Higher plant availability through intelligent spark quenching
The leading international manufacturer of preventive fire protection systems will be presenting the new VdS- and FM-certified GreCon IEM intelligent automatic extinguishing system for the first time at Ligna 2023. Equipped with the high-performance extinguishing technology GreCon IET®, this automatic extinguishing system automatically and continuously monitors relevant process parameters of an extinguishing process. Based on these measured values, maintenance processes are objectified and can be systematically planned. In this way, Fagus-GreCon also supports the transformation process of the wood-based materials industry in safety-relevant areas.
Greater productivity through improved diagnostic properties
The functionality of a spark extinguishing system must be ensured at all times. This requires systematic maintenance and servicing of the system. Although general function tests to assess the availability of the system can be carried out quickly, easily and partly automatically, the required assessment of wear or contamination is still much more time-consuming.
And this is exactly where the new automatic extinguishing system IEM comes in. “An important aspect of our digitalisation strategy is to improve the diagnostic properties of our preventive fire protection systems in order to detect wear effects and prevent downtime,” explains Dr Michael Mehlhorn, Head of R & D Fire Protection at Fagus-GreCon.
Together with long-standing industrial partners and the Fraunhofer Institute, the company has developed a quenching system that permanently monitors itself through integrated sensor technology. Thanks to intelligent extinguishing technology IET®, the IEM automatic extinguishing system detects clogging of the nozzles, measures the flow pressure and signals wear of nozzles and valves at an early stage.
Clogged nozzles or insufficient flow pressure are detected and reported directly so that targeted and efficient maintenance can be carried out.
The smallest leaks are automatically detected and reported to the spark extinguishing control unit. When temperatures approach freezing point, the smart automatic extinguishing system activates its integrated heating, thereby ensuring the smooth operation of the system even in winter.
Proactive notification of the upcoming replacement of wear parts enables the plant operator to plan maintenance in an organised manner.
The advantage is obvious: greater productivity through improved plant availability thanks to sustainable maintenance processes based on objective wear data, time and cost savings due to systematically plannable maintenance interventions and avoiding unnecessary maintenance.
Extended service life through maintenance based on wear data
The intelligent extinguishing technology IET® used in the new extinguishing system provides data for the first time, the evaluation of which enables conclusions to be drawn about the degree of wear of the valve. “The better we succeed in adapting the prediction model to the conditions, the better we can determine the time when the respective component has to be replaced” explains Dr Michael Mehlhorn. In future, the operator will be informed of wear and tear at an early stage.
Necessary maintenance work can be planned and unexpected downtimes can be avoided. Wear parts are replaced before they cause faults. Not on suspicion, but on the basis of actual wear data.
This not only extends the maintenance intervals, but also increases the useful life of the spare parts monitored in this way. This approach is not only more sustainable, it also makes it possible to harmonise the two goals of “reduction of unwanted downtimes” and “optimal use of components”, which have previously often been perceived as conflicting.