Preventing Future Fires
KUHN RIKON is a world-renowned Swiss cookware manufacturer with over 200 employees. Their cookware holds up against stovetop heat with panache. However, manufacturing these products involves highly difficult production steps. One of these caused a disastrous accident in 2015. During mechanical pot polishing, an abrasive spontaneously combusted. The flames were fed by the machine’s ventilation, which led to a fatal dust explosion. Large portions of the production facility caught fire, incurring damages of over 5 million Swiss francs (approximately €4.6 million). The production managers all agreed that this could never happen again!
KUHN RIKON is a world-famous brand for pans and pots. This case film shows the smart networking of video and fire protection systems to secure and improve production.
Risks & Challenges
The fire hazard and material damages weren’t the only problematic factors in this situation. The constantly changing market does not permit any production downtimes. Installing an automatic fire extinguishing system was crucial. However, the conventional equipment for this kind of system was not sufficient; the hazard detection was too slow and inflexible. Pressure must be applied during production, which inevitably generates frictional heat. However, the individual polishing plates of the production machine respond in very different ways to the heat that is generated. This requires complex monitoring and control of all the system’s zones.
Solutions & Benefits
The MOBOTIX M16 thermal camera represented the perfect solution, combined with the Integral IP central fire alarm system. KUHN RIKON were impressed with the high level of software compatibility, easy handling and low-maintenance top quality that the MOBOTIX product offer. The camera makes it possible to monitor all zones of the polishing machine separately. High-resolution video recording makes the production workflow inside the system visible. Three escalation steps have been programmed, which the MOBOTIX can independently trigger if needed: 1. Heat warning on a display – 2. Pause the machine for an analysis – 3. Switch off the system and automatically delete.
The system has been running smoothly since 2018. Process security has been restored. Other facilities are also using this solution in the meantime. Employees can use the precise MOBOTIX lenses to analyze how hot individual areas are. Thanks to the simplified control that this new setup entails, productivity was boosted by around five percent. All in all, this was a full success for KUHN RIKON and MOBOTIX!