Staying ahead in the fire safety game

The Muster fire suppression system features forward-looking technologies that defy industry customs.

JSG Industrial Systems has upgraded its Muster fire suppression system, proving that fire suppression technologies are a progressive part of keeping people and assets safe. 

Muster has emerged a forerunner to the introduction of technology that is advancing the fire suppression industry.

Operating in a sector that can be slow to change, the brand has delivered new technologies that help make mine operations safer. 

It has overcome the high standards subjected to vehicles and assets protection segments within the fire industry, proving itself as a reputable brand offered by John Sample Group subsidiary, JSG Industrial Systems. 

Muster, known for its automatic detection and actuation technology, performs up to the standards and legislations that protect the fire suppression industry. 

JSG’s Muster engineering manager Sara Venu says the market for vehicle fire, although not legislated yet, still requires compliance to Australian Standard (AS) 5062-2016, as well as various certifications which create barriers to entry. 

“Not every company can get into the manufacture of fire suppression products. This makes companies slower to change or introduce new technologies,” Venu tells Safe to Work. 

Muster’s leadership in fire safety technologies is evident as it delivers new technologies which help make mobile equipment on mining operations safer against fire.

Muster360

Muster is the first fire suppression provider to use a cloud-based design program called Muster360. 

This program streamlines the process of risk assessment, designs a fire suppression system and creates a report for the installer and the customer for future reference. Venu says the web-based program represents a great leap ahead in the market for JSG. 

With the design process taking place between JSG distributors and mining companies, Muster360 helps both parties make sure that the fire suppression system complies with AS5062-2016. 

“We tell our distributors that the AS5062-2016 certification requires you to do your risk assessment along with the customer or mining company, not by yourself,” Venu says. 

“This is important because Muster360 requires the customer to accept and approve the risk assessment and identify which areas of the machine are going to be more prone to fire and require fire suppression.”

With Muster360, the proposed fire suppression system is laid out in a diagram that clearly shows the location of its major components.

A majority of fires on mobile plants from September 2014 to May 2017 were diesel engine-related, according to the In-service Fires on Mobile Plant report released by the New South Wales Resources Regulator.

Sixty-nine per cent of all fires during that period started from the high temperature diesel engine exhaust and turbo surfaces. 

Only 21 per cent of these fires were ignited following battery and starter motor events.

Planning of the design and installation of the fire suppression system from the get-go is, therefore, critical to ensuring fire safety on mobile and fixed assets on a mine site.

Working out the details from the beginning to end, Muster360 provides document commissioning details, including the final costs and parts that are required to bring the installation to fruition.

“Muster360 will then keep this record online and operators can access the information from any computer – it’s quite an innovative approach. Our competitors still use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to perform this work,” Venu says.

“Because Muster360 is a cloud-based app, it does not have to be installed on the computer nor have to be updated by the customer.”

Muster filling tube is marked with different cylinders.

Convenient cylinder filling of water and agents

Muster’s innovation extends beyond the Muster360 program to the inclusion of a small filling tube that delivers benefits beyond its size.

The Muster Fire Suppression system uses a premixed solution of foam and water. 

First, the cylinder is filled with a pre-determined quantity of water and then topped with foam concentrate.

“If the cylinder has a capacity of 88 litres, then you have to fill 88 litres of water and then add 1 per cent of the water quantity as foam agent. You can’t fill a rough guesstimate of water into the cylinder – it has to be exact,” Venu explains.

To save the installer time and not make them measure the quantity of water, Muster supplies a filling tube marked with all the different cylinders. 

The user moves the locking seal and fills the cylinder using a hose. 

“With Muster’s new filling tube, water will overflow once it reaches the bottom of the tube, turning cylinder filling into a much easier task,” Venu explains.

The Muster filling tube has demonstrated that major benefits can be produced by even the smallest of innovations.

Muster diagnostic module upgrades

This trend continues with the upgrade of Muster’s diagnostic module, which is a small, handy and compact maintenance device compared with its bulkier counterparts. 

“The Muster Team has retained the compact design but made it more robust to withstand tough conditions on a mine site,” Venu says. 

Regardless of its size, the upgraded diagnostic module can withstand the toughest conditions on mine sites. 

“We listened to our customers feedback and reflected the changes in version two of the diagnostic module, which now comes with a bigger screen, longer battery life, USB cable for charging and data transfer to a computer,” Venu says.

The diagnostic module helps customers with fault finding, viewing relay settings, activation delay timer setting and checking system pressure as well as battery capacity. 

Above all, it can download event history from the alarm panel, making it much easier for technicians to find faults and conduct repair works. 

“This small module can keep a record of history for up to 120 alarm panels. Technicians can easily find out what has happened, why and where,” Venu says.

Such are the forward-looking technologies found in the Muster fire suppression system. Its reliability and robustness have earned widespread use in more than 30 countries globally. 

The mining, on-road transport, construction equipment and agriculture sectors in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, Laos, Philippines and Africa have experienced success in keeping their assets and people safe using the Muster innovative system.

While the risk of fire events is real on mine sites, so is the protection capabilities of Muster. 

This story also appears in the May issue of Safe To Work.