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PO Box 28, Hamilton NSW 2303, Australia

Fight Fire with Fibre Detection & Alarming System Compliant, zero maintenance fire protection technologies to keep your business running safely in even the harshest environments. More About Our Company Many Industry Applications The Advanced Photonics system can be applied within a number of industry sectors, including mine safety applications where conventional options struggle to provide a viable solution. More About Our Company Fire Protection Fast and reliable plant area fire monitoring systems and equipment temperature monitoring to keep your business running efficiently, protect your staff and safeguard your assets. More About Mechanical Fire Mechanical
Advanced Photonics

Fight Fire with Fibre

Fire Protection Systems

Fire Protection Systems

Avoid a fire with early detection using fiber optic distributed temperature sensing.

Commercial Fire Detection Systems

Commercial Fire Detection Systems

Harness the power of linear heat detection with cutting edge fire protection technologies.

Welcome to

Advanced Photonics Australia

Advanced Photonics Australia’s fiber optic distributed temperature sensing solutions include Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) And Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) for a wide range of heavy industry applications. We have adopted the latest proven technology in the field of Photonics to engineer industry leading commercial, industrial and mine safety technologies for even the most onerous operating environments. Our fire monitoring systems provide continuous condition monitoring of key assets. This protects the safety of staff and allows for a predictive asset management approach to be established which minimises unplanned outages and avoids unnecessary maintenance of equipment.

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Download our company brochure, white papers and product information here.
Improve Your Safety

Disaster Prevention

Tunnel Fires

Tunnel Fires

Fire detection in long and inaccessible areas

Conveyor Fires

Conveyor Fires

Detects heat build-up above & below conveyor

Cable Insulation Burnout

Cable Insulation Burnout

Monitor and detect temperature increases in power and utility cables

Pipeline Leakage

Pipeline Leakage

Pipeline Leakage or Blockage Detection

Tank Farm Fires

Tank Farm Fires

Prevent major fire explosion incidents from occuring

Coal Bunker Fires

Coal Bunker Fires

Fire Prevention/Detection – Coal Storage

Motor / Pulley Bearing Failure

Motor / Pulley Bearing Failure

Condition Monitoring– Motor/Pulley Bearings

Conveyor Idler Failure

Conveyor Idler Failure

Condition Monitoring / Preventative Maintenance

Enquire Now

Please select from the following options:
Cutting Edge

Technology

Cable Properties

Very small diameter and weight – fast heat transfer – short response time – fast fire detection and precise temperature and location measurement.

FRNC (Fire Resistant Non-Corrosive) steel cable, fire rated for 2hrs @ 750 degrees centigrade.

Maintenance Free

Sensor cable and detector are maintenance-free – no maintenance operations are required to maintain detector operation e.g. filter changes, calibration or cleaning.

Sensor cable has 40 years design longevity.

DTS detector with sensor cables obtained VdS certificate as heat detector with highest A1/A2 class acc. to EN 54-5 with sensor cable lengths up to 10 km

Explosion Safety

DTS detector uses laser light emitter of very low power – laser class 1 (<20 mW).

Low laser light power allows sensor cable to be installed in explosive atmospheres, e.g. coal mines, gas and dust environments.

Simple Installation

Small bending radius, combined with basic mounted requirements on new or existing cable ladder, piping or equipment structures.

Increasing Availability

Through these System Configurations

DTS system without Redundancy
DTS system without Redundancy
Sensor cable as open line, no sensor cable redundancy, no detector redundancy.EN 54-22: maximum area protected by sensor cable = 1600m2AS1670.1: maximum zone area = 2000m2
DTS System with Cable Redundancy
DTS System with Cable Redundancy

Sensor cable as loop, detector with 2 channels, no detector redundancy.

EN 54-22: maximum are protected with sensor cable as loop = 10000m2

DTS System for Full Redundancy
DTS System for Full Redundancy

Sensor cables as 2 loops, two DTS detectors, full redundancy – highest reliability.

EN 54-22: maximum area protected by sensor cable as loop between two detectors = 10000m2 for each sensor cable loop.

Testimonials

The system provides a faster response time to any potential fire risk. It is performing well to expectation.

Edward Kennedy CHPP Projects, Glencore Bulga

Keeping you informed

Recent Articles

Operational benefits of Fibre Optics Technology for fire detection
Operational benefits of Fibre Optics Technology for fire detection

How early warning and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are benefiting the mining industry

Conventional Fire Detection and early warning Traditionally the implementation of fire detection systems has been seen through the prism of mandatory regulatory compliance.  A mine site needs to either:  
  • Comply with a state or federal regulation to safeguard employees and maintain its operating license and / or,  
  • Has identified fire as a business risk worthy of detection and suppression systems to safeguard its operation and equipment loss.  
In either case, mining sites typically see fire safety as a defensive strategy or in other words a cost to the business, not a profit-making endeavour or strategy to safeguard operations.  A phrase frequently heard around this belief is “will a fire safety system give me extra production throughput”?  These beliefs are understandable as conventional fire detection systems, even with the latest releases, are broadly based on time-worn stand-alone solutions, which send alarms and activate fire suppression systems “after” the fire has started.    However, new technologies have emerged to offer a more comprehensive and reliable solution not only to detect fires but also to prevent them. A better outcome would be to detect an emerging fire event before it takes hold to eliminate or minimise the risk to life, damage to equipment, production loss, heavy fines, loss of operating license or even the shutdown of the whole operation. The good news is that the technology has evolved and is now available to prevent all these risks.  The fibre optics technology offers an early detection system that is critical for avoiding potential fire events. For example, smouldering coal takes on average 16 to 24 minutes to erupt into a flame which could set off a fire or even an explosion. Identifying abnormal heat conditions early can make the difference between having a dangerous fire or preventing the fire before it happens.   The fibre-optic temperature sensing detects smouldering coal ahead of any conventional gas or infrared detectors which is a great advantage for mining companies to prevent accidents, safeguard people, equipment and operations. The technology also offers one of the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in the long run with no maintenance needed, which is a critical aspect for the industry as detailed below.   

An overview of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) 

 In traditional fire detection systems, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) includes many different aspects that make these systems costly to install and maintain in the long run. The conventional systems require many devices, sometimes hundreds of them, to be placed throughout the mine in order to safeguard the site.    Another aspect is that those systems need to be tested frequently to make sure they are compliant with the hazardous classification (gas or dust explosion rating) which can disturb production and represent a significant cost for the whole site. Ensuring the equipment is immune to electro-magnetic interference and suitable to operate on a variety of environmental conditions such as high winds, corrosive atmospheres, high vibration, physical impact and so on can represent another challenge for gas and smoke detectors.   The supply of a multitude of devices to cater for every type of fire scenario and their respective installation – with a multitude of power, signal, network cables – along with the maintenance of various equipment, spares, schedule calibration and expertise, is a significant pain point for customers. Miners in most cases spend a lot of resources firstly to install all of these systems and devices, then also running and maintaining them over time.  What if we can now have a system that does all of this with higher accuracy, real time monitoring, no other devices required rather than the cable and with no regular maintenance over time? The fibre optics-based system performs all of that with a single cable that has a long-life span and the highest levels of accuracy in the industry. All those aspects, if compared, reveal that the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is significantly lower for the fibre optics system in the long run as it does not require multiple devices, intrusive installation or regular maintenance after installed.   Besides that, no more disruption to your mining production will be needed to undertake maintenance or equipment calibration. The Distributed Temperature Sensing system is totally integrated to your plant SCADA system for a faster decision-making process and better user experience.   

Fibre Optic Based Linear Detection Solution for Mining 

 The fibre optic based linear heat detection system will provide both:  
  • A predictive approach to minimise the fire risk and  
  • The lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).  
 This is achieved by the following key features and benefits of the system.  
  • Total site fire detection:  
  • Heat measurement wherever cable is located, no need to estimate where a fire risk is the highest, just run the 4 mm diameter stainless steel reinforced cable through the are  
  • Captures all potential fire hot spots via three detection methods, conduction across a surface, convection through air, and infra-red radiation flame detection,  
  • The system is analogous to having thousands of temperature sensors in the field.  
 
  • Early warning:  
  • Of abnormal heat build-up before a fire starts.  The fibre cable detects an abnormal heat build-up on equipment, or smouldering product and produces an alarm set at any temperature based on the equipment operation or product type,  
  • Of equipment overheating or potential product fire, allows for prompt maintenance of the equipment, or cleaning to be performed. Avoiding unscheduled plant downtime and costs associated with the disruption to production,  
  • Of even the smallest temperature change with the highest possible accuracy. Early detection is ensured through an extremely low signal to noise (SNR) ratio in this laser-based temperature measurement.  
 
  • Fire event management:  
  • Remote centralised monitoring of a fire event allows for;   
  • Safe evacuation of people, 
  • Coordinated fire-fighting and automatic suppression systems. Fire-fighting crew knows exactly where the fire is located to within a metre, not just a “zone alarm”,  
  • During a fire event the fibre cable will continue sending heat locations, where its moving to and its temperature and size information, because the fibre cable is rated to operate for up to 2 hours at 750° C and  
  • Incident reporting: in order to accurately report to the regulatory authorities the circumstances of the fire, the system provides a full history before, during and after fire event. This allows mining companies to have comprehensive data and draw relevant insights to prevent future fire incidents.    
 
  • Lowest TCO:
  • Minimal system design & installation costs for any late changes. If in doubt about the fire risk in a certain area, it is relatively inexpensive to just run the cable in the area as the sensors do the whole coverage without worrying about the cost versus benefit factor,  
  • No field devices, power, signal, or network cable required since the cable is the sensor,  
  • No equipment calibration required post-commissioning,  
  • No spare parts required and,  
  • Fibre cable rated for 40-year life.  
 
  • Compliance standards & lower insurance premiums: 
  • Fire detection certifications - Vds, FMGlobal, UL, EN54-22. Which help to minimise insurance premiums,  
  • Highest hazardous area ratings due to the extremely low power laser utilised,   
  • Not susceptible to interference from electromagnetic interference, due to compliance with EMI standards,  
  • High reliability of operation when needed for activating fire suppression or equipment shutdown, due to its SIL2 (Safety Integrity Level) rating in accordance with AS61508/61511 for functional safety compliance, and  
  • Cyber security provided by VxWorks for real-time operating systems. 
 Fibre Optics Technology allows you to say no more to hundreds of devices installed on your plant as well as endless and costly maintenance or calibration. The system unites the best of real time monitoring technology in a fully integrated and reliable system without regular maintenance: the fibre cable does it all.  
Cutting-edge fibre optics technology as a growing trend in mining
Cutting-edge fibre optics technology as a growing trend in mining

How system integration, autonomous technologies and focus on compliance are taking the industry to the next level 

As mine equipment, both fixed and mobile plant, become more autonomous, reliance on people to spot hazards early is reduced and progressively will not be available whatsoever.  When it comes to the remote nature of a mine and its vast area, it is hard to rely on personnel to spot dangerous situations such as spontaneous combustion. There is an increase of fires in mines, especially on underground mobile plant. In fact, fire and explosions were the number one driver of incident notifications according to the Safety Report from New South Wales Resource Regulator in July and September of 2020.  The increase in mine fires is leading to some challenges on how the industry approaches fire and its inherent risk to the operations, staff and the environment. The combination of high fire incidents and rise of autonomous technology is giving form to growing safety trends. Fibre optics technology emerges as one of the most effective, comprehensive and robust technologies that provide valuable real time data to prevent fire incidents. How does this growing trend in mine fires relate to the photonics technology? An overall view of a few trends for 2021 give a few insights.  

The Mining Trends for 2021 

According to the Deloitte Mining Insights Report "Tracking the changes for 2021", the industry is experiencing an increase in deployment of new technology adapted to tackle safety, data integration and environmental challenges. Among the overall trends, there are three important ones to be highlighted:  
  • On the road to zero harm: Creating the next generation of integrated predictive safety systems 
Miners are on the path to zero harm so that the workplace can be safe for their employees, nearby communities and the environment. Adopting new systems and technologies can prevent incidents and increase overall safety standards. 
  • Corporate governance adding to competitive advantage: Emerging risks mandate greater oversight 
Corporate governance is emerging as a powerful way to manage risks: cyber security, environmental and technological compliance are on the agenda. Companies are stepping up to comply with higher levels of safety not only on site but also on data and information, minimising any potential risks. 
  • The path towards integrated operationsPositioning miners to pivot in the face of change 
The rapid pace of technological advancement over the past decade has provided an increase in the amount of information available to support decision-making in the mining industry. This trend is expected to accelerate over time and to make it even more effective companies are going towards integrated operations and systems rather than isolated data systems.  
Safety, always central to mining, can be enhanced by new technologies and data. (…) An integrated approach to their use is needed. Safety analytics can predict potential harm and offer the means to prevent it.

Deloitte Mining Insights, Tracking the changes 2021 

 In that scenario, photonics technology is in line with all these aspects: the solution is fully integrated to a mine's SCADA system, has national and international accreditation as a compliant solution to minimise fire risks as well as its focus on safety and incident prevention, aligning with the growing trends in the mining industry.   

Fibre Optics Technology 

The ability to remotely monitor for fires, with system diagnostics is now possible: all of that with zero maintenance. Our photonics technology makes it possible to have a safe and compliant system that allows real time monitoring to signal abnormal conditions and prevent fires before they happen.  The system is suitable for both underground and surface facilities, with high accuracy of temperature and precise location, is easy to install and does not require any maintenance. The solution also fully integrates to your site's monitoring and control system, making the data easily available and integrated into your fire alarm response.  All this is provided by a small 4mm diameter stainless steel reinforced fibre optic cable. The fibre optic cable is the sensor, performing temperature measurement and providing the exact location of the heat build-up. No other components are necessary: no field power, signal cabling or parts to be replaced. 

4mm Fibre Optics Sensor 

Our photonics technology has already been implemented in mines not only in Australia but overseas as well, promoting reliable real time monitoring of vast and hazardous areas. By having the exact location, temperature and the direction the fire is moving, first responders are better equipped to act ahead of the game, preventing and managing potential fire incidents before they start. The photonics technology aligns with the 2021 mining trends of focus on safety, system integration and corporate risk mitigation strategies. Mining companies can tackle different challenges with only one solution: the best technical and cost-effective system that provides total coverage with warning of abnormal heat build-up at an early stage.   Contact Advanced Photonics Australia for more information. Our experienced team will provide the right support on each product application and answer any questions you might have.  

Sources 

 Deloitte Insights Report 2021 https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/mining-and-metals  Deloitte Insights Report 2021, Safety Technology  https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/mining-and-metals/tracking-the-trends/2021/next-generation-mining-safety-technology.html 
What is the price of a fire?
What is the price of a fire?
Fireisoneofthebiggestthreats to miningoperations, productionandemployeesafetyand canundermineassets in a matterofhours.  Accordinto an estimate of Engineer Live, in the last decade mining fires caused damage ranging from a few million dollars to up to $125 million dollars.  A compilation of fire incidents in the mining industry between 2013 and 2019 reveals the price of a fire in different areas of the mining site. The business interruption costs and associated property damage caused by the fires can vary as detailed below: •  Fire in a benefaction plant: US$120m •  Hot work failure: US$65m •  Conveyor fire: US$60m •  Fire in processing plant: US$45.5m •  Shaft fire: US$90m •  Surface fire: outstanding •  Transformer fire: US$50m •  Underground conveyor fire: US$70m •  Underground longwall fire: US$125m •  Surface conveyor fire: US$20m The financial loss, threat to human lives and interruption in the production have serious consequences. The  sizeandremoteness ofmining sites, the expensive machineryandthe  costlydowntimemakesitessential to safeguardandpreventfires.  Other heavy industries have also been critically impacted by recent fires. The fire in the port of Beirut in Lebanon (5th August 2020) as well as the fire in Cork Harbour, Ireland (9th January 2021) on a grain handling plant, pointed out the danger a fire imposes to human lives, the environment and the local community in general.In theBeirut case, a firewasresponsible for igniting a largeinitialexplosion, followedbya  series ofsmallerblaststhatgenerated a criticalsituation for thousandsofpeoplewhoworkedatthe portorwere in nearbyareas.  In theIrish case, itissaidthatthelackofcommunicationplayed a significant role in the early stagesofthefire as theresidentsdidnothaveinformationaboutwherethefirewas  orwhereit wasleading, posing a real risk to the local community. Theaccidentsindicate  thatfirepreventionmightbe in the centre oftheheavyindustry's agenda in order to  preventotherincidents in 2021.   
 CurrentApproaches to FireDetection in Mining 
In the mining industry, fire hazards have high occurrence in and around process plants, conveyors, draglines and switch roomsamong others. Current approaches to fire detection in mines usually:   
  • Provide spot checks only, 
  • Require regular and costly maintenance, 
  • Require power, signal and network cabling, 
  • Have complex signal interfaces for explosive atmospheres and 
  • Offer vague details of location when fires break out. 
This affects:
  • The safety of staff, 
  • Effective evacuations, 
  • Protection of key equipment and 
  • Downtime in the event of a fire.  
Some issues to be considered on mining sites include the fact that a fire on a conveyor can start from multiple sources, including the material being transported, overheated drive pulley bearings and smouldering dusts. Due to the conveyor’s long lengths (up to 10 km), bends, slopes, shielding barriers, roof covers and harsh conditions, traditional fire and environmental monitoring may not be as effective. Existing technology also incurs prohibitive costs for supply, installation and maintenance, for only partial point solutions. The overall result of this scenario has been inadequate fire detection systems – and in most cases no system at all. This has prompted the mining regulator to recommend in their guidelines that mining organisations look at additional systems for early warning and real time fire detection. Due to our strong mining experience,  we understand the challenges faced in detecting equipment failures early, especially overheating of rotating equipment.  
Advancements in Photonics Technology allow us to prevent these accidents
Nowadays the fibre optics system helps save lives, safeguard assets and protect the environment. The cutting-edge technology addresses these challenges by offering real time monitoring for early abnormal heat build-up before a fire actually happens. Therefore, this provides comprehensive data in the form of heat build-up location, temperature and where the fire is heading to. The system is effective not only to detect fires once they ignite but also to prevent them once certain conditions start.Although it is hard to set a real price of a fire or accident, the latest events indicate that they pose a high cost to companies and society in general.  Without mentioning the loss of lives which are of immeasurable value and the consequences to the environment and local communities that take years to be recovered. By improving the safety standards and applying the right technologies in the industry we can now create a better future with the best fire detection technology for long distances.  SourcesThe price of fire safety for the mining industry – Engineer Live  https://www.engineerlive.com/content/price-fire-safety-mining-industry Ringaskiddy blaze the third Cork harbour fire in four months – Irish Examiner  https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/munster/arid-40203944.html Beirut fire: Large blaze erupts in port a month after explosion – BBC News  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-54100251 Fire protection in the mining industry  http://www.fpaa.com.au/media/203619/mining_industry_article.pdf