Fike UK has enhanced its already extensive range of high quality, safety driven products with the introduction of the Fike Dust Detection System (FDDS). The FDDS functions by signaling the presence of unusually high airborne dust particles enabling the prevention of explosion devastating the workplace. Keith Avila, General Manager of Fike UK said of the new product launch: “A dust explosion can be potentially catastrophic. We are very proud to be the first in the industry to introduce such ground breaking technology and be at the forefront of providing safety solutions like this which prevent devastating and irreversible effects.” Signs of potential contamination The advanced technology is installed in ducts and will alert a business to any early warning signs Featuring unique technology the FDDS – a processor based device – can identify levels of dust that can cause explosive hazards whilst also having the ability to validate the protection of non-zoned areas. The advanced technology is installed in ducts and will alert a business to any early warning signs of potential contamination caused by nuisance dusts. The system works by detecting the normal amount of dust particles passing by with an easy ‘traffic-light’ notification system indicating the levels of dust concentration within the duct. Advanced filtering algorithms Commenting on the benefits of the new product Keith said: “As well as detection, it comes with an additional layer of protection which removes any potential hazardous dust zones, whilst also being able to detect leaking filter bags. One of the key benefits of the FDDS for our customers is it requires little or no maintenance – a feature that really appeals to them in terms of cost efficiency and resourcing.” The use of innovative Inductive Electrification technology sets the product ahead of other optical or tribo-electric devices by determining the background acceptable level of dust during normal process operation and triggering alarms at different pre-set dust concentration levels when these are attained. This is coupled with running advanced filtering algorithms that can detect the smallest of dust concentration variations and provide the most accurate dust measurement signaling. Combustible dust particles Dusts can be caused through various means including transporting, handling, processing, and polishing Dust is a serious health and safety consideration with a wide range of materials capable of causing a dust explosion. These include anything from agricultural products and metals, through to chemicals, wood and many more raw materials. Dusts can be caused through various means including transporting, handling, processing, and polishing; through to abrasive blasting, cutting and mixing. The dust explosion is caused by a sudden ignition of a mixture of air and a high concentration of suspended combustible dust particles. Fike has almost 70 years’ experience advising on fire explosion and pressure relief solutions with a team of in-house engineers, application specialists, and combustion researchers specializing to companies across the food, power, wood and pharmaceutical/chemical industries. Explosion protection systems Keith added: “In our industry, Fike has unprecedented expertise and is committed to providing quality safety products that are fully explosion tested. The FDDS has been developed over a considerably long period of time and carry the highest industry standards to ensure our customers have the safest potentially life-saving product.” Fike is a globally recognized company supplying products and services which protect people and critical assets from fire, explosion and over/under-pressurization. A leader within the industry, Fike manufacture solutions for a diverse range of process industries, providing products ranging from bursting discs and explosion protection systems to energetic oil and gas products for the offshore markets. Other UK branches of Fike also provide fire suppression systems, fire detection devices and alarm panels.
Fike UK is alerting businesses across the woodwork industry of the catastrophic effects that could potentially be caused from a dust explosion within the workplace. There have been several dust explosions reported worldwide in the woodwork industry simply due to preventive measures not being taken. Fike UK, has dedicated almost 70 years to developing and manufacturing a range of fire, explosion and pressure relief products that their customers have installed and which have resulted in thousands of potentially devastating disasters being prevented. Safety driven products Keith Avila, General Manager of Fike UK said: “We are committed to providing high quality and safety driven products to our customers in these industries. Our priority is to raise awareness of the dangerous and devastating effects that dust explosions can have and to ensure that the highest quality products are installed to eliminate the risk of any potential disaster.” Our priority is to raise awareness of the dangerous and devastating effects that dust explosions can have" “It is imperative that preventative measures are taken in workplaces where there is a risk of dust explosion to avoid becoming another unfortunate statistic.” Although the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations require businesses to protect workers from the health hazards of wood dust in the woodwork industry, preventative measures are not always taken to protect the workforce in relation to safety. Highly combustible dusts Dust explosions occur when highly combustible dusts are present, either suspended in the atmosphere or lying on surfaces. Wood dust can be generated from various sources including high speed machining operations such as sawing, routing and turning. Even sanding by hand can cause a risk if the good housekeeping practices are not kept up and dust layers are allowed to form. The problem faced in the industry is getting companies to take the dangers of dust seriously. As dust is common place and natural, many companies are not aware of the ambient levels present and the serious consequences that could arise should prevention not be taken. Dust explosions can be costly, not only financially in terms of lost production time and physical damage to your plant and the environment, but also have other less tangible non-financial consequences – in worst cases – the loss of life. Explosion protection equipment Fike has recently launched a new explosion prevention product – Fike Dust Detection System Whilst zero risk is the ultimate goal, logistically it is extremely unlikely, however with appropriate measures set in place, dust explosions are almost completely preventable. To complement their comprehensive range of explosion protection equipment, Fike has recently launched a new explosion prevention product – Fike Dust Detection System (FDDS) – which uses advanced new technology to detect the presence of unusually high airborne dust particles. The sophisticated device, installed in ducts signals when the levels of dust are too high, eradicating any risk of a potential dust explosion. Commenting on the new product Keith said: “We firmly believe that this is the best product in the market." "As with all of our products, it has been designed and manufactured by a team of industry leading experts carrying out best practice to ensure the product is of the highest quality. When it comes to providing lifesaving products Fike ensure all industry standards are met to the highest possible level and that the products we install add value and eliminate business risk.”
Fike UK urges companies to ensure appropriate equipment and technologies are in place to mitigate the disastrous effects caused by grain elevator explosions. Keith Avila, General Manager at Fike UK said: “In the food process industry alone, approximately 50% of explosions have originated in bucket elevators. Installing appropriate prevention and protection measures will eliminate the potential risks associated with dust explosions, such as severe plant destruction and downtime, loss of production and in worse case scenarios, injury or loss of life.” Avoiding dust explosions Dust explosions can occur when a high concentration of dust is present in the atmosphere. These dusts can either be created from the product that is being processed or the by-product of attrition from materials handled. Being unseen, dust is often not treated with the degree of caution that is required. There are two methods to avoid dust explosions – prevention and protection. As independent concepts, prevention systems help to minimize the risk of an event happening, whilst protection systems reduce the effects of the explosion when it does happen. According to Fike it is best to have both regimes in place. Following best practice Fike recommend companies follow best practice in health and safety by utilizing the hierarchy of hazard control Keith said: “If a dust explosion occurs, the cost in terms of time, upheaval and any financial implications incurred due to both production downtime and plant damage – can be huge – for any company. A decision has to be made by every company based on how substantial the hazard is in relation to how far you go to mitigate the resultant risk.” Fike recommend companies follow best practice in health and safety by utilizing the hierarchy of hazard control. According to the industry experts this will assist in determining the level of equipment needed to protect against dust explosions originating in bucket elevators. Explosion protection devices The hierarchy consists of – elimination, isolation, control, PPE and discipline (ERIC PD) – which has a direct correlation to the levels of protection currently available for elevator protection. A company’s safety record is significantly improved at each level as they move further along the ERIC PD hazard control path. Keith added: “Fike UK is celebrating 30 years in the industry of protecting processes. One of our biggest achievements to date is our invention of bespoke explosion vents and flameless units specifically designed for elevator protection. We also offer a comprehensive selection of active and passive explosion protection devices. Our highly trained representatives advise companies on the most cost effective solutions in relation to the hierarchy of hazard control and ensure the most effective measures are installed to mitigate dust explosions.”
Fike UK has joined forces with a valve industry specialist and introduced a revolutionary explosion prevention product that will transform the safety of the process industry. Fike UK, has teamed up with Nottingham based MID Valves to produce the first ATEX certified explosion isolation valve after the companies joined forces to deliver explosion protection on a biomass plant installed as part of phase one at Immingham Rail Freight Terminal. The ground breaking innovation was designed and implemented so that isolation valves of the correct size and certification could be applied across all aspects of the project, a solution which, until now, had been unheard of in the explosion prevention industry. As a result of the application the biomass plant’s performance will be significantly enhanced and most importantly, the safety of the workforce has been protected by eliminating any risk of future explosion propagation into or from the silos. chemical isolation system Keith Avila, General Manager at Fike UK said: “As an outcome of this project, we are very pleased to introduce a revolutionary product for the explosion protection and isolation of large volume vessels. During the initial remit, the plans were to have separate explosion valves and process valves that used the best available technology." "However, it was felt by ourselves and MID that we could introduce a ground-breaking solution that would combine extensively reinforced process valves with Fast Acting Valve technology that could be combined into one unit. Using this new valve, in conjunction with Fike’s chemical isolation system, has provided a fast acting explosion proof slide valve of a scale that has never been seen before.” valves covering parameters The valve will close in less than 300 milliseconds in the event of an explosion and can withstand an instant 0.5 bar increase Even the challenge of turning the concept into reality was overcome by the two businesses who managed to test and launch the product - with full ATEX certification - in only six months. Keith added: “Achieving this in such short time is almost unheard of in our industry. The specifications required were extremely challenging and required some extremely clever engineering input to deliver this solution”. And the result is pretty impressive with the newly designed and manufactured valves covering parameters that no existing valve has ever been able to cope with. With opening dimensions of 1.0 x 1.2 meter, the valve will close in less than 300 milliseconds in the event of an explosion and can withstand an instant 0.5 bar increase in explosion parameters. emergency close operations They can be used as a normal process valve with a slow opening and closing function whilst also being economically stripped and rebuilt ready to use again after an explosion activation. Other unique attributes include a reinforced body and slide plate to mechanically strengthen the valve and enable it to withstand instantaneous forces generated during emergency close operations. Built in to this is Fike’s revolutionary energy absorbing damping system to decelerate the slide from 16mph to 0mph in under 25mm of lateral travel. A custom designed Fike pneumatic cylinder and the company’s own fast acting gas generator system has also been incorporated. Both Fike and MID Valves are currently working in conjunction at Immingham Rail Freight Terminal to implement phase two of the project.