Small new fire panel has big capabilities

Designed to be affordable for the small commercial market, Tyco SimplexGrinnell’s new panel has features and functions of high-end systems
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

LAS VEGAS—If Goldilocks were a small business, the smart, new Simplex 4007ES fire alarm panel would be just right for her.

The small, expandable panel—which Tyco SimplexGrinnell was demonstrating for the first time at the NFPA Conference & Expo, held here June 9-12—offers the features and functions of larger systems but is affordable for smaller projects, the company said. Among its features is TrueInsight, a component of the company’s eServices technology, which provides remote diagnostics for the panel 24/7.

The company already offers the Simplex 4010 panel for the mid-range market, Jason Crouch, senior product manager, Simplex products, Tyco Fire Protection Products, told Security Systems News, in an interview prior to the show. He noted that the company also offers the Simplex 4100ES for high-end users, such as large hospitals.

But now there’s the 4007ES. It’s like a “Baby Bear” new addition to those “Mama Bear” and “Papa Bear” panels. The company says it’s just as robust as the other two, but more cost-effective for the low-end small commercial market.

“It’s a very interesting product,” Crouch told SSN. “It’s almost like a new child is born … with a full-fledged advanced feature set from its parents.”

He said it is designed for such projects as strip malls or small schools.

“Typically,” Crouch said, “panels that play in that low end arena have a basic feature set, but what we’ve incorporated are some very high-end features, like the addressable notification and the eServices capability, into this small panel.”

The panel has two versions, an addressable panel intended for new construction, and a hybrid version that combines conventional and addressable technology, ideal for upgrades and retrofit projects.

John Haynes, global director of Simplex products, Tyco Fire Protection Products, told SSN that the panel was among the “game-changing” products Tyco SimplexGrinnell was displaying at the show.

Chris Woodcock, Tyco SimplexGrinnell director, marketing communications, that the company was highlighting its eServices solution at the show.

He said the goal of that Web-based connected technology is “to provide more value for out customers,” by using technology “in a way that makes their lives easier, lowers their costs over the life cycle of their system, ensures the business continuity of their operation and at the same time delivers outstanding protection.”

One of the features of eServices is electronic inspection reporting, “streamlining the life safety system testing and inspection process,” Woodcock said.

He said TrueInsight is another components of eServices.

With TrueInsight’s remote diagnostic technology, expert technicians based in the company’s headquarters in Westminster, Mass. “have a [24/7] view into a customer’s fire alarm system,” Woodcock said.

“If there’s a condition on the panel, it sends an automatic notification to our expert technicians here and we can really determine what’s the best course of action,” he explained.

Woodcock continued: “The information comes in, we can diagnose it, understand what’s going on and proactively reach out to the customer and say, ‘This is the situation with your system.’”

He said it could be something that needs immediate attention—in which case a technician with the right tools and parts could be dispatched from one of SimplexGrinnell’s local offices. Or it could be more maintenance oriented—such as a smoke detectors reaching an almost dirty condition—and cleaning could be scheduled for the next service call.

“It’s really about improving that whole customer experience, with an eye toward more uptime, less disruption, more efficiency and lower cost,” Woodcock said.