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Excalibur partitioning system from Troax creates fire rated enclosure for Spear Europe

Double skin steel partitioning supplied by Troax UK Limited has been used to create a fire-rated enclosure to house a new printing press at the Cwmbran facility of Spear Europe, a leading supplier of film pressure-sensitive labelling systems. The installation of the state-of-the-art press was part of a multi-million pound expansion programme at the site.

Spear’s labels can be found on food, beverage and personal care products from manufacturers throughout the world and the investment at the site was carried out to meet the increasing demand for its pressure-sensitive labels.

To house the new Cerutti 906/2 press, which has increased Spear’s European capacity to around 25 billion labels, a fire-rated enclosure had to be built within the main factory to comply with fire safety regulations.

Main installation contractor, South Wales Maintenance and Engineering Ltd, brought in Troax to design the structure using its full steel, fire-rated Excalibur partitioning system; this fire-retardant enclosure segregates the press and the potentially explosive chemicals used in the printing process from the rest of the factory, ensuring safe working conditions for employees.

The Excalibur panels, which meet the fire resistance integrity criteria specified in BS:476, Part 22: 1987 for a period of 60 minutes, reach fully up into the roof void to a height of seven metres. The double skin design also provides a high level of sound insulation, creating a better environment for employees working in the area.

Its size meant that the press (which measures 40 metres in length and reaches a height of six metres) had to be assembled and installed in stages. Building the enclosure to fit in with this method was a complex process as Shaun Jeffries of South Wales Maintenance explains: "This was a complicated project – because of the sheer size of the press we had to construct the enclosure in stages, sometimes leaving spaces for parts of the press to be installed later."

"That meant that Troax’s design drawings for the partitioning had to be extremely accurate. Troax were invaluable in their help with the design and worked hard to make sure the partitioning was supplied exactly in phases as we requested. They also responded quickly to our demands to ensure the project was completed accurately and on time."

The size of the enclosure also meant that a larger panel size than usual was required and Troax carried out additional fire testing procedures to ensure that the larger panels met the fire resistance integrity criteria of standard Excalibur panels, while ensuring that the partitioning could still be supplied according to South Wales Maintenance’s timescale.

Continues Shaun Jeffries: "We have a good relationship with Troax and work well together with the team there, that’s why we use them regularly for this type of project. The Excalibur partitioning is excellent – it provided a convenient way to build the fire-rated enclosure that was needed for the Spear Europe job and is also hardwearing with a top quality finish so will continue to look good for years."

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