Productive? But for sure!
Safety and reliability are elementary for smooth production. Alfred Tenner reveals how we can now protect our foundry even better from fires. Continue reading
Things get hot in our foundry. The stainless steel we use for our high-performance components is prepared for centrifugal casting in large melting furnaces. Alfred Tenner, Managing Director of kuhn.innovation, explains how we are modernising our fire protection here thanks to a customised solution and close cooperation.
In Radevormwald, more than 350 employees work every day to produce stainless steel products for industries ranging from decanter construction and motor technology to galvanizing plants and engine construction. “Our customers know that they can rely on us for the best quality and fast delivery times,” says Alfred Tenner, Managing Director of kuhn.innovation and leader of the modernisation project. “Of course, we want it to stay that way in the future.” The heart of production is the centrifugal foundry with its melting furnaces, which are monitored by control cabinets in the furnace cellar. They need special protection.
Extinguishing fires – but in the right way
“The biggest challenge of the modernisation process was the room where the control cabinets are located,” Alfred Tenner explains. “In the event of a fire, it would have had to be completely flooded with extinguishing agent.” The consequence: production stoppages until the damage is repaired. A holistic solution was therefore required. Together with a leading fire protection provider, Kuhn Edelstahl developed a customised concept for this.
Turning one room into four
How can the spread of fire be effectively prevented, the health of our employees be protected, and, at the same time, possible production losses be minimised? Alfred Tenner: “If the cabinets are separated from each other by fire- and smoke-proof brick walls, no fire can spread from one to the other. This way, if the worst came to the worst, we would only have to discharge extinguishing agent into the section, and the damage would remain limited to one room.” The solution for the centrifugal foundry’s furnace cellar is even more precise and integrates the fire detection and extinguishing technology directly into the control cabinets. Consequently, the CO2 gets directly to the possible seats of fire and can extinguish them very quickly and effectively.
Safe power supply
In addition to the furnace cellar, two other transformer rooms, which supply the Radevormwald site with electricity, were modernised. Here, extinguishing systems now ensure safety by distributing the non-conductive and effective extinguishing gas, Novec 1230, in the room in case of fire. Its advantages: it is very safe for people, leaves no residue and is environmentally friendly.
Perfectly coordinated with strong partners
The new fire protection concept is implemented during ongoing operations in order to maintain the high availability of production. “During the entire process, all the trades coordinated their work excellently – from the external fire-fighting experts to the bricklayers and metalworkers – and fitted in with the production department,” says Alfred Tenner, visibly satisfied. “We have even been able to implement customer orders at short notice in this way.” With the completely renewed fire protection technology, Kuhn Edelstahl demonstrates once again: you can rely on us!