We have been informed by “Composite Beat Engels” that the two models of helmets presented in May 2022 and intensively tested in the nuclear industry and other unhealthy environments are now internationally approved for sale. This provides me with the opportunity to describe these helmets again and highlight the advantages companies may have in working with a small manufacturer. Thus, this is an opportunity to highlight the fact that monosourcing of equipment is counterproductive and, in the long term, dangerous for companies. To recall, the two helmets previously presented in June 2022 utilize the same shell. The difference is that one helmet is supplied by a continuous flow system, and the other is equipped with a demand valve regulator. They were initially studied for the needs of "Onet Technologies CN", a company specializing in diving interventions in nuclear power plants that wanted a helmet with a comparable volume to the Divex AH4 and 5 they use, and that were modified due to intermittent intrusion of water that was sometimes noticed in the past, as indicated in the article by Patrick Lucon, "Diving in Nuclear Power Plants," published in our previous edition and available in the section "Food for thought" at the bottom of this home page. These new helmets made by Beat Engel have integrated these modifications and are both perfectly sealed.
The DSL B-2CND is a helmet equipped with a demand regulator, the Scubapro A 700. It provides more internal space than the well-known “DeepSea DSL B-2 Caribe”, and is equipped with a double exhaust valve system that maintains it at a slight positive pressure to avoid water intrusion.
The DSL B-2CNF is a continuous flow helmet designed for interventions in polluted waters and nuclear plants. It is equipped with a large viewport and an adjustable double exhaust valve system that can also be activated by pressing the dedicated button inside the unit with the head.
It must be noted that these sealing refinements were previously in place on the other helmets made by this manufacturer, notably the "DSL B2 Caribe" that "Onet Technologies CN" also successfully used. In addition to diving in nuclear pools where radiation contamination is possible and thus requires a perfectly sealed helmet, the photo below proves that these helmets can be used in the most extreme conditions. They are all equipped with a removable ballast that can be taken out to lighten the weight of the helmet when the divers have to wait outside the water without removing their helmet due to a polluted environment and a lengthy cleaning process.
DeepSea DSL B-2 Caribe
DeepSea DSL B-2 Caribe used in a wastewater treatment plant
Note that the removable ballast is also used to protect the various connections.
I need to clarify that “Diving and ROV Specialists.com” has no financial interest in the company described. Thus, the support for these products comes only from our thought that, for the good of the profession, we need to have several sources of equipment that contractors can choose from. In other words, the rules of the free market are based on supply and demand, and when there is only one supplier, this rule is broken, resulting in the only manufacturer being in a monopolistic situation and imposing its prices and delivery conditions. Regarding this point, we need to look at other industries that have understood the advantage of having several suppliers and thus diversified their sources. Competition pushes producers to progress and propose products at competitive prices, which is not the case if only one manufacturer exists. The simple reason is, why should you make efforts in research if you are alone in the market, and thus, all companies are obliged to pass by you to buy the equipment they need? This is also true when the number of competitors is limited to two or three, as they may arrange to share the market. A monopolistic situation has been a reality in the diving helmet market for two decades, with Kirby Morgan holding the quasi-totality of the market despite some attempts by small manufacturers to enter it. Of course, the problem does not arise from the manufacturer being in such a dominant position. He is simply doing his job of providing reliable products that generate the most comfortable income possible for him, which is the purpose of a commercial company. Thus, the fault lies with the commercial diving industry and the conservatism that many of us have. We have to understand that this behaviour, which many of us consider based on common sense, goes against logical market rules and quality policies that many companies today like to throw in our faces when we request their services. The real logicality should be to compare products and ensure that multiple suppliers exist for each type of equipment. For this reason, I remind you that this website displays a whole page with the addresses of the following other helmet manufacturers (see in “Logistics”):
Kirby Morgan
Of course, some other manufacturers than those above may exist. If that is the case, we will be happy to add them to the list. However, it must be kept in mind that we support only real manufacturers and not people performing copies of existing devices. We can see above that, due to their function, the general design of helmets is similar. However, each manufacturer has products with a particular look and concept. Thus, they must be selected according to the client's needs based on these criteria. Opposite to that counterfeiters have understood they can generate huge profits by imitating products from reputed manufacturers. Regarding this point, I have to say that some counterfeit products are so well done that only people who know the original perfectly can detect them when looking at them. For example, in March 2022. Kirby Morgan emitted a safety bulletin regarding a counterfeit of its famous bandmask KMB 28. The photo below from this bulletin shows that both the original and the counterfeit have an identical look. Kirby Morgan says that the difference becomes obvious when using them as the regulator of the copy is far to provide the same performance and can be considered dangerous. Kirby Morgan provides procedures to detect the copy in a safety bulletin published in August 2022.
Helmet manufacturers
Click on the button below the list to open the page.
The genuine Kirby Morgan is on the right side. Do you see the difference?
We can question how some people made a copy that is an externally perfect replica of the original. The answer is that in its bulletin, Kirby Morgan indicates these people's company name (Haiyun) and website address ( http://www.haiyundive.cn ). A visit to this website shows that these people are "apparently" a company settled and operating in China that sells other models of face masks and other diving equipment. China is a country with substantial industrial capabilities and a vast internal market where clients are not automatically familiar with Kirby Morgan products and safety bulletins. On their website, this copy of the KMB 28 band-mask is called CDM-16. Another question we can ask is how long these people will not be able to replicate the original regulator perfectly. I have interrogated an authentic KMB reseller, Advance Marine in Singapore, regarding the legal actions that have been taken by Kirby Morgan. The fact that KMB has published these bulletins proves that the company management considers a major threat the fact that some people copy their products and usurp their reputation. However, as with many organized illegal activities, it seems that cutting off the head of the company created by these counterfeiters may result in them starting again with a new company. Thus, the problem is not simple, and the current relationships between the US and the Chinese government does not help solving it. On our side, we believe that even if some might have the temptation to purchase such products, they should never do so. This is to avoid violating market regulations and supporting dishonest individuals who steal the names and intellectual property of others. Buying such products encourages these people to continue, resulting in authentic manufacturers losing potential clients and collapsing due to a lack of resources, which is far from profitable for the profession. Furthermore, those who fail to consider the above ethical point should keep in mind that by publishing safety bulletins in March 2022 and August 2022, Kirby Morgan has officially identified the counterfeits. Therefore, equipment resellers cannot ignore that these products exist, and those involved in selling them can be taken to court as members of the counterfeiting chain. Additionally, users of such products expose their company and themselves to the following: Counterfeit helmets are not approved by certification bodies, and therefore, their use is considered illegal and dangerous. The legal authorities of the country may consider that employers who use such helmets have intentionally endangered the lives of their workers and take them to court for this reason. Note that protecting the safety of workers is a key element of the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions. In addition to the authorities, in case of an incident, families of affected people can also take the employer to court with the support of various labour organizations. The insurance company may refuse to cover the accident, if any, and any subsequent projects undertaken by the contractor. As files of insurance companies are often shared, it will be difficult to find another. The contractor using such a product can be taken to court by the client for similar reasons as the authorities. As many clients are now members of organizations, the contractor runs the risk of losing most of them. Members of professional associations can be expelled from these organizations if it is alleged that they have intentionally used counterfeits. Also, their quality system can be considered insufficient and not in line with the minimium requirement members of an organization should apply. Additionally, companies and individuals intentionally using counterfeit products are legally considered a part of the counterfeiting chain, resulting in severe penalties if caught. To conclude the list above, there are more inconveniences to using illegal copies of helmets than actual advantages. Those ready to cross the threshold of legality should think twice. Note that a lot of reputed Chinese manufacturers are listed in our database, which should not be confused with the counterfeiters described above, because they are based in the same country. In fact, we have to consider them as indirect victims of such individuals. Christian CADIEUX
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