Experts in fire protection


Oxeo EcoPrevent FC / VG
December 22, 2021 - Solutions

Minimax Protects Deep-freeze Warehous of Coppenrath & Wiese

Sustainability in fire protection: Minimax has equipped Coppenrath & Wiese's deep-freeze warehouse in Osnabrück with a special oxygen reduction system: Minimax OXEO ECOPREVENT FC/VG.

The award-winning system generates nitrogen by means of a connected fuel cell. This solution is particularly economical: During power generation, the fuel cell produces clean, nitrogen-rich exhaust air as a by-product, which can be used for oxygen reduction. With this environmentally friendly solution, a return on investment can even be achieved, since the significant energy costs of the nitrogen generator that would otherwise be required are eliminated.

The Coppenrath & Wiese deep-freeze warehouse based in Osnabrück comprises 97,540 m3 in three protected areas. The temperature is around -22 °C. By introducing nitrogen, the oxygen concentration is reduced from 21% by volume (normal) to approx. 15% by volume and can still be accessed by verified personnel.

Saving up to 650 tons of CO2 annually
The fuel cell consistently delivers just under 100 kW of electricity (equivalent to 876,000 kWh/year) and just under 100 kW of thermal power, which the company uses to cover part of its energy load (electricity and heat). Whereas 132 kW was consumed with the old system, 86 kW of electricity is now generated on balance.

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Oxeo EcoPrevent FC fire prevention systems

Oxeo EcoPrevent VG fire prevention systems

Food plants

Deep-freeze warehouses


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Minimax fire protection trough BWCon 1,400
December 14, 2021 - Technologies

Certified Fire Protection for IBCs and Storage of Flammable Liquids

When IBCs replaced traditional steel drums and metal tote tanks for transporting and storing highly flammable hazardous materials in the mid-1990s, a new set of fire risks emerged.

IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Container) are large cuboid containers for liquid and free-flowing substances. When they replaced traditional steel drums and metal tote tanks for transporting and storing highly flammable hazardous materials in the mid-1990s, a new set of fire risks emerged. John LeBlanc, Vice President and Senior Engineering Technical Specialist in FM Global's Chief Engineer's Group, recalls, “Suddenly, we jumped from 55 gallons in a steel drum to 275 gallons or more in a plastic container."

‘Unmanageable risk’
In the event of a fire, an IBC can melt, thereby leaking liquid. When an intermediate bulk container (IBC) filled with flammable liquid leaks, insurance companies refer to it as an ‘unmanageable risk’. With a filling volume of 1,000 liters, an area of about 330 m² would be covered with 3 mm of flammable liquid.

What complicates matters further is the fact that while the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved IBCs for transporting flammable liquids, many assume that this approval also applies to storage.

U.S. property insurer FM Global, with its certification company FM Approvals, has addressed this issue and recently featured three products in IFP Magazine that significantly mitigate IBC fire hazards. Among them is the Minimax BWCon 1,400 FM fire protection trough that was certified by FM Approvals in 2018:

The Minimax fire protection trough is made of steel and has an integrated flame arrester. In the event of a fire, the burning liquid runs through this filter mat into the collection trough below. This combination prevents the uncontrollable spread of liquid and fire. The fire can then be extinguished, e.g. by a sprinkler system or the plant fire department, before the event develops into a major fire that threatens the existence of the plant. The tank has a total capacity of 1,400 liters. In addition to the 1,000 liters of flammable liquid from the IBC, another 400 liters of extinguishing agent can be held. This volume would be introduced by a sprinkler system during an approximate 20-minute period to extinguish the fire.

Besides the fire protection trough, FM Global certified the double-walled composite IBC from the German manufacturer Schütz in 2020 and the floor system from Houston, Texas-based Safespill back in 2017. The concept is derived from a drainage system used for helicopter landing pads in offshore oil platforms. In 2020, an enhanced version was certified for large applications such as aircraft hangars and distribution centers.

The recently introduced "LiquidProtect" sprinkler system from Minimax is not yet FM-approved but already recognized by VdS. It was developed specifically for the protection of flammable liquids in IBCs and drums stored in racks. Minimax thus provides an effective and reliable solution for the protection of flammable liquids.

Rich Ferron of FM Approvals sums up, “It has taken quite a while, but we now have FM-approved products that FM Global can recommend to its clients and that anyone in the world can purchase to address the very real fire risks associated with using IBCs in industry.”


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Reusable cylinders for gas extinguishing systems
November 18, 2021 - Service

Sustainability at Minimax: Reusable Cylinders for Gas Extinguishing Systems

Minimax is now able to undertake the required container replacement for gas extinguishing systems with reusable cylinders.

Gas extinguishing systems ensure safety, even when they are not in use. Nowadays, however, numerous systems in Germany have exceeded the recommended maximum period of use, notably twenty years. Minimax sees a need for action.

First, the legal basis stems from the relevant regulations governing transportable gas cylinders (Ortsbewegliche Gasflaschen / Druckbehälter): TRBS 3145 / TRGS 745, DIN EN 1968:2002 + A1:2005, VdS 3159. Here, the recommendation is to replace a container after the double inspection period has expired, and an inspection and evaluation by the operator is required. The operator must decide, justify and document whether the containers should remain in service or not.

What many people do not know, however, is that gas-based extinguishing systems have to be regarded as work equipment, the regular inspection of which is specified in Art. 14 of the German Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV). This applies, in particular, to "longer periods of non-use". Where the quick-opening valves of the containers with extinguishing agent have not been operated since the filling process, the installer or the maintenance manager must assume that the effectiveness and reliability are no longer up to standard. In this case, the system operator and persons acting on their behalf are personally liable. A responsible operator will therefore replace the containers, as the safe use can no longer be guaranteed. Safety and care for employees are the top priorities here. After all, defective, outdated gas cylinders can become a safety hazard.

New: reusable cylinders
Minimax is now able to undertake the required container replacement for gas-based extinguishing systems with reusable cylinders. In terms of quality, there is no difference between new and refurbished containers. On the other hand, the economic and ecological advantages for operators are obvious: savings in terms of costs, efforts, and valuable resources.

Containers that have been removed are revamped by Minimax and subjected to a visual and pressure test as the basis for reapplying the inspection stamp. Primer and paint renewal are possible as is the modernization of the valve technology. Old tanks are returned to the material cycle.

Opportunity for modernization
Even though the main focus on cylinder replacement is on ensuring the availability of the system technology, replacing a container also provides an opportunity for modernization due to ongoing technological development.

Existing systems can be future-proofed without applying for new approval, for example, by switching from a mechanical to pneumatic actuating device. This makes future maintenance more efficient and leads to less downtime. Other advantages include the availability of spare parts with more modern technology and the ability to expand the systems with new technology. The need to replace an old time-delay device in low-pressure systems should also be given due consideration as should a potential reduction in space requirements by switching from carbon dioxide to nitrogen.

Thus, maintenance services can be combined with modernization. With the new reusable cylinders from Minimax, this can also be done sustainably and with a clear conscience.

For further information and contact details

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wind turbines
September 14, 2021 - Solutions

Minimax Presents Fire Protection for Wind Turbines

At the on-site HUSUM Wind trade fair in Germany, Minimax will be presenting, until this coming Friday, its fire protection solutions that are tailored to the special requirements of wind turbines

The amount of renewable energy in electricity consumption is growing steadily: At 23.7%, wind energy provided the lion’s share of gross electricity consumption in Germany. Meanwhile, the hydrogen economy, along with wind energy – especially offshore wind energy – is gaining ground. For more than 20 years, Minimax has been protecting these indispensable energy suppliers with approved and certified fire protection technology – both onshore and offshore.

Early fire detection: Minimax aspirating smoke detector AMX4004
The core of reliable fire protection is the early detection of fire and combating it by applying a fire extinguishing process without delay. Our answer to ensuring this happens is the aspirating smoke detector AMX4004. It can withstand vibrations and high fluctuations in temperature as well as extreme climatic conditions. It detects fires as they arise by continually extracting air samples from the monitored area. In conjunction with intelligent evaluator algorithms, a comparison of typical disturbances takes place prior to setting off the alarm, meaning that the AMX4004 is extremely foolproof.

Fire detection and extinguishing control systems
The fire protection and extinguishing control systems from Minimax processes fire detection signals like those of the aspirating smoke detector AMX4004 or the flawlessly operating UniVario flame detectors using cutting-edge technology. They activate programmed control processes such as shutting down the wind turbine, notifying a constantly manned position as well as setting off the extinguishing systems.

Inert-gas extinguishing systems: environmentally friendly and no residue
The Minimax Oxeo Intergas extinguishing systems enable fire suppression adapted to sensitive and high-end facilities such as wind turbines. Inert gases are not electrically conductive and are non-toxic to humans, as they are a natural component of ambient air. They do not cool down and suppress fires without leaving a residue as well as being environmentally friendly. Normally, nitrogen is used in wind turbines but argon or mixed gases may also be used.

Water mist suppression systems: Minifog ProCon
Minifog water mist suppression systems reduce to a minimum the amount of water needed to combat fires. Special nozzles produce a very fine mist enabling the extinguishing agent to be distributed with a larger surface area: The ensuing cooling and suppression effect puts out any possible fire exceptionally quickly. Antifreeze in extinguishing water enables this method to be used at temperatures as low as –30 degrees Centigrade. The amount of extinguishing agent released is so small that normally no additional extinguishing agent retention devices are required. The extinguishing equipment, including the containers with the extinguishing agent for special applications, comes as a compact very lightweight unit that can be easily installed in the wind energy system.

Minimax at HUSUM Wind: Stand 3A 08

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fluorine-free foam extinguishing agent
August 18, 2021 - Technologies

New Fluorine-free Foam Extinguishing Agent

Minimax switches thyssenkrupp Steel Europe Fire Protection Systems to Fluorine-free Foam Concentrate

In May, Minimax and its competence team ‘Steel’ carried out a series of tests with fluorine-free foam concentrate at MPA Dresden GmbH, an independent fire protection competence center. The reason for the efficacy tests, which were supervised by VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH, was conducted at the request of our customer thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG to convert its extinguishing systems to a fluorine-free extinguishing foam. All the tests were successful, and VdS approved the use of the new, 1% fluorine-free foam extinguishing agent for the protection areas and system types concerned. 

Legal background
Time is of the essence: On April 8, 2020, the EU Regulation 2020/784 was passed, further restricting the use of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). Admittedly, firefighting foams are still considered to have a special status because every fire that can be prevented means that other, incalculable environmental damages are averted. The transitional period until July 4, 2025 still applies to fire extinguishing foams that are already filled in existing systems or mobile extinguishing equipment. From this date onwards, mixtures or products must not contain more than 25ppb (=μg/kg) of PFOA or a total of more than 1000ppb11 (=1ppm=1mg/kg) of all precursors. PFOA foams will no longer be allowed for educational purposes, and for testing only if there is a possibility of capturing all releases. As early as January 1, 2023, use will only be permitted at sites where all releases can be captured. 

What needs to be done?
As a result, many operators are concerned about the future of their fire protection facilities and would like to see a switch to fluorine-free foams. However, a number of requirements has to be considered in terms of the switchover: The VdS recognition for the use of foam extinguishing agents in water extinguishing systems according to VdS CEA 4001 and VdS 2109 always refers to the recognized foam agent and defined applications. If the intended area of application (type of system / fire load) is not already covered by the proof of effectiveness from the acceptance procedure, additional proof of efficacy needs to be provided. In this case, the foam concentrate was already certified for risks associated with plastics. The testing has since been carried out for certain flammable liquids. 

In May, Minimax conducted extinguishing tests for thyssenkrupp Steel Europe at MPA Dresden GmbH. The parties involved were VdS Schadenverhütung as the testing and certification institution, the risk manager, the foam agent manufacturer Dr. Sthamer, the operator, and Minimax with its competence team ‘Steel’ and the extinguishing system management ‘Water’. 

The configuration of the tests was prepared at length and tailored to the specific application. For the tests, Minimax installed both a deluge system and a water mist suppression system matching the real conditions of the existing system in terms of sprinklers, operating pressures and distances to the fire object. The extinguishing of three selected flammable liquids was tested, each using water and foam extinguishing agents. 

Successful result
The effort was worthwhile: VdS approved the tested foam agent for use in the given types of systems in combination with the three examined flammable (hydraulic) liquids and for use in accordance with the protection concept as per VdS CEA 4001 (sprinkler systems), VdS 2109 (deluge systems) and VdS 2108 (low expansion foam extinguishing systems). 

For Marcel Esper, Head of the Minimax competence team ‘Steel’, and Thorsten Gieseke, Minimax suppression system manager, the results of the extensive extinguishing tests are even more far-reaching: "Beyond the approval, we gained a lot of additional knowledge that we will take into account for the further procedure with fluorine-free foam agents." The competence team ‘Steel’ is the specialist for stationary fire protection in the steel industry, providing single-source support in the Ruhr region for the plants of thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, among others. 

For thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, the switch to fluorine-free foam concentrate is a particular concern, both to ensure fire protection and, at the same time, to contribute even more to environmental and water protection. The fact that this can be achieved with comparatively little effort means enormous potential savings for the customer. Converting the plant would incur costs and, on the other hand, production would be impaired during conversion periods.

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August 18, 2021 - About Minimax

Change of legal form

Our company has changed its legal form in order to simplify the structure of the Minimax Viking group in Germany. With effect from August 11, 2021, Minimax GmbH & Co. KG has been renamed Minimax GmbH. 

All contracts, general terms and conditions, terms of sale and delivery, etc. are still valid. Our contact address, too, remains valid. 

You will find the current company data in the imprint of our website. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers and partners their trust and confidence in us and look forward to a continued successful working relationship. If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact your representative.

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RWM DIGITAL SERIES - 20 May 2021 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (BST) | 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. (MET)

Digital format of the leading trade fair for recycling, materials and waste management

As part of the RWM DIGITAL SERIES, a digital format of the leading trade fair for recycling, materials and waste management, on 20 May Jan Weimann (Minimax) introduces Minimax's high-performance firefighting turbine MXOne. He will show video footage of extinguishing tests in our Fire Protection Research Center. During the lecture and afterwards you can ask questions via chat.

Certain remote, hard to reach or large areas in the industry, energy or infrastructure sector cannot be covered in an efficient or economical way by conventional fire protection systems. MXOne uniquely meets the demands posed by special fire risks in numerous industry and risk areas, both inside and outside buildings – incl.: Recycling operations, Wood-processing industry, Chemical plants/refineries, Airports/hangars, Substations/transformers.

20 May 2021 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (BST) | 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. (MET)
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Schutzkonzepte für brennbare Flüssigkeiten

Produktmanager Thorsten Gieseke stellt die Gefahrstofflager-Lösung LiquidProtect von Minimax vor.

Das Löschen brennbarer Flüssigkeiten ist eine hochkomplexe Angelegenheit und wird immer wieder heiß diskutiert. Verschiedene Regelwerke beschäftigen sich damit. Trotzdem besteht immer wieder der Bedarf an neuen, innovativen Lösungen. In diesem Talk werden Experten aus renommierten Hersteller- und Errichterunternehmen sowie von VdS verschiedene technische Lösungen vor- und einander gegenüberstellen.

Moderator ist der Technische Sachverständige der Allianz, Carsten Tormöhlen. Als Experten nehmen Frank Bieber, VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH, Stefan Falk, Calanbau Brandschutzanlagen GmbH, Thorsten Gieseke, Minimax Europe/FSG und Torsten Wagner, Wagner Group GmbH, teil.

Die Teilnahme an der Talk-Runde ist kostenlos. Anmelden können sich alle Brandschutzinteressierten auf der Homepage des VdS. Hier können Sie dann auch die Übertragung der Talks am 29. April 2021 live mitverfolgen.

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Fendium mit Red Dot Award
April 13, 2021 - Technologies

Minimax receives Red Dot Award for polymer-enhanced Fendium pipe

Fendium: Award-winning Surface Refinement

Once again, a Minimax product has been honored by the Red Dot jury. This year, Minimax received the coveted award in the “Materials and Surfaces” catgeory for the innovative Fendium pipe system. 

Fendium is a polymer-enhanced steel pipe, coated on the outside and inside with a special polymer that protects against corrosion. In contrast to a painted or powder coating, this polymer protection is built up in a multi-step chemical process. Independent research has confirmed that the polymer achieves extremely high resistance to corrosive influences. Fendium is approved by VdS Schadenverhütung and certified by FM Global. This means that it can be used for nearly all water extinguishing systems.

Michael Steinhoff, Technical Product Manager at Minimax Viking Research & Development GmbH, sees the Red Dot Award as confirmation of the concept: "It was an interesting journey – from the idea to realization and series production. Finally, we created a product, unique on the fire protection market, offering numerous advantages. Apart from the process we developed and now apply, there is currently no alternative process known to coat pipes industrially from the inside. The Red Dot Award in the "Material and Surfaces" category confirms the uniqueness of our product."

Sustainability through a longer service life
When used as intended, Fendium pipes have a significantly longer service life than pipes that have not been treated on the inside.

Consistent higher safety level
In standard pipes, corrosion can lead to rough surfaces, encrustations and deposits which, in turn, increase pipe friction and reduce the free cross-section of these standard pipes. With their internal and external corrosion protection, Fendium pipes increase the effectiveness and reliability of extinguishing systems over the long term and reduce the risk of nozzles becoming clogged up.

Greater efficiency
The low pipe friction offered by smooth Fendium pipes even makes it possible, in many cases, to use smaller nominal diameters or smaller pumps. The advantages include weight savings, easier installation and reduced space requirements.

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Sprinkler protection system for hazardous goods warehousing facilities
December 3, 2020 - Solutions

Sprinkler protection system for hazardous goods warehousing facilities

Minimax presents new fire protection solution LiquidProtect

Minimax has received approval from the German Association of Property Insurers (VdS) for their innovative fire protection solution, which protects hazardous goods warehouses by means of a sprinkler system using a foam agent. This concept combines high safety for people and the environment with a very fast, effective and localized firefighting. Moreover, the system helps to minimize operational downtimes in the event of fire, and there are very few construction requirements. It can be used in warehouses with large containers such as IBC and warehouses with narrow aisles.

The concept is based on several modules interacting with each other. In the event of a fire, spilling fluid is deliberately directed to the rack aisles with the help of sloped rack stands and baffles installed in the racks. So-called fuel stops are embedded in the floor at regular intervals along the aisles, which collect the flammable fluid, preventing it from spreading along the aisles. Special sprinklers are placed near the fuel stops, ensuring early release and targeted distribution of the water-foam mixture into the aisles. Additional quick-release sprinklers distribute water and a special foam agent into the racks. This concept enables rapid, effective and localized firefighting, helping to keep fire damage and operational downtimes to a minimum.

High personal safety and environmental protection
This fire protection system does not involve complete flooding of the protected room with firefighting agent. Consequently, it offers a higher degree of safety compared to agents hazardous to humans, such as high expansion foam or CO2. With the sprinkler solution there is also less danger of firefighting agent spreading to lower levels or neighboring areas. The early and localized firefighting, combined with fairly small amounts of water-foam used to fight the fire contribute to a better environmental footprint.  

Very fast and effective firefighting
The sprinklers are arranged at close intervals, both in the racks and in the aisles, facilitating early fire detection and immediate firefighting without any pre-warning period. Together with the fuel stops and the use of a special foam agent, fast, raging fires can be fought effectively – which is essential in case of flammable liquids spilling from large bulk containers.

Minimal operational downtimes in the event of fire
Only the sprinklers in the affected area release and the fire is rapidly fought resulting in little primary and secondary damage. This includes thermal stressing of the building and rack structures, corrosion or short circuits due to the flooding of technical installations (control panels, ventilation systems, conveying equipment). The subsequent removal of the firefighting agent is also far easier than in a building completely flooded with high expansion foam.

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