In recent years, there have been number of serious accidents, including fires and explosions that have occurred at industrial establishments and dangerous areas. We have been witnesses of major fire and leakage accidents worldwide at facilities handling hazardous substances like nuclear power plants, chemical facilities with inflammable and noxious materials, oil refineries and petroleum and gas tanks. Large-scale fire at industrial establishment, once started, can result in a serious, fatal accident, and will take tremendous time and effort to put out. Further, nobody can deny that it causes a huge amount of damage to corporate assets, threaten people’s lives in the surrounding neighborhood, and has a significant impact on society and ecology.
As firefighting has a rich history throughout the world, traditions in this profession vary widely from country to country. In regards to the lessons learned from variety of actions that have been taken during and after any event that is unique to each hazard, evolution of firefighting was going through series of consideration. In order to find the most appropriate technology that comes along with the desired performance, accidents and incidents had to be analyzed and the people had to be trained to fulfill the requirement of the mission.
Today’s firefighting industry is keeping up with the technological and technical development in the areas directly affecting the professionals, vehicles, equipment and additional instruments and tools used in prevention, safety and security options, as well as in fighting the fires and explosions, and after effects. But, a small number of innovative and R&D companies are involved in remotely controlled vehicles and equipment that could be used for the mentioned purpose.
The most known firefighting manufacturers around the world, along with a large number of small and medium companies involved in the production of variety of firefighting vehicles, breathing apparatus, pumps and suppression systems, foam, clothing, gas monitors, personal protective equipment, and rescue equipment and tools.
Again, robotic firefighting systems being seriously reconsidered after the Fukushima accident, still a very few companies or R&D institutions are involved in creating strong foundations of the serial production of unmanned, remotely controlled, multifunctional systems.
The potential application of the multifunctional firefighting system has been defined as a group that includes the chemical and oil industry, nuclear plants, military storage facilities, as well as mine fields and dangerous substance transport.
In the world there are currently around 717 oil refineries, the United States has the largest number of oil and gas refineries (132), followed by China at 95, and Russia at around 45 refineries. In 30 countries worldwide there are 438 nuclear power plants in operation and 61 under construction.
There are countless companies producing hazardous substances like chemical, pharmaceuticals. The largest corporate producers worldwide, with plants in numerous countries are: BASF, Dow, Degussa, Eastman Chemical Company, Shell, Bayer, INEOS, ExxonMobil, DuPont, SABIC, Braskem and Mitsubishi, along with thousands of smaller firms.
Instrumental in the changing structure of the global chemical industry has been the growth in China, India, Korea, the Middle East, South East Asia, Nigeria, and Brazil.
If the bitter statistics confirm that globally there have been 99 major power plant accidents from 1952 to 2009 (defined as incidents that either resulted in the loss of human life or extensive property damage), an average of 228 refinery or natural gas plant explosions and fires occur per year (according to National Fire Protection Association), that Europe established a Major accident reporting system (MARS) to collect data on major industrial accident involving dangerous substances, the need for new approach to technological and technical solutions in the area of safety and security is a must of this decade.
This requirement is based on a long standing best practice in safety management entailing recording, analyzing and acting upon lessons learned from accidents and near misses. Just a few innovations (such as Thermite) of a relatively limited usage, showed the immense possibilities of using robotic systems in the sectors depended on complex technology and where plausible failure scenarios exist that could lead to potentially disastrous accidents, including not only chemical processing, but also aviation and the nuclear industry.
DOK-ING has developed the unique multifunctional robotic firefighting systems to extinguish fires in life threatening conditions and inaccessible areas in order to share core business philosophy - to protect and preserve human life and property.
The primary use of the DOK-ING solution – the multifunctional robotic firefighting system, is in industries where there is great danger of fire and explosions. The most important advantage of our system is the distance between the operator and the vehicle – since it can go up to 1500 meters in the line of sight, the safety features of the system are obvious and undeniable. At the same time, the video system allows enables the operator to have full control of the vehicle. Further R&D envisages the robotic system that could be operated even without radio communication, with enhanced basic features of strength and capacity.