Things get hot when pots and pans are polished in the production process at Kuhn Rikon, the number one Swiss brand for crockery and kitchen aids. Dust explosions can easily occur if the temperature rises above a certain threshold, which in the worst-case scenario can lead to significant fire damage and production outages. Initiated by ITES GmbH, MOBOTIX and Hekatron Brandschutz teamed up in a joint project to deliver 360° protection against this risk for Kuhn Rikon.

MOBOTIX thermal imaging cameras are connected to the fire alarm & extinguisher control center Integral IP by Hekatron Brandschutz. The cameras monitor the production process for critical temperatures and intervene autonomously in the production process. Not only does the system trigger an alarm in the case of possible overheating, it automatically stops the production machine and starts the extinguishing process where necessary.

Requirement of reliable fire protection system

In June 2015, overheated polishing plates caused a dust explosion at the Kuhn Rikon main facility in Rikon in the Töss Valley of Switzerland, precipitating a devastating fire that destroyed the production system and parts of the factory building. Together with the associated production outage, the total damages amounted to CHF 5.2 million (€4.6 million). The production outage alone cost the company CHF 1.4 million (€1.2 million).

"Luckily no-one was hurt, but the incident made us drastically aware that we urgently require reliable protection of our production processes that exceed the scope of normal fire protection," explains Paul Brunschwiler, production technician at Kuhn Rikon AG.

Mathias Stauffacher provided the convincing proposal of connecting the thermal cameras M16 Thermal by MOBOTIX with a fire alarm & extinguishing control centre
The M16 thermal cameras by MOBOTIX offer outstanding image resolution and enable precise monitoring of all danger zones

M16 thermal cameras for precise monitoring

Project manager Mathias Stauffacher provided the convincing proposal of connecting the thermal cameras M16 Thermal by MOBOTIX with a fire alarm & extinguishing control center by the firm Hekatron Brandschutz. The M16 thermal cameras by MOBOTIX offer outstanding image resolution and enable precise monitoring of all danger zones within the Kuhn Rikon production workflow.

In addition, the software package for the IP cameras allows tailored programming to suit the needs of the Swiss company. "We programmed all three escalation levels exactly: A warning for critical temperatures, production stop when the threshold is exceeded, followed by immediate initiation of the extinguishing process after the production shutdown to prevent any spread of the fire," adds Stauffacher.

Production process boosted by 5%

Precise temperature measurement also allowed us to optimize our production process"

"The compatibility with MOBOTIX and Hekatron Brandschutz, as well as the user-friendly and low-maintenance system, convinced us 100 percent. Continuous, precise temperature measurement also allowed us to optimize our production process to ensure that we always operate at the ideal temperature and largely prevent any production errors. Overall, we managed to optimize our production process by around 5 percent and in doing so, make the general working atmosphere more pleasant for our employees," reports Paul Brunschwiler.

"ITES GmbH is an expert for innovative fire protection and safety technology: Our competency and experience enable us to develop and implement tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for our customers. Our holistic approach offers our customers crucial added functionality," says Alexander Iglhaut, ITES Director of Safety Technology.

Smart hard and software solution

"MOBOTIX and Hekatron Brandschutz have very similar DNA. Both our companies develop their technology and also manufacture their products in Germany. The clear focus on premium quality hardware, software and services is confirmed in the successful results of projects like this one," emphasizes Christian Heller, Sales Director DACH at MOBOTIX AG.

"The Kuhn Rikon project highlights the importance of a smart hard and software solution for fire protection and production optimization. Our intelligent safety systems make major contributions in other sectors as well, among them waste management or the petroleum and gas industries," says Heller.

MOBOTIX and Hekatron Brandschutz have very similar DNA, where both our companies develop their technology and also manufacture their products in Germany
The MOBOTIX thermal image camera is connected to the fire alarm and extinguishing control centre Integral IP, as well as the smart fire management system

Fire protection for technical systems

"The incident at Kuhn Rikon plainly shows that fire protection for technical systems is extremely important as a 'life-insurance policy' for the company. Here, protecting the employees and the company's output go hand in hand," stresses Daniel Triebswetter, specialist for extinguishing system control at Hekatron Brandschutz.

"The solution for Kuhn Rikon catches the eye with its simple connection of the MOBOTIX thermal image camera to the fire alarm & extinguishing control center Integral IP, as well as the smart fire management system – from production stoppage to triggering the extinguishing system."

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

New Markets For AI-Powered Smart Cameras In 2021
New Markets For AI-Powered Smart Cameras In 2021

Organizations faced a number of unforeseen challenges in nearly every business sector throughout 2020 – and continuing into 2021. Until now, businesses have been on the defensive, reacting to the shifting workforce and economic conditions, however, COVID-19 proved to be a catalyst for some to accelerate their long-term technology and digitalization plans. This is now giving decision-makers the chance to take a proactive approach to mitigate current and post-pandemic risks. These long-term technology solutions can be used for today’s new world of social distancing and face mask policies and flexibly repurposed for tomorrow’s renewed focus on efficiency and business optimization. For many, this emphasis on optimization will likely be precipitated by not only the resulting economic impacts of the pandemic but also the growing sophistication and maturity of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), technologies that are coming of age just when they seem to be needed the most.COVID-19 proved to be a catalyst for some to accelerate their long-term technology and digitalization plans Combined with today’s cutting-edge computer vision capabilities, AI and ML have produced smart cameras that have enabled organizations to more easily implement and comply with new health and safety requirements. Smart cameras equipped with AI-enabled intelligent video analytic applications can also be used in a variety of use cases that take into account traditional security applications, as well as business or operational optimization, uses – all on a single camera. As the applications for video analytics become more and more mainstream - providing valuable insights to a variety of industries - 2021 will be a year to explore new areas of use for AI-powered cameras. Optimizing production workflows and product quality in agriculture Surveillance and monitoring technologies are offering value to industries such as agriculture by providing a cost-effective solution for monitoring of crops, business assets and optimizing production processes. As many in the agriculture sector seek to find new technologies to assist in reducing energy usage, as well as reduce the environmental strain of modern farming, they can find an unusual ally in smart surveillance. Some niche farming organizations are already implementing AI solutions to monitor crops for peak production freshness in order to reduce waste and increase product quality.  For users who face environmental threats, such as mold, parasites, or other insects, smart surveillance monitoring can assist in the early identification of these pests and notify proper personnel before damage has occurred. They can also monitor vast amounts of livestock in fields to ensure safety from predators or to identify if an animal is injured. Using video monitoring in the growing environment as well as along the supply chain can also prove valuable to large-scale agriculture production. Applications can track and manage inventory in real-time, improving knowledge of high-demand items and allowing for better supply chain planning, further reducing potential spoilage. Efficient monitoring in manufacturing and logistics New challenges have arisen in the transportation and logistics sector, with the industry experiencing global growth. While security and operational requirements are changing, smart surveillance offers an entirely new way to monitor and control the physical side of logistics, correcting problems that often go undetected by the human eye, but have a significant impact on the overall customer experience. Smart surveillance offers an entirely new way to monitor and control the physical side of logistics, correcting problems that often go undetected by the human eye. Video analytics can assist logistic service providers in successfully delivering the correct product to the right location and customer in its original condition, which normally requires the supply chain to be both secure and ultra-efficient. The latest camera technology and intelligent software algorithms can analyze footage directly on the camera – detecting a damaged package at the loading dock before it is loaded onto a truck for delivery. When shipments come in, smart cameras can also alert drivers of empty loading bays available for offloading or alert facility staff of potential blockages or hazards for incoming and outgoing vehicles that could delay delivery schedules planned down to the minute. For monitoring and detecting specific vehicles, computer vision in combination with video analysis enables security cameras to streamline access control measures with license plate recognition. Smart cameras equipped with this technology can identify incoming and outgoing trucks - ensuring that only authorized vehicles gain access to transfer points or warehouses. Enhance regulatory safety measures in industrial settings  Smart surveillance and AI-enabled applications can be used to ensure compliance with organizational or regulatory safety measures in industrial environments. Object detection apps can identify if employees are wearing proper safety gear, such as facial coverings, hard hats, or lifting belts. Similar to the prevention of break-ins and theft, cameras equipped with behavior detection can help to automatically recognize accidents at an early stage. For example, if a worker falls to the ground or is hit by a falling object, the system recognizes this as unusual behavior and reports it immediately. Going beyond employee safety is the ability to use this technology for vital preventative maintenance on machinery and structures. A camera can identify potential safety hazards, such as a loose cable causing sparks, potential wiring hazards, or even detect defects in raw materials. Other more subtle changes, such as gradual structural shifts/crack or increases in vibrations – ones that would take the human eye months or years to discover – are detectable by smart cameras trained to detect the first signs of mechanical deterioration that could potentially pose a physical safety risk to people or assets. Early recognition of fire and smoke is another use case where industrial decision-makers can find value. Conventional fire alarms are often difficult to properly mount in buildings or outdoor spaces and they require a lot of maintenance. Smart security cameras can be deployed in difficult or hard-to-reach areas. When equipped with fire detection applications, they can trigger notification far earlier than a conventional fire alarm – as well as reduce false alarms by distinguishing between smoke, fog, or other objects that trigger false alarms. By digitizing analog environments, whether a smoke detector or an analog pressure gauge, decision-makers will have access to a wealth of data for analysis that will enable them to optimize highly technical processes along different stages of manufacturing - as well as ensure employee safety and security of industrial assets and resources. Looking forward to the future of smart surveillance With the rise of automation in all three of these markets, from intelligent shelving systems in warehouses to autonomous-driving trucks, object detection for security threats, and the use of AI in monitoring agricultural crops and livestock, the overall demand for computer vision and video analytics will continue to grow. That is why now is the best time for decision-makers across a number of industries to examine their current infrastructure and determine if they are ready to make an investment in a sustainable, multi-use, and long-term security and business optimization solution.

How Technology Can Elevate Guest Services And Their Security
How Technology Can Elevate Guest Services And Their Security

The return to the workplace is a focal point for many in the built environment but one of the most important elements is easy to overlook. Guest services will be vital in the return to the workplace. Front-of-house teams will be responsible for welcoming building users back and reassuring them as they negotiate shared spaces in the post-Covid era. The workplace will inevitably look different after Covid. We have become more aware of our spaces, how clean they are, and what spaces building users share. Employees have also become more conscious of the pros and cons of the workplace. For some, a year of working from home has been a welcome break from the stress and time taken by a commute. Many organizations are considering moving to hybrid workplace approaches, downsizing their corporate real estate portfolio, and using shared spaces more consciously, be that for focussed quiet work or collaboration. We will also see heightened care in workplace cleaning and more data-led solutions. Front-of-house teams will be at the center of helping building users get used to these changes. The role of technology Front-of-house personnel will likely be responsible for ensuring buildings do not exceed safe occupancy levels and will be aided by visitor management systems.  Another change to look out for in the workplace will be the use of technology. Tech-led organizations have long reminded us that gut instinct and trusting our senses is not enough anymore, but Covid-19 has forced us to come to terms with this. Now that adopting technology has become crucial in cleaning, we will see a reticence to adopt it elsewhere fade too. A survey from McKinsey suggests that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technologies by several years. Why is this important for guest services? Much like other workplace changes, new technologies will alter how building users interact with their environment. Tech will also enable front-of-house teams to focus on the key ingredient of their role – human interaction. This will be vital in helping occupants feel comfortable, safe, and happy. Occupancy and visitor management systems These systems have been around in the workplace for many years, and pre-Covid were used to help us maximize our space and utilization. These systems are even more important as we are likely to see some return to the workplace before everyone has been vaccinated. We may see systems that contact only those occupants in an affected area of a building, rather than a whole workforce, to limit worry and ensure most people can remain confident in the hygiene of their workspace. For the rest of 2021 at least, precautions such as social distancing will need to be in place. Workplaces will continue to function at limited occupancy for some time to keep people safe. Front-of-house personnel will likely be responsible for ensuring buildings do not exceed safe occupancy levels and will be aided by visitor management systems. These may be used by individual organizations or by multi-tenanted buildings. Temperature checks and identity verification systems Organizations are mitigating risks where possible. Handheld digital thermometers have been in high demand. The use of such devices has reshaped the role of security officers over the past year. Officers have become familiar faces in shops and shared spaces, keeping people safe and acting as the first point of contact. The security sector has been placed under immense pressure, balancing the need to enforce precautions with responding to stressed building users in an empathetic way. Officers have demonstrated agility that security technology cannot replace. Post-pandemic, we will likely see a greater appreciation for what manned guarding can offer and a greater potential for officers in front of house roles. Front-of-House staff are becoming responsible for temperature verification. Some organizations may choose to increase the collaboration between their front-of-house and security teams. This could include implementing identity verification systems, as well as touchless systems. This will allow the focus of front-of-house teams to remain on the people and giving a warm welcome to users as they return to the office. Using monitoring to make guest services more available  Monitoring solutions may be the first things that come to mind when discussing security technology. We have seen an increasing trend toward integrating remote monitoring with manned guarding since before the pandemic. Such a move may be even more important now.Beyond keeping employees safe, guest services are going to play a central role in making the workplace an attractive option. For many organizations, the pandemic has forced a rapid switch in focus. Organizations have had to face the security challenges of caring for vacant premises and the additional complications of managing cybersecurity for remote work. Rebalancing the cost and focus of security may feel as though it has left some businesses without the capacity to utilize front-of-house officers. Yet when employees return to the workplace, front-of-house teams will be more important than ever. For those that did not do so during the pandemic, now is the time to be investing in effective monitoring solutions. The falling cost of technology means such a solution can be combined with manned guarding and front-of-house roles. Organizations may need to invest in fewer officers, but their roles can be more focused upon the occupant experience. Encouraging employees back Beyond keeping employees safe, guest services are going to play a central role in making the workplace an attractive option. Remote working has had both pros and cons but many of those downsides will be diminished with the end of the pandemic. Loneliness will no longer be such a challenge when seeing friends and neighbours is an option, and the return of children and partners to school and work will relieve distractions. It may be tempting, then, for many employees to continue working from home. As a result, many opportunities for collaborative work will be lost. For employers looking to encourage their workforce to return, creating an amazing workplace experience is key. Technology alone can’t offer this. Rather, too much tech could create an environment that feels clinical and impersonal. Use technology to streamline the boring or stressful elements of the workplace and invest in friendly faces who will welcome your workforce back.

What are the Security Challenges of Protecting the Cannabis Industry?
What are the Security Challenges of Protecting the Cannabis Industry?

The advent of a truly new market for the physical security industry is a rare occurrence. Particularly rare is a new market that is both fast-growing and provides an environment that is not just conducive to application of physical security technologies but that actually demands it. Such is the case with the market for legalized marijuana. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting the cannabis industry?