Smoke Detection for Industrial Manufacturing Facilities

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Industrial manufacturing is responsible for the production of goods  that we use and/or sell every day. Manufacturing Facilities turn raw materials into finished goods and not only provide the basis of many businesses, but are also essential to modern living.

Any interruption to the manufacturing process is not only costly to the manufacturers themselves but affects the entire supply chain with costly repercussions, therefore it is essential that a fast and reliable fire detection system is in place.

What are the Fire Risks Associated with Manufacturing Facilities?

There are a number of aspects present in a manufacturing facility that contribute to an increased risk of fire:

  • Machinery and Equipment
    Machinery and equipment that is used as part of the manufacturing process, such as conveyor belts and forklifts, can produce excess heat and flames from  an electrical or mechanical fault if the equipment is ill-maintained or faulty.
  • Flammable Fluids
    Flammable fluids such as paints and adhesives are extremely volatile and create an increased risk of fire if not used or stored correctly.
  • Combustible dust
    Dust from manufacturing materials such as paper or wood is extremely combustible and can not only ignite quickly, but  can help a fire to spread rapidly throughout the building.

These are just some of the fire risks that are present in manufacturing facilities. There is a huge catalogue of combustible materials and ignition sources present in most manufacturing plants all supporting the need for fast and reliable fire detection.

The importance of reliable detection?

Reliable and fast fire detection is crucial for manufacturing facilities. Disruption to the supply chain doesn't just affect manufacturers, it affects the clients too. If the supply of goods is interrupted retailers have no products to sell, builders have no materials to build with and restaurants have no food to cook with. Damage from fire or smoke, downtime in the manufacturing facilities or even small interruptions in the manufacturing process can not only costs manufacturers and the clients a great deal of money, but can take years to overcome.

What are the Challenges when Designing A Reliable Fire Detection System for a Manufacturing Facility?

Industrial manufacturing environments present a number of unique challenges when it comes to designing a reliable fire detection system:

  • Dust and dirt
    Dust, dirt and particles from manufacturing materials are often present in manufacturing facilities. Particles from plastic, metals and even chemicals that are used during the manufacturing process can hinder traditional type detectors and these are therefore unable to provide reliable detection.
  • Voluminous Areas
    Manufacturing environments are often very large open spaces with high ceilings. This means that the time it takes for smoke from a fire to reach traditional point detectors is increased and gives delayed response times. Smoke stratification also causes difficulties for fast and reliable detection.

What is the Solution?

With the unique risks and challenges present in manufacturing facilities Aspirating Smoke Detection can provide a fast and reliable fire detection solution. Aspirating Smoke Detection (or ASD) actively draws air from the protected area, not only helping the smoke reach the detector as quickly as possible but also overcoming the challenges created by large open spaces and smoke stratification.

In particular, the VESDA VLI Aspirating Smoke Detector is designed to offer high invulnerability to contaminated and degraded air and is able to differentiate between dust particles, chemicals or particles from manufacturing materials and smoke, therefore, providing reliable fire detection with reduced risk of false alarm.

VESDA VLI

Thanks to its patented long-life intelligent filter, the VESDA VLI ASD does not only offer increased reliability but also requires less maintenance than traditional smoke detection. When regular maintenance is necessary it can be carried out easily and effectively without disrupting the operation of the manufacturing facility.

VESDA VLI Aspirating Smoke Detectors can help to keep manufacturing facilities operational, providing reliable and fast detection.  As well as a reliable ASD, Video Smoke Detection used to verify and pinpoint a fire's location, and effective use of Linear Heat detection for conveyors and machinery, can help to keep a manufacturing facility safe from fire and reduce the risk of devastating consequences due to fire.


Eurofyre are specialist designers and suppliers of aspirating smoke detection systems. We have a broad range of ASD systems available including our own EF-ASD systems. We also work closely with Xtralis to provide an even wider range of systems including the new VESDA-E range, providing technical support throughout the design, installation and maintenance of the system.

For more information on the aspirating smoke detection systems that we have available, or to discuss the right solution for your smoke detection needs please feel free to get in touch either by telephone on +44 (0)1329 835024, email to sales@eurofyre.co.uk, or via the form on our contact page.

 

Mark Redfearn

Posted by Mark Redfearn

Mark is the technical services manager at Eurofyre.

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