BOOYCO BRINGS NEW TECHNOLOGY TO FIRE SUPPRESSION MARKET

Building on its established reputation in proximity detection systems (PDS), Booyco Electronics is now also offering the latest fire suppression technologies to help customers manage their health and safety risk.

“It was a natural extension of our business to move into fire suppression,” says Anton Lourens, managing director of Booyco Electronics. “As experts in PDS detection, our equipment is vital in detecting potential dangers around TMM’s. Now we can also offer the latest suppression systems as part of the total solution from a single service provider thereby creating a better value proposition.”

Lourens emphasises that the effectiveness of fire detection and suppression systems is becoming a more urgent issue for mines as there are new SANS standards being formulated for fire detection and suppression systems on heavy duty mining machines.

He says the company will be the preferred distributor for Advanced Automation Systems (AAS), the company which exclusively markets the DAFO brand of vehicle fire protection and FirePro aerosol-based extinguishing systems in South Africa.

“We believe that AAS is a market leader in multiple offerings that hold great value for our existing customer base in the mining and related industrial sectors,” says Lourens. “Our long established geographical footprint, sound reputation and strong relationships in the market will, in turn, offer great opportunities for AAS to grow its impact.”

He highlights the technological advances built into these products, emphasising that mines are more than ever needing to embrace new technologies for more effective technical and bottom line performance. The DAFO products – a world-renowned brand based in Sweden – include a wet chemical-based system that is engineered to inhibit the chemical reaction of the fire while extensively cooling the hot surface and finally creating a film forming to prevent further re-ignition.

“This is an important step forward from existing dry chemical powder-based fire suppression systems, which either extinguish the fire by suffocation or by chemical inhibition but do not address the issue of cooling,” he says. “Cooling is vital if the fire is to be completely extinguished and for no possibility of re-ignition to exist.”

He says the use of wet chemical rather than dry chemical powder also reduces the maintenance requirements, as it is not affected by the vibration of the machine and is non-corrosive, non-toxic, environmentally friendly and water soluble. The system can be used on load-haul dumpers, utility vehicles and other underground machinery, as well as surface shovels and haulers. It is also suitable for conveyors and other materials handling equipment.

FirePro Systems is also a global brand, with installations in over 110 countries, and is a leader in condensed aerosol fire extinguishing technology. In contrast to traditional methods, FirePro aerosol extinguishes fire by inhibiting the chemical chain reactions present in combustion on a molecular level – removing the flame free radicals and extinguishing fire without depleting oxygen. The aerosol is stored as a solid and under no pressure which gives the product an extended life span with virtually no maintenance requirements. The FirePro products are non-corrosive, non-conductive, non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

These systems can therefore protect enclosures of any volumetric size, from less than a cubic metre to thousands of cubic metres. This makes them suitable for equipment such as motor control centres, electrical panels, substations, mini-substations, e-houses and electrical mining skids.

A typical system layout for a DAFO fire protection system.

“Both the DAFO and FirePro offerings come with environmental advantages, which will be required by the new standards on fire suppression,” says Lourens. “The standards will also include a performance test, to ensure that technology being offered is fit-for-purpose and reliable before it can be approved.”

He concludes that Booyco Electronics will be putting its weight behind these systems because they are proven and will ensure optimal reliability; the company also ensures that its strong support network of skilled personnel is in place to implement and maintain these solutions.

FirePro products extinguish fire by inhibiting the chemical chain reactions.

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