- APPLICATION CASE STUDY
- Application : Automated Guided Vehicles
Industry : Manufacturing, Ports, Warehousing, Military
System : BlazeCut T Series
Within the growing development of port and ship to shore processing; Autonomous Guided Vehicles or AGV’s are used to assist the unloading of ships at port. They use sophisticated software and radar collision systems, both work hand in hand to deliver the vehicle to the side of the dock while the ship to shore cranes lowers the containers onto the deck of the AGV. The AGV is like a shuttle car and will then take the container to the correct sorting area. The major benefit to the AGV’s is that it removes the human presence underneath lowering containers. For ports; the other major benefit is the system has a guidance program built-in so in the event of heavy fog of severe weather the AGV’s can still operate with efficiency. This provides great turnaround time for the ships on the docks and can allow for quicker unloading times. AGV’s are being introduced increasingly in the busiest ports in the world to increase the productivity.
The fire risked identified in this application was potential electrical faults. Electrical faults can be caused by aging wiring connections, exposed wires, heat build-up and debris. The AGV’s run a complex battery system which is coupled to a full electric drive and operating system. The battery compartments are compact and have a high need for fire suppression. Due to these vehicles not having an operator they will not stop unless a fault is diagnosed alerting the control room and remote operators. If an AGV was to catch fire it could close that area of the dock and lead to damage of the goods being transported. This risk is heightened by the possibility that the goods being transported are a flammable fuel source which would then lead to a major incident.
WHAT WE DID
The AGV’s have been equipped with the BlazeCut T800ES, a customer made solution for the application. The assessment was done on required volume and amount of useable space that is available on the AGV. The BlazeCut ‘T’ Series system contains the highly effective HFC-227ea fire suppression agent and was installed above the high-risk area, this allowed the self-contained automatic fire suppression system to effectively cover the risk area within the AGV and improve the upon the risk reduction. The T series fire suppression system was clipped to ensure the batteries could be still inspected and not interfere with regular maintenance programs. The installation required no heavy clamps or mounting brackets which is ideal for simplicity and monitoring. The T Series product that was installed has a maintenance free life and is expected to remain in service for up to 10 years.
BlazeCut T Series fire suppression system installed into the AGV’s to provide protection in remote environment by acting quickly and automatically. With no complex fixtures or pressurized cylinders, it is easy to install and compact within the AGV. This has resulted in reducing the risk and potential damage in the event of a fire. The system is completely installed within the vehicle with a pressure inspection point located near an easy access point. Now installed the system will offer 24 hour protection 7 days a week with an expected working life of 10 years.