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13 September 2017

Kraft & Bauer UK expands to meet fire safety needs on machine tools

Coventry-based Kraft & Bauer UK, whose fire extinguishing systems protect many hundreds of machines in the UK, has expanded further with the addition to its fleet of a larger long bed van that doubles as a mobile workshop.

A further service engineer has also been employed and additional stock has been added to both storage facilities in Coventry and Cork.

The firm chose the extra-long bed van and had it racked out to create a mobile workshop to better be able to carry out installation tasks in the field. It can carry much more stock and makes it easier to adapt fire extinguishing systems on-site.

Says managing director Louise Boraston: “Every year here in the UK we see around 50 incidents whereby our systems have activated to protect machines and operators from serious injury and more and more companies are now understanding that many machine tools are classified as a fire risk and that there are large penalties, including unlimited fines and even prison, if those responsible have failed to take adequate action to prevent harm coming to employees.

“Machines that are understood to pose a direct fire risk include any machine that uses oil, or any kind of potentially flammable liquid, such as an oil based coolant. Examples include turning machines, milling machines, machining centres and grinding machines. Any machine that produces a spark or similar such as an EDM machine or a Laser machine must also be considered as must any machine that although being used "dry" (without coolant) is machining a self-combustible material such as titanium or magnesium alloys.

“Most fire incidents are caused by the generation of incandescent chips, high-energy sparks or hot surfaces, which act as ignition sources. Root causes included broken or worn milling cutters, drills, turning inserts and grinding wheels. As a consequence of technical developments concerning machine tool feeds and speeds together with the trend towards low-viscosity metalworking fluids used at higher pressures, then the fire risk has increased dramatically in recent years and industry must take that risk into account”.

Adam Offord

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