The African Mining Market peeks into the fire suppression system by Dafo Vehicle – a world leading provider of fire management mechanisms for mining vehicle operations across the globe.
Dafo was one of the first companies in the world which started to develop integrated firefighting solutions for vehicles back in 1976. Founded in 1919, Dafo has developed into a modern, high-tech company committed to offer the very best solutions to its customers.
Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection has three main business areas:
- Integration (Fire suppression systems integration into OEM production line,
- Retrofit (Fire suppression systems installed at final customer) as well as
- Service & Maintenance.
The Dafo Vehicle group today consist of several subsidiaries and Dafo dealers – Dafo Vehicle Oy (Finland), Dafo US, Dafo Deutschland, Dafo Russia, Dafo Asia, Dafo Spain, Dafo UK & Ireland, Dafo Middle East, Dafo Chile, Dafo Brasil, Dafo Australia and Dafo Peru.
Why Dafo Fire Suppression Systems?
According to Dafo, Mining, both surface and underground, is a complex operation that needs large off-road vehicles/ heavy duty mobile equipment (HDME) and processing equipment that operate at remote locations 24/7. In addition, these machines operate under challenging and demanding conditions in environments with many potential fire hazards as the HDMEs often carry a lot of flammable liquids in pressurized fuel lines close to hot engines and transmissions.
When a fire breaks out on a mining vehicle the results can be dramatic. Expensive repair or replacement of valuable equipment are the obvious consequences. Extensive downtime and business interruption can result in even greater expenses as this equipment often takes many months to repair or replace. Further on and most importantly a fire on a mining vehicle can mean serious injuries to the machine operator, miners and in some cases also lead to geological instability of the workplace.
The Dafo Vehicle Solution
Dafo Vehicle offers the most reliable and effective fire suppression systems for HDME designed to survive challenging working environments and secure safety of operations. The systems are designed to mitigate losses due to fire and reduce the impact on investment, reducing downtime and securing business continuity and increasing the productivity of the end users. Dafo Vehicle’s robust system not only protect individual hazards within the vehicle such as leaking fuel, hydraulic fluid, and/or lubrication, built up flammable deposits, but it is also a system with low life cycle costs.
With more than 165000 vehicle systems sold worldwide knowhow and experience ensure our customers to have the latest technology combined with proven reliability. The current solutions are being used worldwide as integrated solutions at the OEM production lines as well as retrofit installations at the end user in the mining industry.
The Dafo Vehicle system combines the features of liquid and dry chemical, includes unique and propriety tailormade solutions and offers outstanding flame knockdown and unique protection against re-ignition as it will cool down the overheated engine parts in case of a thermal event.
In addition, the Dafo Vehicle works in the frontline of technology engineering. Dafo Vehicle has launched a fire protection system for electric and hybrid vehicles that is activated before a fire in a battery occurs. The fire protection solution has been developed for buses but will also be available for other heavy electric vehicles as we now see are entering the mining environment.
Further on Dafo Vehicle has introduced the DafoCLOUD which is a cloud-based risk management system to provide full overview of lifecycle of Fire Detection and Suppression System (FDSS). The DafoCLOUD provides access to the full history and genealogy of sub-systems of the FDSS and the complete information is seamlessly accessible and updatable by relevant stakeholders. The DafoCLOUD is the basis for reducing and controlling the total cost of ownership with keeping maximized safety in focus.
The Dafo Vehicle System
The Dafo Vehicle fire suppression system consists of four integrated elements; Detection, Alarm, Suppression and Control which work together in a coordinated, fast and efficient way to suppress fires.
Dafo Vehicle use a robust linear heat detector cable. Large heavy-duty mining vehicles have large engine compartments. It is therefore important that the engine compartments are protected with additional suitable detection systems such as smoke and flame detectors in addition to the linear heat detector which then provides the vehicle maximum fire protection. This includes a multizone temperature detection technology that can indicate excess temperature in multiple zones.
The basis of Dafo Vehicle’s system is the suppression agent Forrex™ which is specially developed to suppress fires in combustible engines. Forrex™ is highly effective on flammable liquid fires like petrol, diesel and hydraulic oils. The system combines the features of liquid and dry chemical, includes unique and proprietary tailormade solutions and offers outstanding flame knockdown and unique protection against re-ignition as it will cool down the overheated engine parts in case of a thermal event.
Mine Safety Managers
The overall responsibility to make use of the Dafo Vehicle Fire Suppression Service lies with the Safety Manager of the Mine who would see and appreciate the advantages of a fire suppression system. When a fire breaks out on a mining vehicle the results can be dramatic. Expensive repair or replacement of valuable equipment are the obvious consequences. Extensive downtime and business interruption can result in even greater expenses as this equipment often takes many months to repair or replace.
The mining operator needs to secure that the system they are using is a robust system fit for purpose in the harsh mining environment. Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection has fulfilled the requirements of the Australian Standard AS 5062:2016 – Fire protection for mobile and transportable equipment for their SV-K fire suppression system. This has been granted with a Certificate of Approval by the Certification Body Global-Mark. The AS 5062-standard is equivalent to the Zambia Bureau of Standards new standard ZS1209/2019. Dafo Vehicle is also in the process of getting an FM approval in accordance with FM 5970. Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection continuously work with sustainability, meaning environmental sensitivity without compromising safety. A potential fire in a mining environment would have a significant impact on the working- and public environment. Dafo Vehicle is measuring and mitigating impacts from manufacture to end-of-life is of and by choosing a Dafo Vehicle system, our customers can rest assured that it favourably contributes with added value to their own sustainability work.
Message from the Dafo Team
We want to promote Dafo Vehicle on the African continent. We have been active in South Africa for a couple of years but now we want to strengthen our position all over Africa. At this stage we have distributors in Morocco, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Zambia and South Africa and these distributors are able to cover the whole Africa. However, we are continuously expanding our network of distributors.”
This content was first featured in May/August 2020 edition of the African Mining Market.