Industry: Manufacturing, Oil & Gas
Customer Since: 2022
Headquarters: Bridgewater, NJ
Access Control Integration: Johnson Controls Kantech
Savance provides great support and have customizable, easy-to-use solutions for issues like ours.
We needed a system that could track who is on site at any time. It needed to be simple and fast to use during emergency situations, enabling personnel to mark themselves present quickly and reliably.
Messer is a global leader in the oil and gas industry, known as a pioneer for its innovative approaches for enhancing productivity, efficiency, and sustainability. With a legacy dating back to 1898, Messer has a presence in over 60 countries, employing around 11,000 people worldwide. The company’s cutting-edge research and development has led to the creation of state-of-the-art gas applications.
Given the flammable and potentially hazardous nature of certain gasses, people’s lives are at stake every day. Messer’s commitment to ensuring life safety involves stringent employee training, sophisticated facility design, and life safety systems that provide continuous monitoring. Messer invests in cutting-edge safety technologies to provide real-time data on gas storage conditions and potential leaks. By leveraging automation, remote monitoring, and advanced sensors, the company is able to swiftly detect safety threats; however, when an incident occurred, they were unable to quickly and reliably account for who was on site and ensure their safety.
As Messer began building a new facility, the focus shifted from detecting issues to responding to incidents and emergencies when they occur. “We needed a system that could track who is on site at any time”, said Hannah Bulovsky, Engineering Manager at Messer. “It needed to be simple and fast to use during emergency situations, enabling personnel to mark themselves present quickly and reliably”. With the right infrastructure and systems in place to detect emergencies as they occur, Messer still needed a way to manage the proper response and ensure the life safety of every person that was in their facilities.
Knowing what they were looking for, Messer turned to their integrator, Invision Security Group (ISG), for the right solution. Luckily, ISG had been working with IMI and Johnson Controls, and had already steered Messer towards Kantech for their access control system. Thanks to the strong partnership and integration between Savance and Johnson Controls, Savance was the first and only recommendation for an integrated life safety system. After meeting with Messer, ISG, and IMI, it was clear that Savance Workplace was the missing link for Messer, and the design of the system began.
As the solution came to fruition, Savance worked with Messer and ISG to make sure that nobody that entered the Messer facilities would go unaccounted for. An Electronic In Out Board would provide a real-time view of every employee, visitor, and contractor’s status information and last location, and could be viewed from anywhere. Visitors and contractors would be funneled through new, custom-designed Visitor Management kiosks, and would be issued badges similarly to employees.
By integrating with Messer’s access control system, status information would be synced as personnel moved through the Messer facilities; and custom Status Boards would provide a real-time, command center view of who is on site at any given time.
“As part of the complete emergency management system, we worked with Messer to design a custom status board showing all onsite employees and visitors,” says Sofia McClure, Creative Designer at Savance Workplace. “Initially, we were planning for a card-style design with multiple groups/departments; however, as we worked through Messer’s particular use case, they found themselves leaning towards a more traditional row-based status board, listing arrival time, phone number, and – for certain employees – emergency response ranking/access levels.”
In addition to kiosks and the large screen status board, fixed and mobile muster stations would be located throughout the facility and outside, with each station providing a list of the personnel that were on site and needed to be accounted for. People could use their badges at the muster stations to quickly mark themselves present and safe, and if they were to drop or leave their credentials behind as they evacuated, they could also tap their name on the muster station to mark themselves safe.
By integrating Messer’s life safety system with Savance Emergency Management, Messer would be able to tailor their emergency response plan with automated workflows based on the type of incident that occurred. If the life safety system were to detect a gas leak in the facility, the indoor muster stations could display instructions alerting personnel to evacuate the building and muster at the outdoor stations. Since the Savance system is designed to work in offline mode, even if there were an explosion and power and network failed, Messer would still be able to perform a quick and accurate roll call with real-time rosters of everyone that was on-site. Mass notifications could also be sent as part of Messer’s emergency response plan, providing the organization with all of the tools they need to quickly respond to an incident and ensure everyone’s safety.
When it comes to designing and architecting a custom solution, it helps to have the best of the best working together. Steve Bardocz, the chief solution architect for Transocean’s mustering system, was able to work with Messer’s engineers to ensure their life safety and security systems were integrated perfectly with Savance Workplace.
“I am always honored and impressed when our customers cut the red tape, roll up their sleeves, and work directly with us on a solution,” says Steve Bardocz, and describes how he worked with Messer in Visio to merge the Savance Emergency Mustering system diagram with Messer’s safety system diagram. “By merging system diagrams, we were able to illustrate exactly how Messer’s ControlLogix programmable logic controller (PLC) was going to send output signals to us during certain critical events, and how our system would listen to those events with network-based input modules connected to our muster stations,” Bardocz explains. “These, in turn, would decipher the inputs to display customizable messages and lock down the muster station so people wouldn’t erroneously scan their badge or try to assemble/muster.”
The team has been very responsive and helpful when we have encountered issues
Implementing a custom solution with integrations and new processes can be a challenge, but working through them and providing a white glove experience for everyone involved is one of the things that Savance does best. “The team has been very responsive and helpful when we have encountered issues”, said Hannah Bulovsky.
When things change or come up, being able to trust that someone will be there to work through them with you is so important. “Savance quickly helped troubleshoot and resolve some formatting changes that were made to the displays, as well as training and support provided around using the system and with badge creation. Elizabeth and Steve have answered the phone or emails for us many times and typically resolve issues within a day or two.”
Knowing that you could account for the safety of every person in your facilities if there was an emergency is something that every business should be held accountable for, especially if there is significant risk to anyone’s safety. Once Messer’s Savance Workplace system had been in use and battle-tested with drills, Hannah Bulovsky reflected on the peace of mind Messer now has: “We have been using the muster system successfully for a few weeks now, and the system has successfully tracked and accounted for all personnel in emergency drills. We feel it is ready to use in a real situation.” Messer is required to validate critical systems as part of their quality control system, so for Messer to give it the stamp of approval, the system must pass a rigorous set of validation and tests.
When asked if we had solved Messer’s problem and if she would recommend Savance to other companies that face the same challenges, Hannah Bulovsky responded with a resounding yes. “We needed a mustering/headcount system that could ensure everyone would be accounted for during the potential release of hazardous/toxic gasses. This solution is part of our life safety system, and it helps us quickly and accurately track personnel during emergencies without having to worry about paper lists. Savance provides great support and have customizable, easy-to-use solutions for issues like ours.”
Savance’s Steve Bardocz also reflects on the results with excitement. “The Messer project was our first chance to connect our mustering system to the plant and manufacturing floor,” he says. “Now the possibilities are endless.”
We needed a mustering/ headcount system that could ensure everyone would be accounted for during the potential release of hazardous/ toxic gasses