The Rio Tinto Smelter Plant

The Lochaber plant produces 40,000 tonnes of aluminium per year and employs over 170 people on a huge site comprising of 8 buildings, some of which house extremely harsh environments due to the heat and high magnetic fields produced by the smelters. The Advanced equipment was chosen following the successful completion of a number of tests to ensure compatibility and reliable operation in these demanding conditions.

“The Lochaber site has welcomed the installation of the Advanced fire and safety systems to develop and improve the existing facilities at the site”, said Ewan Stewart, Rio Tinto Alcan’s Safety, Training & Communications Officer. “The solution delivers a greater identifiable coverage for the plant and a platform for future expansion and integration into access control and security systems.”

Eight MxPro 4 analogue addressable fire alarm control panels have been installed, one in each main building and a master panel in the gatehouse. These are connected to 321 Apollo devices, including fire sensors, call points and sounders. Standard smoke sensors and sounders are installed in the office areas, with just manual call points and high-output sounders in the harsh, high-noise environments.

Advanced’s LifeLine system provides hand-held vibrating radio pagers to workers who are hearing impaired or who are working in high-noise areas. These are controlled from a LifeLine panel connected to each of the fire panels in each building. In the event of a fire or incident the pagers display pre-configured messages to alert the user. All the panels will be networked together when a new fibre-optic network is installed in the near future. In the interim all alarms from the remote fire panels are transmitted to security staff in the gatehouse via a LifeLine radio pager. Once the new network is in place this pager will act as a backup.

Three of Advanced’s LiTe Lx-9400 addressable emergency lighting control panels have been installed in a number of buildings around the site. These will also be networked together when the new fibre-optic link is installed. The panels control 175 of Advanced’s LiTe luminaries, including twin spot floodlights and 8W bulkheads. Each of the LiTe panels is configured with a test schedule to perform monthly tests and the annual 3-hour discharge test automatically, in full compliance with BS5266. Each luminaire is also continuously monitored for any faults.

Back