High Technology Manufacturing

When considering the risk posed by fire, life protection is paramount. However, specialist manufacturers need to consider other business assets suchHigh Tech Brochure as the manufacturing plant, high-value raw materials and finished stocks. The loss of any of these factors of production can set a businesses back years, or even cause it to close altogether.

Continuity of operation is key to the success of specialist or high technology manufacturing industries. Unplanned interruption to the manufacturing processes of pharmaceuticals or chemicals for example, can mean batch rejections resulting in costly losses and a lengthy delay is likely in order to bring the process back on-line. However, avoiding false alarms from fire detection systems can be a challenge as by-products of many manufacturing processes are known causes of false alarm. These can range from heat, steam, dust or aerosols through to exhaust fumes and dirt from loading bays.

Fires start small so whatever the cause, the earliest possible warning provides the greatest opportunity to minimise the impact. Therefore, all potential causes of fire need to be considered when selecting the most appropriate fire detection and alarm system. Risks arise for example, from materials used to clean circuit boards, chemicals with low flash points or reactive properties and the build up of ignition sensitive powder and other fi ne particles.

The challenge therefore is to balance three, often competing priorities: The need for early detection and warning of incipient fires; the avoidance of nuisance false alarms; and the cost of installing and maintaining a fire detection and alarm system.

The Notifier Solution

Notifier's advanced analogue addressable fire systems support a range of detection and evacuation technologies developed to meet these considerations.

Early detection

Different fires give off very different signals. For instance a smouldering fire may produce CO and smoke, but very little infrared signal or change in temperature. The Notifier SMART4 multi-criteria detector combines optical smoke, infrared flame, carbon monoxide and temperature sensors to enable fast, accurate identification of a real fire threat.

For exceptionally early warning capability in the most critical of manufacturing areas VIEW (Very Intelligent Early Warning) detectors pick up even the slightest trace of smoke.  VIEW detectors are often used in ventilation ducts to detect smoke given off in the early stages of fires which may be hidden from view within processing equipment.

Fast, Effective Warning

Advanced cause and effect programming and the ability to integrate your Notifier system with other building automation and control systems means once a fire has been detected the most appropriate actions can be taken immediately.  This may be to delay evacuation until the alarm has been investigated, evacuate a small area or to cease production and inform the emergency services whilst evacuating the entire facility.

Notifier voice alarm systems are particularly effective in controlling a phased evacuation and for announcements during a fire related incident but can also be utilized as an everyday public address system.

Avoiding False Alarms

Key to eliminating false alarms is the ability to tailor your fire detection and alarm systems to the particular requirements of your business. Notifier is renowned for this kind of system flexibility. For example, the SMART4 multi-criteria detector dynamically controls the sensitivity of all of its sensors, distinguishing likely false alarms from real fire signals. This can be particularly useful in areas where smoke or steam are produced as by-product of the normal manufacturing process, however, if flames are detected it is likely there is a real risk from uncontrolled fire.

Choice, Flexibility and Peace of Mind

Notifier works with a network of over 60 fire installation commissioning and maintenance companies, who have completed a comprehensive training programme, and have direct access to extensive product, technical and application support. So, when it comes to installing a system in buildings with specific requirements you can be confident of a choice of competing companies, all with the experience and expertise to meet the challenge.