The automotive industry comprises a variety of companies and organisations involved in the design, development, manufacturing, marketing and selling of motor vehicles. The automotive industry is one of the biggest industries on the planet and manufacturing plants operate all over the world to meet the growing demand.
Automotive manufacturing plants are usually responsible for the entire manufacturing process including developing components such as engines, gearboxes, chassis and bodies. The automotive industry’s principal products are passenger vehicles and light trucks such as pickups and vans.
Mass production of motor vehicles usually relies on two or more moving assembly lines. One where the body panels are welded together, the doors and windows are installed, and the body is painted and trimmed, and one where the frame has the springs, wheels, steering gear and powertrain installed. The two lines then merge at the point at which the car is finished.
The automotive manufacturing process requires a lot of heavy machinery, tools and, despite a good proportion of the work being automated, a team of skilled workers.
This process requires heavy investment in equipment and materials and requires hundreds of personnel to ensure the highest possible standards and efficiency. Therefore, a reliable fire detection system is vital in the protection of both human life and valuable assets.
What are the Fire Risks?
There are a variety of fire risks that are created in the automotive manufacturing process:
- Machinery such as conveyors and robotic arms contain a lot of mechanical and electrical components. If this machinery is not properly maintained or develops faults, the resulting breakdown could start a fire.
- Welding is the most common joining technique in automotive manufacturing. If welding sparks come into contact with flammable material, it could easily ignite a fire.
- Chemicals and Oils
- Flammable chemicals such as paints, thinners, oils and fuels can cause a fire to catch and spread rapidly throughout the building.
- Dirt and Debris
- While car manufacturing facilities are usually kept clean, dust and dirt contaminants are still sometimes present and can cause a fire to spread quickly.
Fire at Tesla Factory in Fremont
In February 2019, a fire broke out at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. The fire started in an outside area where the company stores some of its hazardous materials. Fortunately, the fire was contained quickly, within a couple of hours, and no one was hurt or injured.
However, this was not an uncommon occurrence for the factory. In April 2018, the facility had a significant fire at one of its paint shops that temporarily halted vehicle production and another fire in an outside area in August that year.
What are the Challenges?
There are a number of challenges that make reliable fire detection difficult in automotive manufacturing facilities:
- Moving Parts
- Fires on machinery such as conveyors and robotic arms can be difficult for traditional style detectors to pick up as they are constantly moving.
- Large open areas, extractors and air conditioning systems can all cause unpredictable airflow making it difficult for smoke detection.
- Storage Areas
- Storage areas often contain hazardous and flammable materials. As these areas are left unattended for long periods of time, fast fire detection that is not affected by fumes and other contaminants is essential.
What is the Solution?
FyreLine Linear heat detection can overcome the challenges that are present in an automotive manufacturing plant. It is not affected by airflow, fumes or contaminants and can be installed along moving components to provide an accurate location of a fire.
There are two different versions of FyreLine available; FyreLine Digital and FyreLine Analogue:
FyreLine Digital linear heat detection provides a fixed temperature detection solution at a rated temperature of; 68°C, 88°C, 105°C or 185°C. Once the cable reaches or exceeds its rated temperature, an alarm signal is sent to the fire alarm control panel to act accordingly.
FyreLine Analogue linear heat detection, on the other hand, constantly looks out for changes in temperature and triggers an alarm once its specified temperature is reached or exceeded. FyreLine Analogue gives users the opportunity to set a pre-alarm warning, allowing them to investigate a potential fire before the alarm is raised.
Using FyreLine Linear Heat Detection in Automotive Manufacturing Plants
For machinery such as conveyors and robotic arms, linear heat sensing cable can be installed in and around areas that may be prone to overheating to provide a fast and reliable warning of an overheating area or fire. A steel braided outer sheath is available to protect the cable from mechanical abrasion.
FyreLine heat detection is not affected by chemicals or contaminants in the air. Therefore it can provide fast and reliable detection for storage rooms and other hazardous areas. A nylon coating is available for use in these areas, protecting the cable from hazardous hydrocarbons.
FyreLine is also suitable for outside use making it the perfect choice for outside storage. The nylon coated cable can also be used to protect the cable from UV exposure from the sun.
A Hybrid Solution
FyreLine linear heat detection can be used in conjunction with Wi-Fyre to provide a wireless, hybrid solution. A Wi-Fyre wireless input/output module can be used to monitor the signal from the FyreLine protected area and relay it wirelessly to a Wi-Frye transponder installed into the fire alarm control panel via a compatible interface module. This is particularly useful for outside areas, enabling areas to connect with the main building’s fire alarm system (reliant on suitable signal strength).
Why Choose Eurofyre?
- Complete System Supplier
- Eurofyre manufactures and supplies all aspects of fire detection including linear heat detection and its associated products and can provide expert advice and consultation.
- Demonstration and Training
- We offer demonstrations and expert training on a range of systems, including FyreLine linear heat detection systems, in our very own sophisticated training facility.
- After-Sales Support
- Eurofyre offers both on-site and telephone support to assist you in ensuring that your system is fully functional and operating at maximum efficiency. Our after-sales care and support are second to none.
For more information about Linear Heat Detection, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.