March 15, 2004

MacGregor offers water mist fire system

The MacGregor Group has signed a contract with Finnish fire safety specialist Softonex to become the exclusive distributor and service provider for Softonex's fire-extinguishing systems in marine sector.

The SoftEx watermist fire-extinguishing system has a number of advantages over traditional installations. It is a low-pressure system--about 4 bar at the nozzle--and is crew friendly. SoftEx is described as easy to install with no need for strengthening behind the nozzlewhich can be directly mounted to the wall or ceiling panel. The system's extinguishing technique is proven along with a number of its components including the centrifugal pumps, normal PN16 valves and piping. SoftEx also has a low electrical power requirement.

The system uses about 80 percent less water than a traditional sprinkler system. This is achieved by adding small amount of fire-extinguishing additive to the water, which reduces the water droplet size to a fine mist. This cools the fire gases very quickly, therefore limiting the damage and reducing the spread of a fire.

Marine applications cover:

  • accommodation areas
  • public spaces
  • machinery spaces
  • galleys and pantries
  • provisions stores including alcohol stocks
  • spaces with electrical equipment.

The SoftEx system is tested and approved according to Solas II-12, A.800, Circ 913. It is approved by Det Norske Veritas, Lloyd's Register, Germanischer Lloyd, Bureau Veritas, the Finnish Maritime Administration, the Swedish SNMA, MED, Russian Register, Registro Italiano Navale and JG Japan.

A contract between MacGregor and Softonex covers global sales of fire-extinguishing systems to newbuildings and conversions, with the exception of Japan and Thailand, and a worldwide service agreement. Softonex will continue to market and sell products to land-based applications.

Ismo Matinlauri, MacGregor's Service division's New Product Manager, said: "The agreement combines both parties' best features: MacGregor has an extensive service network and good contacts within the marine world, and Softonex has a superior and proven product that gives clear benefits to owners compared with traditional systems on offer."

The products will be marketed and sold under the SoftEx brand name by MacGREGOR while Softonex focuses on product development and the supply of goods.