier a gas leak can be detected, the higher the probability that action can be taken and the situation will be contained. As Point and Open Path Gas detectors cannot detect the gas until the cloud reaches the sensor, for high-pressure installations it is recommended to use MSA's Ultrasonic gas leak detectors. This technology detects the leak as soon as it starts - at the speed of sound!

How can false alarms from Flame Detectors be reduced without compromising on the detection coverage?

False alarms are one of the main issues with all flame detection systems. Frequent false alarms can result in expensive production losses and often the detectors are put in inhibit. MSA's Neural Network Technology (NNT) provides superior false alarm immunity, as the algorithms have been trained to ignore many sources of radiation that are not real fires.

What are the best solutions for a sour gas field, with high levels of H2S?

MSA offers open path solutions for detecting H2S over large areas. As well as the H2S only detector, we also offer a Sour Gas Open Path solution, for detecting H2S and Methane. These laser based solutions only detect the target gases of interest, making them more reliable as they reduce false alarms, but also offer better performance in rain and fog.

How important is it to consider the OPEX cost of gas detectors rather than only the initial CAPEX cost?

For gas detectors that use consumable Electrochemical sensors, it is very important to consider their calibration frequency and sensor life. Frequent calibrations and a short sensor will considerably increase your costs. MSA's latest sensors with TruCal® technology have reduced the cost of ownership due to their 5 year operating life and as they self-calibrate every 6 hours, manual calibrations can be extended up to 2 years.

How can I compare the cost of ownership of the MSA fixed point gas detectors?

To assist you in evaluating the cost of ownership of different gas detectors, please check out MSA's latest online cost of ownership calculator. This calculator includes both CAPEX and OPEX costs, so it gives you a true picture of how much the detector is really costing.

Should I consider installation costs when evaluating offers.

Not all gas detectors need the same number of wires and some require additional interconnecting cabling. Other detectors require larger diameter cables due to their high current consumption. Depending on how long the cable runs are, this additional cost can be significant and should always be considered.

Can MSA offer a complete solution?

MSA manufactures a complete range of wired gas and flame detectors, as well as control systems. Whatever your Fire & Gas design engineers specify, MSA has the solution. Our 360° technology portfolio covers all your needs for detection solutions, training, servicing and supply of spare parts, all at a time.

As well as the supply of detectors we also need to have our service technicians trained on how to maintain them. Is this possible due to COVID?

Introductory and refresher training on our life saving equipment remains critical, even during COVID restrictions. To keep supporting our customers’ training requirements, MSA has launched online training courses for remotely based Service teams. Virtual-Led Training courses will give a real-time learning experience as if technicians were participating in an in-person session.

How can I reduce the maintenance costs of my fixed gas detectors?

Evaluating the OPEX costs when buying gas detectors can significantly reduce your maintenance budget over the 15 to 20 year life of the respective detector e.g. A traditional Electrochemical sensor, with a 1 to 2 year life and 3 or 6 month calibration frequency, will cost considerably more than the new MSA XCell® H2S or CO sensor, which have a 5 year life and 2 year calibration frequency.

We have a number of Fire & Gas systems that were installed several years ago. How can we check their design and the effectiveness of the systems?

MSA can verify your current Fire & Gas system design, the probability of detecting a leak or taking executive action if you are using a voting system. We can also suggest ways to improve your system design by using additional, newer sensor technologies to improve the speed of detection.

What is the best solution for a site with high levels of H2S?

MSA’s H2S solutions include the new Point XCell® Electrochemical, which offers TruCal® fail-safe H2S sensor technology. These new sensors are now able to warn the user if the sensor is unable to detect gas. They also self-calibrate which means the service engineers do not have to be in the hazardous area as often, as manual calibrations can be extended up to 2-years.

Our Open Path H2S gas detectors also increase the level of safety by detecting gas clouds over a large area. They are target gas specific, meaning they only detect H2S, which increases their reliability. They also do not require calibrating, again reducing the time service engineers need to be in the hazardous area.

How can I reduce the risk of servicing the detectors that are mounted at height, which requires a team to calibrate the sensors?

Servicing inaccessible, remote sensors has traditionally been very time consuming, as direct access to the sensor was required to apply the calibration gas. MSA's CalGard Remote Calibration Adapter solves the problem, as the calibration gas can be delivered accurately to the sensor from up to 30 metres away and by a single service engineer.

Can MSA offer tailored solutions to fit my specific needs?

As the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures (Fixed Gas and Flame Detection and Personal Protective Equipment), MSA can provide a wide range of customised solutions. Our engineers have an average of more than 20-years' experience and can provide site surveys to establish the best solution from our complete portfolio of sensing technologies.

Can MSA support the recording of events from your gas detectors for management reports?

Our latest detectors not only record events such as gas readings, alarms, warnings, faults and maintenance, but these can easily be downloaded from the detector via Bluetooth® or HART®. These reports can then be uploaded to a PC for your reports.

MSA Fixed Gas & Flame Detection Solutions

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MSA Fixed Gas & Flame Detection Solutions