Herentals, Belgium, March 27, 2015 – Based in Herentals, Belgium, Fike Europe is the global expert in industrial dust explosion and overpressure safety. Today, the company opened the doors to Fike Academy. The only knowledge center of its type in the world, Fike Academy investigates and shares information on industrial dust explosions and overpressure with industrial sector safety experts from around the world. Research and product development have also found a home at the knowledge center. During the opening ceremony, safety experts from the Fike Academy demonstrated two new products that provide protection from dust explosions. In the near future, another five new products will be launched. The Fike Academy was established on the conviction that sharing knowledge makes an important contribution to safety in the industrial sector, and society in general.
Fike Europe launches two new products for protection against dust explosions: ValvEx® and WarnEx®.
Guaranteed Safety through Explosion Isolation
ValvEx® is an explosion isolation valve that prevents explosions from spreading through industrial installations. ValvEx® is a ‘passive’ valve, meaning that it closes itself when an explosion takes place. Unlike any other valve, it reopens itself as soon as the explosive dangers are gone. ValvEx® is certified by ATEX. As such, it is suitable for use in production processes where work is performed with combustible materials. When these materials are made, traded, stored or processed in large quantities, potentially explosive dust clouds often form. Examples include processes used in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as the energy, food and wood industries.
Explosion Prevention through Detection
WarnEx® is a ‘Smoldering Detection System’, a safety system that can detect smoldering (which precedes a dust explosion) in a machine or installation. As the smoldering is identified in its early stages, corrective actions can be taken to ensure a potential explosion is avoided. WarnEx® uses unique electro-‐chemical detection technology and centralized system architecture that allow it to manage multiple sensors. The installation and maintenance costs of WarnEx® are substantially lower and the system is more reliable and more stable than competing products.
WarnEx® is certified by ATEX. It is designed for use in production environments where processes result in combustible solids from animal feeds, as well as sugars and flour, powders from milk, paint, metal and chemicals and dusts from materials such as wood, paper and textiles.
Both products have received international certifications and have been tested in practice in the Fike Test Center in the US. Fike is the only organization in the world that tests products in practice and is therefore able to offer quality and safety guarantees. In the near future, Fike Europe will launch another five products specifically designed for enhanced dust explosion and overpressure safety.
The scientists and safety experts linked to the Fike Academy are authorities in their fields. They provide training, education and demonstrations for clients, agents, distributors and of course, Fike staff members. This enables everyone in and connected to the industry to stay informed and up to date with advancements and evolutions in dust explosion and overpressure safety. At the knowledge center, students in Safety Sciences from Ghent University and KU Leuven can gain valuable practical knowledge to supplement the theory in their study programs.
The second important pillar of the Fike Academy is the development of new products and techniques from, on one hand, fundamental research, and on the other, applied research. Globally, Fike Europe is the only organization in this field of expertise that performs research, develops products and has its own knowledge center.
Fike Academy is located at number 52 Toekomstlaan in Herentals. Fike Europe has invested € 3 million, extending their head office with the new building that houses the knowledge center.
Fike Europe employs 160 people and achieves an annual turnover of € 35 million. The company has its headquarters in Herentals, Belgium (which is also a production location) and six commercial sites in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Turkey.
Fike Europe is the European branch of Fike, an American family company established 70 years ago. It is a world expert and market leader in the field of industrial dust explosion and overpressure security, industrial fire safety and specific safety solutions for the oil and gas sector.