ALFELD – Wherever combustible, fine materials exist in industrial processes, fires and explosions can occur for different reasons but generally with devastating consequences. State-of-the art systems that detect and eliminate sparks can effectively avoid damage to property and people as well as cost-intensive production downtime.
The Martin Bauer Group situated in Vestenbergsgreuth/Middle Franconia (Germany) has many years of experience in the tea industry. Founded in 1930 as an herb processing factory, the company produces today on that site many thousand tons of herbal and fruit teas, medicinal teas as well as aromatized black and green teas. In addition they process herbal powders as well as herbal, fruit and tea extracts.
Having experienced fires from time to time, with their consequence of cost and production interruption the company decided 16 years ago to monitor production areas with GreCon spark detection and extinguishing systems. Since then, any ignition source occurring in the ducts has been reliably detected and extinguished just in time. „Our order books are full and we cannot allow ourselves to have production downtimes“, says Konrad Ohlmann (Production Manager of the Martin Bauer Group) emphasizing the importance of such a fire and explosion protection system.
To ensure high performance detection, GreCon spark detector types „FM 1/8“ are used throughout the Martin Bauer Group. These highly sensitive detectors also recognize ignition sources that are hidden among the product flow – even when the detector’s optic is suffering some material accumulation.
Optimal extinguishing means already existing at the customer
At the Martin Bauer Group, the extinguishment of all identified ignition sources is achieved with hot water steam having a temperature of 120° C. Steam from their production processes is always available and is most suitable for any extinguishment within the material flow. Due to the really low water quantity that is absorbed into the product flow, the impact on the following production steps is reduced to a minimum. To further reduce the total quantity of water, extinguishment is only made in highly endangered plant areas. „Today, I could not imagine running our production without having installed GreCon spark extinguishing systems. I do not take the risk of a blind flight any more “, says Production Manager Ohlmann.
Today five spark extinguishing systems are installed at the Martin Bauer Group providing protection to 38 detector/extinguishing areas. In 2014, the company invested in an upgrade i.e. in the state-of-the-art spark extinguishing console with 10″ colour display and self-explaining “touch & slide” function. Thus operators are able to call up and evaluate desired information (alarm area, frequency, duration etc.) from various levels in a quick and tightly arranged manner.
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