15 June 2022

Introducing Kiwa FSS: Albertine Ibrahim, translating into connection

Every day the experts of Kiwa Fire Safety & Security (FSS) Products put an effort into supporting clients to obtain market access all over the world with the best possible products. One of these experts is sales and account manager Albertine Ibrahim. We talked to Albertine about her work at Kiwa FSS Products and recent product and market developments.

Albertine has quite a history in product testing and certification. Her career started in 1999 at wireless and EMC specialist Telefication. Here she was involved in obtaining type approvals for radio products. After Telefication joined the Kiwa family in 2012, Albertine switched to sales and account management for fire safety and security products, getting the most out of both her technical interests and communicative skills. ‘I have an educational background in languages that I’ve been benefiting from until today. The way I see it, it all comes down to translating:  we translate the technical requirements of the standards into customer-friendly working procedures, we translate the message that Kiwa wants to get across into a newsletter or marketing message and most importantly: we translate the needs of our customers into how we can be of service to them.’

Catch up with clients

As an international sales and account manager, building a relationship with customers is one of Albertine’s biggest driving forces. ‘You can imagine that because of covid the last two years were quite a challenge. There were no fairs, exhibitions and other events, so it was more difficult to get in touch with clients and prospects. Moreover, our clients couldn’t visit Kiwa for product testing and we could not perform onsite audits, which sometimes also led to delays.’ However, Kiwa FSS made excellent use of the covid lockdowns by investing in finetuning the fire lab in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, qualifying auditors in other countries and expanding facilities, like their smoke tunnel and fire chamber with a brand new tunnel for CO and other toxic gases.

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Cyber security

Although this was all time well spent, Albertine is very happy that things are more or less back to normal. ‘We were present at ISE in Barcelona and IFSEC in London and we’ll visit FeuerTrutz in Nürnberg in June and Security Essen in September. So there will be plenty of opportunity for us to catch up with clients on the latest developments in the field of fire safety and security products’. One major development is the increasing connectivity of products. ‘That adds a new dimension to our work at Kiwa FSS as it no longer just evolves around technical and functional requirements, but also cyber security related aspects.’

Global shortage

Another development that has an effect on the fire safety and security market is the global shortage of microchips and other parts. ‘Like many other industries manufacturers of fire alarm and security equipment have difficulties getting the right components for their products. If, for example, crucial detection parts are not available, certain devices simply can’t be manufactured. Of course it is possible to apply alternative components, but these often have to be tested and certified with the product before they can be used. This will continue to challenge the industry for some time I’m afraid.’

Get in touch?

Want to discuss solutions and possibilities with regard to these or any other fire safety and security issues? Feel free to contact Albertine Ibrahim (albertine.ibrahim@kiwa.com or +31 (0)6 83638496) or Henry Rutjes (henry.rutjes@kiwa.com or +31 (0) 6 15647349).