Mija layers wireless into 2nd generation products

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Friday, July 1, 2005

ROCKLAND, Mass.--Mija Industries released its second generation of products in the spring, adding new wireless capabilities that the company hopes will further entrench its use in the industry, while at the same time widening its customer base.
First promoted at the 2003 ISC West conference in Las Vegas, Mija's En-Gauge product enables remote monitoring of fire extinguishers for detection of theft or possible equipment failure. It is comprised of a tube pressure gauge and a sensor interface module. It was the first product of its kind in the market.
In its latest offerings, the company added wireless networking features operating in the 900Mhz range for the commercial market and, for the first time, residential applications.
"The biggest number one reason we did this was for the retrofit market," said Tim Rose, director of product management, En-Gauge. Instead of hardwiring the extinguisher back to the panel, the company's product can transmit signals wirelessly at a reduced cost.
Rose said a recent estimate to install a wireless version of the company's products at a night club ran in the area of $250 per point for labor and equipment versus $700 for a non-Mija product.
Mija partnered with Inovonics Wireless Corp. in order to integrate wireless technology with its products. Inovonics is a Louisville, Colo.-based manufacturer of wireless signal and control communications products.
Rose said Mija executives researched approximately 30 companies in the space, but ultimately narrowed it down to five before going with Inovonics.
"They were willing to work with us to modify their products," explained Rose, who said the company has more than one million transmitters in the market. "It was a no-brainer we went with these guys."
Inovonics will not only provide its knowledge of the space, but also distribute Mija-enhanced wireless products through its dealer network.
"We have very comparable channels and technologies," said Mark Jarman, vice president of sales at Inovonics. "It's a very natural fit."
In a commercial application, the second-generation product transmits a signal to either an alarm panel or a building's monitoring system. In both scenarios, an end user will be notified when the fire extinguisher is removed, obstructed or the canister's pressure decreases to an unacceptable level.
Marketed for use in high-end homes, the residential product features a sounding device unlike the commercial version.