Improving fire safety with a better thermo-bulb
Thanks to EU funding, the German-based JOB Group, which specialises in manufacturing thermal bulbs used in smoke vents and automatic sprinklers, could invest in a new state-of-the-art precision glass drawing machine, allowing them to improve the quality of their final product.
" With this new glass drawing machine, we are able to increase the quality of the glass tubes that we use for manufacturing our Thermo Bulbs. In addition, we have more flexibility to fulfil customer demands in regard to Thermo Bulb dimensions, temperature range requirements and strength requirements. "
Led by the JOB Group, a global market leader in this field, and with the vision of creating a world where everyone is protected against the dangers of fire, this project focused on producing thermally actuated release elements for automatic sprinklers, smoke vents, fire dampers and related devices.
The resulting bulbs contain a hermetically sealed liquid that expands with rising temperatures. When the bulb hits a predetermined release temperature, it bursts into small fragments, triggering the sprinklers or device. JOB’s Extinguishing Bulb (E-Bulb), a type of thermo bulb, was the recipient of the 2014 Security Innovation Award during the annual Security Trade Fair in Essen, Germany.
Funding from the European Regional Development Fund helped to build a new, state-of-the-art precision glass drawing machine which would enable the company to develop its bulbs more efficiently.
Building a better bulb
The machine was needed to process the glass tubes that serve as raw material in the manufacturing of thermo bulbs. Traditionally, the JOB Group sourced its glass tubes from a third-party supplier. However, as the supplier was unable to guarantee the quality needed for this type of product, another option was needed. Ideally, the group required the capability and capacity to manufacture the glass tubes themselves — which led to the purchase of the precision glass drawing machine.
Thanks to the new equipment, the company was able to improve the overall quality of the final product. The JOB Group has since successfully tightened the specification of the raw material used by its glass bulb machines – improving the quality of the product, and its competitiveness on the market.
Good news for end users
With this new technology, the company has secured its position as the worldwide leader in thermo bulbs. The new drawn glass tubes manufactured by the JOB Group onsite, means that the tolerance of the thermo bulbs is now much tighter. In fact, the quality of the drawn glass is approximately 62 % higher than that of the glass that they were previously purchasing. Being able to manufacture their own glass bulbs also gives the group more flexibility in its ability to fulfil customer demands.
All of this is good news for the end users who — thanks to the more precise bulbs behind the sprinklers and fire prevention systems found in offices, hotels and homes — benefit from improved fire safety.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “Investment into a new precision glass manufacturing facility” is EUR 269 378 with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 94 280 through the “Schleswig-Holstein” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.