Three Cheers for New Fire Detection
Hochiki Europe Enhances Life Safety at Dutch Glass Factory
Located in the Dutch province of South Holland, the Schiedam region became internationally known in the 18th and 19th centuries as one of the world's foremost producers of jenever. Not surprisingly, with an abundance of distilleries in the city there was a demand for glass bottles, and glass factories soon started to spring up. This industry is still thriving today and the O-I glass plant, based in Schiedam, manufactures glass packaging for the food and beverage industry at home and abroad.
Bottle opener: O-I is Schiedam's original glass factory and was founded by Jacobus Sirks at the Buitenhavenweg in 1854. By the 1910s the factory entered a new era when mechanisation marked the beginning of automatic production and, as business boomed, it became one of the main employers in the city. After various changes of ownership during the intervening years, O-I took over the factory in 2004.
Over 150 years since the factory first opened, glass production is still a key part of life in Schiedam and a wide variety of bottles are now made there, with customers able to design their own shapes and styles. The factory also maintains close links with the city and every two years the residents of Schiedam are invited in to take a tour of the plant.
Safety is a priority for O-I. The factory recently replaced its fire detection system with a state-of-the-art solution to ensure that staff and visitors have the best level of protection.
Fire Products & Solutions Nederland (FSN) acted as the supply, design and commissioning consultant on the project. It was appointed to oversee the installation of the new fire detection system in the factory's production area, administrative offices, canteen and visitor centre.
Ruud Benjamins, FSN's manager, explains: "Once we had planned and designed the installation we had no hesitation in suggesting the use of Hochiki's products due to their extensive range, proven reliability and excellent support service. We knew that Hochiki would act as a one-stop-shop for all of the glass factory's fire detection requirements."
FSN selected an intelligent analogue addressable system based around Hochiki's Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP).
Stuart Davies, Hochiki's Marketing Manager, adds: "ESP is a total communications solution for intelligent fire detection and fully integrated systems. It has a multi-purpose structure that provides the flexibility and expansion to accommodate simple addressable systems through to sophisticated integrated building management and safety systems."
FSN selected its preferred installation partner, Rotterdam based JJ Hendriks & Zoon, to carry out the work at the factory, which began in July 2009 and finished at the end of 2010. The installation had to be carried out around the factory's normal daytime operations, which often meant working out of hours and at weekends.
A wide variety of Hochiki products were used including HCP-E call points and CHQ-WS2 base sounders, which were configured over four interlinked systems. Hochiki ALG-EN optical smoke sensors were also installed which feature the company's High Performance Chamber Technology. Hochiki's chamber design minimises the differences in sensitivity experienced in flaming and smouldering fires, such as those that can occur in factories. The result is a high performance optical chamber that is equally responsive to all smoke types and helps to reduce the possibility of unwanted alarms.
Using this combination of products enabled FSN to configure a system which protects all areas of the building and provides the earliest possible warning in the event of a fire.
In the security room personnel are alerted when the fire detection system is activated and the security staff can directly communicate with the fire brigade and send them to the correct building."
For factories, unwanted alarms are a serious problem and can be particularly disruptive, so it was crucial to minimise the possibility of this happening. Ruud Benjamins comments: "We are pleased to report that there have been no unwanted alarms since the installation was completed and this can be put down to a combination of best practice and the quality of the products used. We will be making sure that the system is checked and maintained on a regular basis to make sure things stay this way."
The new fire detection system has given O-I's Schiedam plant the most up-to-date life safety infrastructure possible. O-I's General Service & Safety Manager, Sjaak Brunt, is delighted with the finished result and concludes: "The combined talents of FSN and JJ Hendriks & Zoon have provided the glass factory with a fire detection system which befits a building of its stature and importance. We want our staff and visitors to be safe here and the Hochiki solution that has been installed gives me confidence that they will be."