Worried about the Risk of Fire in Your Automated Warehouse?
With WAGNER's Proactive Fire Prevention Systems, You can put Your Mind at Ease
choosing OxyReduct® over Sprinklers in an Automated Warehouse
Why prevention is the better fire protection

Mini-Load Automated Warehouse Requires Active Fire Prevention

Why fire protection is so critical in mini-load storage facilities

To accelerate throughput times, cut costs and improve production efficiency, more and more companies rely on just-in-time or just-in sequence supplies. A prime example is the automotive industry. Car manufacturers increasingly require auto parts to be delivered not only at the right time, but also in the correct order needed to streamline assembly and production. Now imagine a fire breaking out in the mini-load automated warehouse that supplies these car parts? Not only would the stored goods sustain damage, but the entire car production line could come to a halt - potentially causing major financial losses. To avoid such disruptions and ensure reliable supply chain continuity, automated warehouse managers must protect their facilities from the risk of fire.

Ignition sources in mini-load automated warehouse systems

While the high level of automation in modern warehouse facilities accounts for major gains in operating efficiency, it also increases the risk of fire outbreaks. Indeed, most fires are caused by faulty electrics, including short circuits, overheated equipment and malfunctions in storage and retrieval vehicles.

Increased fire safety challenges in mini-load automated warehouses

Ensuring fire safety in any type of warehouse is an ambitious task. But when it comes to mini-load automated storage facilities, the job becomes even more challenging.
Mini-load containers are made from highly flammable polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE). Exposed to heat, these plastics behave like flammable liquids. What’s more: once they catch fire, they release as much heat as diesel or petrol. After a certain period of combustion, they melt into burning droplets, eventually dripping down to create a pool of fire under the storage configuration and dramatically accelerating spread.

Dense storage arrangements, with rack systems sometimes reaching over 130 ft. in height and very limited flue spaces, make it easy for fires to spread rapidly throughout the warehouse, both up and down. Another hazard: rising gases that, in a so-called chimney effect, cause a fire to reach warehouse ceilings in a matter of minutes.

Why fire suppression with conventional sprinklers is largely ineffective in mini-load automated storage facilities

By the time sprinklers are triggered in mini-load storage facilities, damage is typically well underway. What’s worse: even once the sprinklers turn on, they are largely ineffective. Why? When polypropylene and polyethylene catch fire, they melt and form an oily layer that water can barely penetrate. Water simply pearls off these plastics, and burning droplets continue to ignite containers underneath in a devastating domino effect. Conventional extinguishing systems, such as sprinklers, that rely on water or water fog are therefore only of limited use in automated mini-load storage centers.

High ceilings, dense storage, limited pathways, extreme heat development and falling parts can also all complicate the work of fire departments and endanger personnel.

Suppressing or extinguishing a fire in mini-load automated warehouse facilities is a very difficult proposition. It is especially important to proactively prevent a fire in these types of facilities, rather than trying to reactively fight it.

Customized solutions for powerful automated warehouse fire prevention

OxyReduct® for mini-load automated warehouse systems

Based on a simple concept coupled with sophisticated technology, OxyReduct® prevents fires from igniting in the first place. The system carefully reduces oxygen levels in protected areas to below the point at which a fire can start, replacing it with natural, non-toxic nitrogen extracted from ambient air. The facility remains safe and safely accessible to authorized personnel.


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Why OxyReduct®?

  • Reliable fire prevention
    Proactively preventing fire outbreaks, rather than fighting them, OxyReduct® provides ongoing, reliable fire safety.
  • Customized solutions
    Since no two warehouse facilities are the same, every OxyReduct® installation is carefully tailored to meet specific needs.
  • Sophistication
    Leveraging sophisticated technology, OxyReduct® uses nitrogen, directly extracted from on-site air, to reduce oxygen concentration to below the point
  • Space-saving design
    Unlike sprinkler systems, OxyReduct® needs neither copious amounts of extinguishing agents nor large water tanks, saving valuable storage space.
  • Energy efficiency
    A VPSA technology, OxyReduct® offers up to 80% energy savings compared to conventional membrane technology.
  • Maximum scalability
    OxyReduct® grows with your business and flexibly adapts to building changes in usage, structure, and size.
  • Eco-conscious
    Fire prevention means no pollution from chemical extinguishing agents or potentially toxic gases.

Reference projects

IMPERIAL Automotive Logistics GmbH, Flechtdorf (Germany): Oxygen reduction system protects automated small parts storage facility

IMPERIAL Automotive Logistics GmbH specialises in all material and information flows throughout the entire added-value chain in the automotive industry. WAGNER protects its 10,000-square-metre automated small parts storage facility using its innovative active fire prevention and early fire detection solutions.

to Application Report

Engel Elektroantriebe GmbH, Walluf (Germany): Tailor-made fire protection for a truly efficient warehouse lift solution

This premium manufacturer uses a shuttle system to ensure secure storage for its motors, transmissions and control units. Besides space-saving storage, the company also places great importance on reliable smoke detection at the earliest possible stage, which is why it uses WAGNER air sampling smoke detection and residue-free gas extinguishing systems.