Lighting the way

Originally founded as an importer of diamond tools for the building industry in 1975, it wasn’t until ten years later that Daniamant first developed an International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved lifejacket light. Since 1985 the company has been focused on the development, manufacture and sale of survivor location lights for lifejackets, liferafts and lifebuoys. Daniamant is now a global market leader within the survivor location light industry. In 2006 Daniamant acquired the survivor location lights division of McMurdo Ltd, a UK company with a long history within the sector, establishing the biggest company in the world operating in this niche market.

Within the shipping industry, which is one of the largest in the world, not to mention the substantial leisure market, safety is of paramount importance. IMO has a number of comprehensive regulations in place as part of its International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), a key part of which requires survivor locator lights to be approved to strict quality standards. Despite this a number of inferior products are available with the approved ‘Ships wheel mark’, as companies attempt to produce the cheapest light possible. Sadly the quality of survivor locator lights can drastically affect the chances of a victim’s rescue following an accident and in reality some of these ‘approved’ products do not meet the required standards.

Some of the most common failings of products on the open market are that the LED is the wrong colour, the light does not last the full eight hours operational time, the light will not operate in extremes of temperature, the lithium cells are connected in such a way that they may not turn on, or even that the light will potentially cause a fire. Of particular concern is the fact that the IMO regulations only cover commercial fleets and so the majority of leisure users rely on other documentation for advice on which products to purchase. This documentation often contains little or no guidance on the type of lifejacket lights that should be used and as such leisure customers may purchase inappropriate or substandard systems.

Daniamant survivor locator lights are designed and manufactured in accordance to all relevant regulations and have approval to SOLAS and the Marine Equipment Directive (MED), which covers certain equipment used on ships registered under the EU. This initial commitment demonstrates the quality of Daniamant products and that they are fit for purpose. In addition to this initial type approval requirement Daniamant conducts regular destructive testing on all its product range to ensure it maintains these high standards. Every batch that is produced is tested in accordance with ISO24408. Although it is becoming increasingly challenging to compete with the price of these inferior and therefore more cheaply made products, Daniamant refuses to compromise on the quality and safety of its own lights.

Arne Gillin, managing director of Daniamant, comments on the challenges of substandard products on the market: “Not all of our competitors comply with the regulations and this not only leads to an inferior standard of lightbut also pressure to change the requirements. An example of this is the recent addition of a new test standard (ISO24408) to the Marine Equipment Directive. Daniamant invested a lot of time and money into complying with this, but some of our competitors could not meet the new regulation and so pressure was put on the Notified Bodies and Administrations to remove the new regulation from the Marine Equipment Directive rather than enforcing it to improve safety at sea – unfortunately they succeeded.”

Regular investment in new developments means Daniamant’s product portfolio boasts a number of new innovations, some of which Arne highlights: “Over the past couple of years we have developed a new range of lifebuoy lights, some of which have never been on the market before. With the L162/L163 we have the first lights in the marketplace approved by the US Coastguard to SOLAS, but also including UL approval and ETL Listings. We also produce the only safety light in the world which can be used on oil and gas tankers and rigs, which is ATEX/IECEx approved. Currently we’re concluding development of a new innovative lifejacket light, which will be manufactured and available for sale within a few months. Furthermore, we’re looking into redeveloping our liferaft lights, which will also be on the market during 2011.”

Having such a strong market presence is testament to the quality of Daniamant’s products and its reputation for manufacturing lights of the highest safety standards. “I believe our leading position is due to our quality, price and distribution channels. We have a very big market share for some of our products, although we can still identify opportunities for growth. We have the capability, the knowledge and the financial strength to move into new markets as and when we identify such opportunities,” explains Arne.

With this in mind, he concludes with Daniamant’s vision for the future: “We hope to maintain our growth and to increase our market shares, despite the growing competitiveness of the market. We are also looking into the possibility of moving into other related markets such as those within the SOLAS as this is our core knowledge base.”

Global leader in quality survivor location lights

Fully compliant with all regulations and legislation

At the forefront of innovative new developments