Space programme technology helps protect machine tool specialist

Citizen Machinery UK Ltd, based in Bushey Hertfordshire, is a CNC machine tool specialist supplying the latest CNC turning technology to UK industry. The company has been successfully serving UK manufacturing industry for over 35 years.
Once they’re installed on customer’s premises, Citizen’s CNC sliding head lathes operate at high speeds and often ‘round-the clock’. Customers seek to run their Citizen machines unattended and, in some cases, lights out. Successful unattended operation requires a stable, proven production process and for the customer to proactively manage the risk. Insurers usually stipulate the fitment of fire suppression equipment to machine tools operated unattended. Citizen Machinery UK regard this area as a key responsibility and duty of care to it’s customers and has therefore fitted fire suppression equipment as standard for a number of years to machines supplied in the UK/ Ireland.
Therefore, as part of its continually developing service to customers, Citizen has replaced its current fire suppression system on its range of CNC Lathes and now fits Nobel Fire Systems Stat-X range of fire suppression units as standard to all machines. Nobel’s specialist installation team initially provided a risk based analysis across the range of Citizen Lathes, and once fitted the Stat-X fire suppression system provides all customers with the fire safety reassurances they need.
Based on aerosol technology developed in the space programme, the Stat-X family of fire suppression systems is a patented potassium-based aerosol that suppresses fire by chemically ‘interfering’ with the free radicals of flame. In the event of a fire, Stat-X generators can be activated either manually or automatically via the integrated thermal detector. On activation, the generators produce an exceptionally effective, ultra-fine, potassium based aerosol.
Unlike gaseous systems, Stat-X aerosol generators are very cost effective to install and maintain – as they don’t require the pressure vessels, piping or expensive installation costs associated with other extinguishing systems. Space and weight requirements are minimal and in the case of Citizen makes the task of fitting the system an easy and viable option. On an agent weight basis, Stat-X aerosol is ten times more effective than gaseous agent alternatives. Fire suppression is rapidly achieved through interference between the ultra-fine aerosol particulate and the flame’s free radicals – terminating propagation of the fire. Stat-X aerosol generators are virtually maintenance free and have a shelf life of over 10 years. This, coupled to their very low installation cost, makes them an extremely cost effective fire protection solution.
Another big advantage lies in the fact that the Stat-X system is ecologically safe with zero ozone depletion and no global warming potential.