A recent IHS report, titled ‘The World Market for Fire Detection and Suppression Products – 2014 Edition’, has noted that Xtralis boasts the “largest market share growth for fire detectors market globally for the 8th year in a row”.
The report shows Xtralis rose from seventh position in 2006 to fourth in 2013 with a 6,3% global market share, up from 5% in 2006. The company continues to have a “significant lead in the aspirating smoke detection (ASD) category of fire detectors, with an estimated 61,3% market share, up over 15% from 2006 levels. That share does not include China, where Xtralis believes its market share exceeds 80% from sales of its VESDA, ICAM, and FMST ASD products.”
Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to Peter Meikle, marketing manager at Xtralis, to find out more about the company’s success.
Meikle says the company’s success in the aspirating smoke detection (ASD) market is not too surprising since it has been focused on this market for years. During the dotcom era in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Xtralis saw good growth by focusing on telecommunications and Internet companies, but it realised it had to find other industries if it was to continue its growth path. It therefore focused on areas such as manufacturing and logistics, among others, and reduced its exposure to the high-tech arena before the dotcom crash.
As its ASD business grew, new competitors emerged, but Meikle says instead of hurting Xtralis, they evangelised the ASD market and actually helped to grow the market. Xtralis, as virtually a pure-play ASD company, was able to capitalise on this growth.
In terms of the beam market, which Xtralis supports through its OSID (open-area smoke imaging detection) range, the company has also commanded a fair slice of the market. These systems work by detecting smoke in large, open spaces where traditional products aren’t able to cope.
False alarm elimination
Looking ahead, Meikle says Xtralis is focused on developing solutions to do away with false or nuisance alarms. Today’s systems can often raise the alarm when there is too much dust in the air, or can be set off by people smoking. The company is working to pre-empt these alarms and deliver ‘pre-alarm’ warnings to alert users of the potential issue.
New ASD systems will have four alarm levels, two pre-alarms to warn of potential problems and two ‘final alarms’ when smoke or gas is detected. He says the nuisance alarm problem is being addressed more effectively than ever before and work on dealing with the issue is ongoing.
Verifying that fire alarms are real is becoming more important globally with the authorities in some countries refusing to respond to an unverified alarm, which can have devastating results. As we’ve seen in South Africa’s guarding industry, false alarms can lead to enormous costs if a response team investigates every alarm.
As more security companies are talking about the added value of business intelligence, Xtralis is also providing intelligence in its reports. For example, the company uses complex algorithms to detect dust and other gases; it can therefore warn companies of environmental issues and allow them to take action before they become a problem.
Another newcomer from Xtralis is its VESDA VLQ ASD product, designed to protect smaller areas at a lower cost than traditional detectors. Meikle says the VLQ will open new markets for detection in smaller areas in, for example, cellular, residential and medical sites.
The company expects to continue posting good results as there are more new and improved solutions that will be unveiled over time. The focus for Xtralis is to enhance detection and reduce maintenance, while supplying intelligence its customers can use.
For the full IHS report, go to technology.ihs.com/438723/fire-detection-suppression-2014 (short URL: http://goo.gl/hMVmR4).
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