Sample screen showing Matrix Engineering’s software.

Simplicity Is Watchword For Matrix Software

Simplicity and ease of use while covering all required Subchapter M bases at the lowest cost. That’s what Matrix Engineering PLLC of Paducah, Ky., says its inland marine customers want from its Subchapter M compliance automation and notification packages, and it is happy to help them comply.

As Subchapter M is fully upon the inland industry this month, Mike Eck told The Waterways Journal that Matrix has been getting lots of calls. Eck is the owner and electrical/controls engineer at Matrix Engineering. “We have a lot of extremely happy customers, and the word is getting around,” said Eck.

“Our system has an alarm summary and is a continuous self-monitoring system that actuates if an alarm point fails or becomes disabled.  The alarms will continue until acknowledged and are visible and audible in the engineroom as well as the pilothouse.  In addition, a test function is built into the system for testing all analog alarm points.”

Range Of Services

Matrix Engineering provides a range of consulting engineering services to industrial clients including major producers of chemicals, pulp and paper, steel, minerals, water treatment, food ingredients, pharmaceutical binders, cosmetic gels and powders, and tobacco products.  It bills itself as the industry leader for pulverized fuel feed systems for lime recovery kilns.

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Alarm and notification system software packages for inland boats are a newer market, but one that Eck expects to grow. “It is an easy transition from the kinds of clients we’ve had,” he said.

“Mike is being a bit modest,” said Larry Jenkins, an account manager at Rockwell Automation, whose hardware is included in Matrix’s packages for inland customers. “Mike has extensive experience with some of the biggest and most familiar names on the inland waterways.” Ingram Barge is one of the customer logos on Matrix’s website.

All alarms go to a screen in the wheelhouse. When an alarm signals a condition, the screen brightens temporarily, then dims again when the condition is resolved, in order to meet a Coast Guard requirement that screens should not interfere with pilots’ vision.

“We also have a testing function for our analog alarms that is simplicity itself,” said Eck. “The ability to test alarms is required by the Coast Guard, and with our system, you just have to push a button.”

“We are also happy to supply certification letters,” adds Eck. “One customer asked for them even though they are not strictly required for all alarm systems. They are required for engineroom fire alarms, and this customer extended the idea to other notification systems, thinking it would make things easier with the Coast Guard. Since I am a professional engineer, I am happy to do that. Of course, we stand completely behind anything we do.”

(Photo: Sample screen showing Matrix Engineering’s software.)