UTC Building & Industrial Systems’ Bart Otten explains how the company’s marine systems have helped some of the passenger shipping industry’s major operators improve their ability to detect and control onboard emergencies
UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, is one of the world’s largest providers of building technologies, including elevators, escalators, building automation, HVAC, refrigeration, fire safety and security systems. The company is also one of the passenger shipping industry’s key suppliers.
“Our company is unique because we can deliver a wide range of products to our marine customers, including elevators from Otis, HVAC systems from Carrier, video and access control systems from Lenel and Onity, and fire detection and suppression systems from Marioff and Autronica Fire and Security,” says Bart Otten, president of fire and security, EMEA, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “Our fire and security brands are also leading providers of fire detection and suppression systems to the passenger shipping industry.”
Sold through the Marioff and Autronica Fire and Security brands, the company’s primary fire detection and suppression systems have helped many operators comply with recent amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea regulations and other legislation.
One of the most popular products is Marioff’s patented HI-FOG high-pressure water mist fire suppression solution, which discharges a fine water mist at high velocity, penetrating the seat of the fire and cooling the surrounding areas to prevent the flames from spreading or reigniting.
“High pressure water mist solutions are the most effective fire-fighting medium for the marine environment because they use minimal water supplies, and have a limited impact on people, the ship and the environment,” explains Otten. “The system can be immediately activated without the need to close off, or without complete evacuation of, the affected area. With fast control and swift fire suppression, using small amounts of pure water, the HI-FOG keeps damage and downtime to a minimum.”
A majority of the major cruise and ferry operators have installed Marioff’s HI-FOG systems onboard their ships, including all Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd brands, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises and Disney Cruise Line. In autumn, Marioff signed a frame agreement to upgrade and maintain the HI-FOG systems onboard 66 cruise vessels across Carnival Corporation & plc’s fleet. The contract covers ships in the Carnival Cruise Lines, Carnival Australia, Holland America Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruise Lines and AIDA Cruises brands.
Many passenger shipping operators have also deployed the AutroMaster integrated safety and emergency management system (ISEMS ) supplied systems from Autronica Fire and Security, another UTC Building & Industrial Systems brand specialised in the marine segment. Designed to ensure the captain retains complete control in the event of an onboard emergency, the Autronica AutroMaster ISEMS integrates and automates previously manual systems.
“Using the Autronica AutroMaster ISEMS, the captain can use video images and sensors to monitor the smoke development and temperature of the endangered area, track how quickly the fire is progressing, identify clear escape routes and any other possible dangers,” says Otten. “This enables the captain to provide clear guidance and safety instructions to the crew and the passengers, as well as to open and close doors, or isolate affected areas remotely.”
Otten notes that while the Marioff and Autronica Fire and Security fire prevention, detection and suppression systems are some of the company’s most well-established marine products, UTC Building & Industrial Systems is striving to achieve further technology integration across its marine products.
“We aim to become a one-stop shop for marine operators and make it as easy as possible for our customers to access the full range of products we offer,” concludes Otten. “In the future, we will explore how we can integrate the various products we offer to the different segments within the passenger shipping industry. This will help our company to develop and deliver systems that further improve the safety and efficiency of passenger ships across the world.”