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FEATURE ATEX & EXPLOSION SAFETY


EUROPEAN PROCESS MANUFACTURERS URGED TO ADDRESS RISK OF FIRE AND EXPLOSION


E


uropean process manufacturers are being urged to initiate long


term risk management strategies, in order to address the likelihood of plant fire and explosion due to poor system maintenance. UK based international provider


of thermal fluid system risk management advice and support services, Thermal Fluid Solutions (TFS), is campaigning to encourage process manufacturers across the continent to take proactive measures to minimise the risk of fire and explosion associated with the operation of the thermal fluid systems used to transfer heat around their plants. The risk relates to the fact that


thermal fluid systems’ operating temperatures are typically higher than the “closed cup flash point” of the thermal oil within – the minimum temperature at which, in the presence of a source of ignition, such as electrical sparks,


a fluid’s vapours will ignite. According to multinational


insurance firm, FM Global, 54 per cent of all thermal fluid related fires and explosions are due to poor system maintenance. Manufacturers can minimise the


risk of fire and explosion, while simultaneously ensuring production efficiency, statutory compliance and minimal insurance premiums, by adopting an ongoing strategy of sampling, analysis and the recovery of flash points to a safe level. Traditionally, flash point recovery


could only be achieved by total fluid replacement, which was expensive and incurred considerable system down-time; however reconditioning services are now available, providing a quick, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable alternative. TFS offers fluid sampling and


reconditioning as part of its PACT (Professional Accreditation


Compliance Team) Partner Programme, developed to enable manufacturers to protect their assets and operate with safety and efficiency. Having provided safety training


and site maintenance support since 1999, TFS realised that successful risk management was only possible when manufacturers’ knowledge of the issue was high and pervaded all relevant professional disciplines, from engineering to corporate direction. PACT was developed to


facilitate both, and includes training, the development of improvement plans and corporate online access to details of fluid condition, while addressing the need to demonstrate regulatory compliance. TFS’ managing director, Richard


Franklin, says: “There is a growing awareness of the importance of managing the risk of fire and explosion associated with the operation of thermal fluid systems. “The COVID-19 closures have


10 WINTER 2020 | INDUSTRIAL COMPLIANCE


encouraged many European firms to take stock and kick-start robust risk management strategies and TFS has been supporting them with a new series of online webinars.” Established in 1996 in the UK as


Heat Transfer Systems, TFS was the first to offer a thermal fluid conditioning service, HT FluidFit, which extends fluid life by a factor of at least 10, saving customers up to 70 per cent of their thermal fluid costs. Other services supplied by TFS,


which now has a US office too, include sampling, testing, analysis and advice; water removal; filtration; drainage and refill. The company also supplies thermal fluids and a range of ancillary products and has its own in-house laboratory which is rare within the industry. TFS’ customers include panel


board manufacturers such as Arauco, Norbord, Georgia-Pacific, LP Building Solutions and Ikea and food processing customers 2 Sisters, Cargill and Moy Park.


Thermal Fluid Solutions www.thermalfluidsolutions.com


/ INDUSTRIALCOMPLIANCE


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