SPOTLIGHT: A Unique, Effective Fire and Explosion Protection Solution

By Pellet Mill Magazine | May 14, 2021

In the wood pellet manufacturing industry, many production processes present fire and explosion hazards that must be addressed to ensure workplace safety, protection of assets and avoidance of downtime. In particular, drying and hammermilling of wood material are quite conducive to the generation of sparks and fire within the pneumatic transport system. Other processes such as pelletizing, pellet cooling, screening and product load-out are also subject to possible ignition from sparks, overheated pellets and mechanical friction sources.

FLAMEX Inc. has considerable experience in protecting wood pellet manufacturing facilities of all production capacities and understands the specific process protection requirements that these applications demand. The company specializes in the protection of industrial facilities that handle combustible dusts, with capabilities including design, supply, repair and service of complete fire protection systems.

To combat the all-too-common problem of dust fires and explosions in woodworking industries, in 1977, FLAMEX pioneered the use of a new technology in North America: the FLAMEX Spark Detection and Extinguishing System. Soon, it became the first system of its kind to gain a Factory Mutual Approval.  Since that time, thousands of FLAMEX systems have been installed in a variety of industrial facilities across North America, including many medium and large industrial wood pellet operations.

The FLAMEX system offers a number of unique advantages to its users, which includes enhanced reliability, increased effectiveness and ease of maintenance. Automatic detector self-testing function, inline flow monitoring, field-removable IR filter lenses and a self-closing, stainless steel nozzle that emits a 180-degree curtain of water are a few of the features that provide practical benefits in the daily operation and maintenance of these systems. The wide range of detection and suppression offerings allow selection of the proper components for the application instead of a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Hot particle detectors are often used in downstream applications where the ignition of dust layers from heated pellets are a primary concern. Deluge valve assemblies can be supplied for automatic suppression in bins, collectors and silos, and may be activated by thermal, gas or optical detection.

Advanced remote system supervision capabilities include a web module for monitoring the status of the system via the internet and the INVERON HMI software, which can allow multiple systems to be networked, supervised and operated by one or multiple computers from a control room setting.

FLAMEX is proud to be a part of the MINIMAX-VIKING organization, a global leader in the development and supply of industrial fire protection technologies and products. The experience, technical expertise and wealth of resources possessed by MINIMAX GmbH & Co. KG, our ISO 9001 manufacturing partner, affords FLAMEX Inc. the ability to offer more comprehensive fire protection solutions to address the requirements of varied industrial applications.

Printed in Issue 2, 2021 of Pellet Mill Magazine