Waste Management In Action

Liebherr-Australia turns to Fogmaker for fire risk reduction

Fire suppression systems from Fogmaker are being used at waste facilities to reduce installation costs and fire risks, helping to keep insurance premiums down.

Doing your due diligence to mitigate a fire risk is integral to keeping insurance premiums down and preventing a potential catastrophe.  

Whether operators are running a transfer station, recycling facility or landfill, the need to lessen one’s risk while keeping costs down is crucial. For some businesses, it could be key to remaining a commercially viable enterprise. It’s for this reason that the Fogmaker fire suppression system has become a widely used system in the waste handling business. Its compact size, low weight and speedy installation are helping a number of companies save time and resources to dedicate elsewhere in their businesses. 

As waste handling environments containing a high number of combustible materials, Fogmaker recommends to its customers an extended discharge duration of 80 to 90 seconds. This allows the operator to move the machine to a safe location for evacuation and provide the extended discharge duration to assist in fire extinction. According to Fogmaker, companies such as Liebherr and Cleanaway and local councils have all used the Fogmaker system on their machines. 

Fogmaker’s water mist system offers a total flood application which cools and smothers the fire with large amounts of steam. Every litre of water has the potential to transform into about 1700 litres of steam. The temperature reduces quickly as the atomised water droplets convert steam. 

As an expert in waste handling equipment, a number of major waste organisations turn to Liebherr for fire suppression systems within the company’s machines. When Liebherr’s customers are in need of a solution, the company recommends Fogmaker as an established product. 

Paul Findlater, National Key Accounts Manager – Earthmoving & Material Handling Division, Liebherr-Australia, says that the company has fitted in excess of 20 machines to its machinery in the past year.

“In earthmoving equipment, the previously accepted fire suppression equipment was often very large foam systems that were sometimes challenging to install given that the cylinders used can often take up a lot of valuable space. These cylinders can sometimes interfere with vision, access in and out of the machine, as well as location for serviceability,” Paul explains.

“With the Fogmaker system, you can have single or multiple cylinders fit into tighter locations, whereas previously we would have to fit in cylinders sometimes four or five times the size.”

Paul says that the installation is somewhat simplified and faster by the compact nature of the Fogmaker cylinders.

“In some machines, such as our Liebherr track loaders, for example, we’re able to even store the cylinders in a horizontal position in a storage compartment which was previously not specifically used for anything. So the cylinders are totally out of the way of damage which makes it very neat to install,” he says.

He says the compact nature of the system leads to cost savings by often not requiring underpinning or heavy fabrication of cylinder bracketry. 

The two x 6.5-litre Fogmaker systems can absorb up to six million calories which leads to a unique extinguishing effect that reduces the risk of the machine reigniting. The steam creates a thermal barrier to protect personnel and scrub the air which greatly reduces the amount of toxins released into the surrounding atmosphere. 

To improve the security of the machine, the detection network consists of a polymer tube which ruptures if the temperature goes beyond a nominated temperature set at about 180 degrees. The polymer tube is also protected by a stainless steel coil to prevent mechanical damage during engine servicing and general maintenance. The Fogmaker system can also provide inputs for a multiplex system to enable onboard computers to work as an alarm panel and send real-time alerts back to base for any fires detected. 

The system works independently of electricity as it is hydro-pneumatic and will work even when the machine is turned off, unattended and battery isolated.

Fogmaker also meets an array of fire protection standards, including AS5062 for mobile and transportable equipment, P Mark, AS4587 and Underwriters Laboratory (UL 1384).

According to Paul, the system is an important investment for any waste facility to have.

“With any good fire suppressant system, you are averting a potential disaster so it’s important to have the machine suppress a fire as soon as there are any signs,” he says.

Previous ArticleNext Article