Integrated Fire Technology (IFT), the new trading name of Fogmaker South Africa, has boosted its fire suppression line-up with the addition of QTEC fire suppression solutions. QTEC’s scalable and versatile system provides a fire suppression solution for fixed plant applications such as conveyor belts and diesel and oil storage tanks, as well as large, semi-enclosed or open mobile equipment such as draglines and large excavators. “This makes QTEC suitable for a vast spectrum of applications in industrial and commercial sectors including mining, ports & harbours, processing plants and general industry,” says John Russell, Managing Director of IFT.
John adds that in IFT’s experience both the mining and general industry are facing a tightening of compliancy requirements driven mostly by insurance companies and governmental legislation compliance enforcement around personnel safety and asset protection.
Certification and regulations
Each type of fire suppression system, whether foam, mist or aerosol based, is by its very nature restricted to certain applications. “As specialists we ensure that the system selection matches the application,” notes John. “Certification and regulations also have to be taken extremely seriously. To this end, we only supply systems that meet local and international legislative requirements. One of our biggest challenges is educating industry on the dangers of installing non-certified, inferior fire suppression products.
“The consequences of a sub-quality uncertified product failing in the event of a fire, can lead to damage or destruction of valuable assets, not to mention the danger posed to human safety. End-users need to be aware that insurance companies may not pay out claims if they are of the opinion that the installed fire suppression system is either non-certified for the application or not properly designed and installed to the required standards and regulations.”
QTEC’s Business Development Manager, Geoff Smith, adds that QTEC is designed and manufactured in Australia to meet the stringent requirements of fire suppression within the Australian mining industry. Further, in line with a global trend regarding fire suppression foams, QTEC makes use of a 3% foam which is free of Fluorine, PFOS and PFOA (F3). Countries like Australia are taking the lead in moving away from Fluorine-based foam.”
Geoff explains further that most foams are pseudo-plastic based which are typically used by fire fighters as they are cheaper to mass produce and suitable for most types of fires. “The foam used in the QTEC system is Newtonian-based which, compared with pseudo-plastics, does not change viscosity under pressure and as a result is much more stable.” He also weighs in on the benefits of a low pressure system. “No special tooling or pumps are required to recharge the cylinder which can be charged to a maximum of 15 bar using commonly-available tools.”
Geoff visited South Africa recently to train IFT technicians and equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to install and service the QTEC system for customers locally as well as in neighbouring countries. There are a large number of Australian drilling and mining contractors and operators across Africa who are highly familiar with the QTEC system. “Our after-market expertise extends to the servicing of QTEC systems installed by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) on mining equipment exported to the African continent,” adds Geoff.
IFT’s head office is supported by service technicians based at the company’s South African branches in Steelpoort, Rustenburg and Durban, and their operations within Africa The company is also rolling out a partner distribution network in key areas within South Africa including the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Botswana and Zimbabwe and the DRC.