Interview with Natale Mozzanica, CEO on Mozzanica, on the significant order to supply self-sontained breathing apparatuses for a cruise ship owner.

When a famous cruise ship owner asked you to assist in evaluating self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs), how did Mozzanica respond?

When the owner contacted us, we immediately put our experience gained in the chemical sector to good use.

This not only allowed us to advise them adequately, but also enabled us to bring to Italy the largest order of SCBAs ever acquired in the history of MSA Italia.

What was the initial approach to tackling this project?

The approach was gradual. The collaboration between the technical teams of our two companies was fundamental. Ideas needed to be thoroughly explored, and the supply specifications had to be refined, even if the ship owner was already supported by competing companies from Northern Europe.

What were the basic requirements for the SCBAs?

The SCBAs had to comply with international and flag state regulations, ensuring full autonomy for the operator in a context where mistakes are not permitted. As usual for new projects, we decided to work in phases.

How did you proceed in assessing the customer's needs?

It was essential to understand the customer's needs, evaluate the relevant regulations, the flag state's requirements, and the ship owner's directives. This provided us with all the necessary data to submit to MSA for a proper needs assessment.

Was there a specific reason why the shipowner chose to source from Europe?

Yes, the owner has chosen to stock up in Europe rather than the US to have a smaller backplate than American standards. This was essential for a crew made up predominantly of Asian personnel.

What other considerations were made regarding the SCBAs?

On board a ship, timing and the right equipment are essential. The type of SCBA, their location, the speed of putting them on, the need for rapid cylinder changes, communication methods, and good visibility in confined spaces become fundamental requirements.

How was the most suitable model of SCBA chosen?

After gathering all the information with MSA, we evaluated the initially identified models and determined the most suitable one, presenting it to the client. We explained the features, analyzed the individual components, and verified compatibility with the existing equipment that the client intended to utilize.

What model was chosen?

The AirGo Pro model was confirmed, a very versatile system that can be used in a wide range of emergency situations, first aid and rescue operations. It is the ideal solution for firefighters and first responders.

How was the equipment tested?

A large ship of the same owner, under construction at Fincantieri, provided the opportunity to fine-tune the equipment. The first supply of 35 SCBAs allowed us to test the new equipment in the field. An in-depth training course enabled the personnel to familiarize themselves with the new equipment and appreciate the differences and improvements compared to the equipment previously in use.

What was the next step after determining the model?

After determining the model, the shipowner launched an international tender for the supply of SCBAs for the entire fleet, including helmets and communication systems. The tender was awarded using an electronic auction.

Did you participate in the tender?

Yes, we were invited and participated. We didn't present the lowest price but the price we believed was most fair for the proposed product. We were immensely satisfied when we were informed that the tender, evaluated using the "weighted economic score" method, had awarded us the supply contract.

What were the details of the contract?

The contract, which already involves 10 ships, includes the delivery of 750 complete AirGo Pro self-contained breathing apparatus units and 2,100 spare air cylinders. The expertise developed in the chemical sector has enabled Mozzanica to communicate competently with the client, and the knowledge and specialization of MSA have allowed us to provide the most suitable equipment for the specific risks of the Marine sector.

How is the maintenance of the SCBAs managed?

The Service structure, which was already handling the maintenance of SCBAs, has been enhanced by the creation of a dedicated laboratory at the Osnago (LC) facility and the acquisition of mobile equipment both at the Mozzanica USA LLC headquarters in West Palm Beach (Florida) and at the Osnago (LC) facility. This allows us to perform all maintenance and testing operations directly on board the ship. Additionally, maintenance will be managed with a computerized system connected to a cloud-based portal available to the client.

Who will benefit from these new services?

All clients who use SCBAs in the industrial sector, particularly in the chemical and oil & gas sectors, will benefit from these new services. n

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