Warning Systems
in the Steel Industry

Warning Systems
in the Steel Industry

Warning Systems
in the Steel Industry

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Typical Hazards

In the metallurgical and steel-making industriy, high temperatures occur when coal or coke is burned in iron production or processing. Carbon monoxide is released during the production process, which may cause the death of poisoning in a few minutes. A major risk is that the gas is odourless. Experience shows that the poisonous gas can escape locally and even modern monitoring systems cannot detect it early enough.

In case this happens, the affected person loses their consciousness and may only be approached by another person wearing a protective mask. It is vital to call the emergency services immediately and warn all the people in the vicinity without delay. Apart from a gas leakage, other emergency situations may occur in daily operations, posing dangers to human health and life such as an injury, explosion and many others.

To this end, a simple solution was developed by the Telegrafia company to enable people who notice a local accident to report it to the emergency control centre and activate an alarm signal at the scene of the accident (or at other locations in the industrial area). Moreover, the system enables efficient evacuation control when necessary.

Typical Hazards

In the metallurgical and steel-making industriy, high temperatures occur when coal or coke is burned in iron production or processing. Carbon monoxide is released during the production process, which may cause the death of poisoning in a few minutes. A major risk is that the gas is odourless. Experience shows that the poisonous gas can escape locally and even modern monitoring systems cannot detect it early enough.

In case this happens, the affected person loses their consciousness and may only be approached by another person wearing a protective mask. It is vital to call the emergency services immediately and warn all the people in the vicinity without delay. Apart from a gas leakage, other emergency situations may occur in daily operations, posing dangers to human health and life such as an injury, explosion and many others.

To this end, a simple solution was developed by the Telegrafia company to enable people who notice a local accident to report it to the emergency control centre and activate an alarm signal at the scene of the accident (or at other locations in the industrial area). Moreover, the system enables efficient evacuation control when necessary.

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Solution Description

The technological solution of the Man-Down Alarm System was developed based on the company’s long-term collaboration with its customers. It can be characterised merely as a robust warning system, capable of the immediate indication and signalling of a local emergency. If any worker takes notice of an emergency and a person in danger, the system allows triggering an alarm by pushing the nearest MDA activation button in the area and notifying the control centre. The Man-Down Alarm System is based on the Amadeo PA system, Vektra® software, and a system of intelligent, mechanically resistant push-buttons distributed throughout the industrial area. It contains an interface for radio inputs from the firefighting and rescue corps stations, which makes evacuation control even more efficient. Acoustic signalisation is supplemented with visual signalisation, increasing the probability of a warning message reaching its target audience.

The Man-Down Alarm System can cover all potentially endangered operational units within an industrial area, and it can be interconnected or even integrated with the national mass warning system, providing that the civilians living near the industrial plant are to be warned.

This technological solution is appropriate when:

  • The warning process is to be activated easily and promptly by any person in an industrial area using an MDA activation button.
  • It is necessary to broadcast live-voice messages to control evacuation from mobile devices (e. g. radio stations, smartphones, etc.).
  • There is an increased risk of an accident in noisy operational units where the distribution of a warning message through conventional loudspeakers is insufficient.
  • A robust construction and high IP rating of the system is required for a specific industrial environment.
  • A high level of process automation is required during the warning activation, after the usage of an MDA activation button.
  • A high level of process automation is required at the control centre after reporting the emergency situation

The system consists of the following elements:

  • Hardware and software usually installed at the main control centre of the local firefighting and rescuing corps station at an industrial plant
  • The radio-controlled Amadeo PA units equipped with modules for MDA activation button signal monitoring and processing, with interfaces for direct broadcasting from the national radio station
  • A set of intelligent and easily identifiable MDA activation buttons whose functionality can be tested remotely at any time
  • Loudspeakers for 100 V circuits
  • Powerful pressure loudspeakers with a dedicated distribution network
  • Emergency beacons
Warning Systems in the Steel Industry

Solution Description

The technological solution of the Man-Down Alarm System was developed based on the company’s long-term collaboration with its customers. It can be characterised merely as a robust warning system, capable of the immediate indication and signalling of a local emergency. If any worker takes notice of an emergency and a person in danger, the system allows triggering an alarm by pushing the nearest MDA activation button in the area and notifying the control centre. The Man-Down Alarm System is based on the Amadeo PA system, Vektra® software, and a system of intelligent, mechanically resistant push-buttons distributed throughout the industrial area. It contains an interface for radio inputs from the firefighting and rescue corps stations, which makes evacuation control even more efficient. Acoustic signalisation is supplemented with visual signalisation, increasing the probability of a warning message reaching its target audience.

The Man-Down Alarm System can cover all potentially endangered operational units within an industrial area, and it can be interconnected or even integrated with the national mass warning system, providing that the civilians living near the industrial plant are to be warned.

This technological solution is appropriate when:

  • The warning process is to be activated easily and promptly by any person in an industrial area using an MDA activation button.
  • It is necessary to broadcast live-voice messages to control evacuation from mobile devices (e. g. radio stations, smartphones, etc.).
  • There is an increased risk of an accident in noisy operational units where the distribution of a warning message through conventional loudspeakers is insufficient.
  • A robust construction and high IP rating of the system is required for a specific industrial environment.
  • A high level of process automation is required during the warning activation, after the usage of an MDA activation button.
  • A high level of process automation is required at the control centre after reporting the emergency situation

The system consists of the following elements:

  • Hardware and software usually installed at the main control centre of the local firefighting and rescuing corps station at an industrial plant
  • The radio-controlled Amadeo PA units equipped with modules for MDA activation button signal monitoring and processing, with interfaces for direct broadcasting from the national radio station
  • A set of intelligent and easily identifiable MDA activation buttons whose functionality can be tested remotely at any time
  • Loudspeakers for 100 V circuits
  • Powerful pressure loudspeakers with a dedicated distribution network
  • Emergency beacons
Warning Systems in the Steel Industry

Early Warning and Notification Control Centre

Amongst others, the early warning and notification control centre fulfils the following tasks:

  • It monitors the functionality and performance of the entire system continuously.
  • It monitors carbon monoxide levels (by using a separate monitoring system).
  • It activates the relevant warning messages and visual alarms after the detection of higher carbon monoxide levels, or, depending on a type of emergency, it activates the other Amadeo PA units.
  • It activates a notification process, i.e. summons of responsible persons to their workplace in case of a serious emergency, and notifies the relevant institutions of the emergency in question.
  • It activates the superior national warning system in case of a large-scale emergency outside the industrial area.
  • It makes and keeps records of all communications in the control centre for future analysis.

It consists of:

  • A computer equipped with the Vektra® software
  • A large panel with several display screens
  • Additional modules for notification and recording
  • The Amadeo PA units or a central communications unit

Amadeo PA Units

The Amadeo PA units are located in the individual operational units within an industrial area and are connected to the superior warning and notification control centre. If communication with this centre is interrupted, the local Amadeo PA units can work autonomously. Using additional modules, each PA unit is interconnected with several mechanically resistant and continuously-tested MDA buttons. Once a single MDA button is pressed in an emergency, local acoustic and visual alarms are activated, and a message is sent to the warning and notification control centre. The centre sends out an emergency rescue unit to the scene of the accident. At the same time, depending on the level of danger, the centre can automatically activate the other Amadeo PA units, or it can automatically warn the people living in the vicinity of the industrial area. Powerful pressure loudspeakers embedded in aluminium-alloy horns are used to broadcast acoustic warning signals. Thanks to their robustness and high resistance, they are mainly employed in noisy industrial operations; however, with a lower output, they can also be used in the majority of other operational units.  Each Amadeo PA unit contains a radio interface that can be connected to the radio network of the firefighting and rescue corps stations. The interface enables the direct connection with the PA units in the individual industrial units and the control of the evacuation process using walkie-talkies.

Communications Infrastructure

This type of solution uses a radio infrastructure as the most frequent method of communications. The TCP/IP protocol-based Ethernet network or any other line-based communications networks are used very rarely partly due to the cost of building high-quality underground communications lines between individual operations and partly due to the susceptibility of simple airborne lines to failure. Like the Amadeo PA units, the communications network is backed-up for 72 hours of operation after a power failure.

System Control

The system can be controlled by or from:

  • MDA activation buttons distributed all around an industrial area
  • The warning and notification control centre
  • Local control units connected to the Amadeo PA units
  • The radio network of the firefighting and rescue corps stations
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