Whether it is in the strength of the brackets, the use of cartridge operation or the IP rating of our electronics, every part of an Ansul system has been built with the requirements of miners as its focus
There is always the temptation amongst mining companies managing stressed assets face these days of the going the cheaper option route in procurement of critical equipment. In view of this, Johnson Controls advises mining companies to exercise prudence when shopping around for vehicle fire suppression systems, considering their significance in mine site safety.
Johnson Controls calls attention to its capabilities in addressing the exact needs of clients in the global mining sector. The company underlines its experience in product engineering and customising for clients, sheds light on product range and offers advice on proper usage to the end-user.
Fire suppression for a wide range of off-road applications
Johnson Controls has been supplying its Ansul vehicle fire suppression systems, which are also suitable for a wide range of off-road applications, to mines for the past 60 years devotedly. Ansul vehicle suppression systems are also suitable for a wide range of off-road applications.
Engineered with miners’ requirements at heart
Johnson Controls always ensures that its off-road vehicle fire suppression systems with standard demands of the unforgiving mining environment. “The nature of mining is that it is often in harsh environments and is always hard on the equipment that is used.
“We engineer our product to be able to cope with this environment. Whether it is in the strength of the brackets, the use of cartridge operation or the IP rating of our electronics, every part of an Ansul system has been built with the requirements of miners as its focus,” says John Swinton, Head of Sales Ansul Vehicle Systems.
Automatic and manual suppression system options
The Ansul vehicle fire suppression system is available in both automatic and manual options. Johnson Controls renders advice to clients on the most appropriate Ansul product option they can use for their respective requirements.
Swinton explains conditions in which each of these would be suited. “Wherever possible, an automatic detection and actuation system, which is where the system detects a fire then shuts down the equipment (if configured) and discharges the agent(s), should be used.
There may, however, be environments, machines or working practices where an automatic system is not the best choice and a manually actuated system is preferable. This should be defined using a structured fire risk assessment on the individual equipment in its working environment and the local legislation on actuation type should be adhered to.”
He clarifies that its automatic systems have the ability to be manually actuated as well as being configured for alarm only if the FRA defines that requirement rather than fully automatic.
Choosing the right agent
Johnson Controls has identified choosing the right agent for their suppression systems as one of the challenges that clients face. The company has Dry Chemical, LVS and Twin Agent systems. And so, the company tells clients that Agent choice should be led by a fire risk assessment carried out by competent persons.
“Dry Chemical, LVS and Twin Agent systems all have their place in vehicle fire protection. We recommend that all vehicles with superheated surfaces, for example, turbo chargers, must consider protecting these with LVS, either as part of a twin agent system or in an LVS standalone system. This can ensure cooling of these potential ignition points,” Swinton points out
Ansul fire suppression systems specifically use a FORAY dry chemical agent for Class A, B and C category fires. The FORAY is manufactured specifically for use with the systems. The fast knockdown makes it an ideal agent for use on large excavators, as well as smaller machines such as pumps or lighting towers where super-heated surfaces are not a risk factor.
New product developments
The expectations of mining companies are constantly changing as regulators are cracking the whip on noncompliance. Duly, Johnson Controls is continuously testing and developing systems in response to industry and customer demands on a global and local basis. So far, there have been simple changes to brackets to make them easier to install and use or significant changes that allow a larger number of nozzles to be used on our agent tanks.
The company reveals to Ansul end-users that more product changes or updates are in the offing in 2019 to ensure that their mines and miners are sufficiently protected. This is above and beyond the ones that have been launched.
Johnson Controls is aware that a product is only effective if it is used according to instructions. With respect to the scope of the liability of its product, it always stresses, that as, with any product, the owners and users should be sure to review all of the documentation provided to them by the system supplier.
“Details on maintenance requirements and how the systems work are provided. Should end users feel that they would benefit from on-site operator training in system usage they should contact their local Ansul distributor.”
Wide usage across sectors
Ansul has become a product of choice in vehicle fire suppression, enjoying wide usage in a number of sectors. High-profile mining companies are using Ansul vehicle fire suppression systems in Africa, from Mauritania in the west to Eritrea in the East and from Tunisia in the North to South Africa and many places in between.
Ansul systems are trusted and used throughout the African continent in the mining of every commodity that is currently taken out of the ground. With the system, both open cast and underground miners’ lives and livelihoods are protected every day. Over and above the mining sector, Ansul is used in POG, power generation, forestry and Intermodal industries to name a few.