BC Earthquake Warning Technology Goes Global With SGS Canada Inc. Partnership

VANCOUVER, Sept. 27, 2016 /CNW/ - Weir-Jones Engineering Ltd., and SGS Canada Inc., have entered into a global Preferred Service Provider agreement that will bring affordable and reliable BC developed Earthquake Early Warning System (EEWS) technology, known as ShakeAlarm®, to countries with high seismic risk that currently do not have proven technology and systems in place that will protect lives in the event of a major earthquake.

The ShakeAlarm® technology can provide up to a 90 second warning of a pending earthquake by determining magnitude before it hits. The system developed by Weir-Jones Engineering has been operational at the George Massey Tunnel in Richmond, BC since 2009. The system is designed to shut the tunnel down and allow traffic to clear to curtail any potential danger. For more than seven years this system has operated without any false alarms, a reliability level of better than 99.99999%.

"ShakeAlarm® is an outstanding example of the exceptional work that Weir-Jones does in the area of movement and stability detection" said James MacFarlane, VP of Industrial Services for SGS Canada Inc. "It is reliable, cost effective, can provide the on-site analysis of 'P' waves in less than 200 milliseconds and it is affordable. It is a product that will save lives and we are going to move it forward internationally through our vast global network," added MacFarlane.

There are 2 waves that are generated when an earthquake occurs. The first wave, the 'P' wave, is a very fast moving non-damaging compression wave. The second wave is the 'S' wave or shear wave and it is the wave that we feel and does all the damage in a major earthquake. The ShakeAlarm® system proprietary technology developed by Weir-Jones measures the 'P' wave, analyses it in  a fraction of a second, and immediately sends out warnings of the coming 'S' or shear wave. 

This signal will save lives. Depending on site, facility or population needs, the signal can trigger specific actions such as turning off gas lines and shutting off water and electrical utilities. If applied to emergency services, it gives first responders an early warning that can also be used to automatically open fire hall doors so firemen can get their equipment out, turn on generators at hospitals and bring systems like SkyTrain and the Canada Line to a controlled stop or to the nearest transit station.

"At Weir-Jones we are known for solving difficult and unique motion detection issues around the world," said owner Iain Weir-Jones. "Working together with SGS means that our technology expertise will be offered internationally. As partners we will always work to improve on the system and to ensure its reliability and advancement," added Iain.

For more information please visit www.weir-jones.com and www.sgs.ca.

SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 85,000 employees, SGS operates a network  of over 1,800 offices and laboratories around the world. SGS Canada Inc., is part of this global network, operating in nine business lines with a team of 2000 employees in 70 locations across the country.

Weir-Jones has been providing custom data collection, analytical services, and project management solutions to clients in the Resource, Civil Construction, Marine and Defense industries since 1971. Based in Vancouver, Canada with a satellite office in Fort McMurray, AB, the heart of Canada's heavy oil industry; Weir-Jones is able to provide complete system design, manufacture, and commissioning services to meet each client's specific needs.

SOURCE SGS Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "Weir-Jones (CNW Group/SGS Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160927_C7419_PHOTO_EN_782332.jpg

Image with caption: "SGS Canada Inc. (CNW Group/SGS Canada Inc.)". Image available at: https://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160927_C7419_PHOTO_EN_782334.jpg

For further information: Fulvio Martinez, Media Relations Manager, SGS Canada Inc., +1 647-929-0411, Fulvio.Martinez@sgs.com; Andrew Weir-Jones, Operations Manager, The Weir-Jones Group, +1 604-732-8821, info@weir-jones.com


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