Brewing beer is an energy-intensive business and the risk of fire is correspondingly high. To ensure the availability of its production facilities, the Feldschlösschen company of Switzerland selected a fire safety solution from Siemens Building Technologies. The Sinteso fire protection system ensures point-precise fire detection and real-time alarms with unsurpassed immunity to deception.
With 1,200 employees, Feldschlösschen is the leading brewery and the largest beverage wholesaler in Switzerland. Located in Rheinfelden in the Canton of Aargau, its headquarters is one of the most beautiful breweries in the world. Founded in 1876, the neogothic castle-like complex comprises a dozen buildings that were built over time to accommodate increased production. The Feldschlösschen brand of beer has a long tradition in Switzerland.
The production environment in the historic brewery makes fire protection extremely complex. Heat, smoke and dust occur in the large halls with ceiling heights of 5 to 7 metres, requiring fire detection systems with special, application-specific detectors. “Of all the risks here in the brewery, fire is the greatest. Preventing fires is our top priority, not only to protect our employees and infrastructure but also to avoid interruptions to operations,” states brewmaster Bruno Born. And with a nod to tradition, he adds: “This place existed before we were born. It is a perfect place. So preserving it is our greatest obligation – for today, tomorrow and the next 140 years.”
Detection procedures that deliver good results in standard environments like offices and hotels would not be appropriate in the rough conditions at the Feldschlösschen brewery. The complexity involved in modernizing the fire protection system led the beverage manufacturer to Siemens again. First, the fire safety concept was revised to accommodate the new technology. All the stakeholders – the installer, the brewery’s own fire department, a fire expert, the insurance company and Siemens sat down together to analyse and plan.
The outcome resulted in changes to deliver fire detectors especially developed for industrial production environments were combined with powerful fire control panels. In terms of safety and economic efficiency, investing in the latest detection technology makes sense. In spite of their robustness to deceptive phenomena, the detectors detect both smouldering and open fires quickly and reliably, thanks to their sophisticated technology. Hence they save lives, prevent major damage and save the operator enormous follow-up costs caused by production downtimes after a false alarm. Born is appropriately satisfied: “As long as we are safe from fire, tradition lives on” he said
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