The Siemens Building Technologies Division in Zug performs the highest level of research and development of passive and active technology solutions.
It has long been the prime objective of some corporations, companies and entrepreneurs to combine the resourcefulness, creativity and knowledge they have amassed over the years, to their desire and dream of guaranteeing a safe environment. An environment where risks are a continuously monitored factor, and where prevention is the most ostensible religion, as it is in the safety of buildings and infrastructures one will find the complex factor of comfort, allowing for life in the cities to flow naturally and almost normally.
Imagine how life would be today without something as simple as a fire detector. Yes, you are probably thinking there are many more important things than “a simple plastic item”, but that plastic item may have saved your life, the lives of your loved ones and friends. Come to think of it, a simple smoke, gas or fire detector has in fact saved more lives than we would be able to imagine or count.
They have become commonplace devices in our lives. We take no notice of them in a hotel room, in public buildings, trains, planes. It is a “passive” technology, seen by many as “obsolete”, but still able to guaranty our safety.
A fire detector is far from being obsolete though
At the Siemens Building Technologies Division in Zug (Zurich-Switzerland), they have performed the highest level of research for several years. “We have a research division seriously working with these safety components”, says the Communication Director of Siemens.
“We live in a time where reliance has to be the constant factor in all safety systems”, adds the Head of Fire Safety, Mario Kahlert. This reliance and sturdiness of systems created from decades of experience and research “are our signature”, he assures.
Siemens effectively holds in this unit located a few minutes from Zurich, in the cold yet welcoming city of Zug, one of the standards and pillars of efficiency in the research and development of passive and active technology solutions to some of the most complex and dramatic events experienced in modern societies.
Since the damages caused by traditional, automatic fire extinguishing systems in Data Centers, where the noise caused by these equipment (not the fire) is mostly to blame for the damage to these equipment, where the noise they produce affects the delicate structure of the hard drives, making it the major cause of the loss of data. “In this case we developed a specific and completely new technology dedicated to Data Centers, where noise from the extinguishers is reduced to a minimum”, thus preventing the destruction of the most precious assets of such sensitive sites: the data.
Another major concern this Firelab has come to dedicate much of its resources to is in dealing with false alarms. “We all know what it’s like to be awakened in the middle of the night in a hotel, rush down 12 flights of stairs to the street in your pajamas, only to discover minutes later it was a false alarm”, says Leonard Fusser.
So what makes the difference?
This unit specializing in safety and detection systems “has been greatly concerned” with the study of all movements, all protocols, and observing, “resorting to demanding and intensive testing” of the environmental dynamics that could trigger false alarms.
The outcome of its amassed knowledge, Siemens makes use of Big Data and environments where sensors or other specifications have been incorporated by the teams into the systems over the years, allowing it to consistently reduce the probabilities of false alarms taking place, “reducing the inconveniences and losses suffered by companies and institutions”, but especially lessening the impact on the lives of citizens “without ever risking their safety”, he guarantees.
And the trend, with the crescent incorporation of technology in buildings and construction through BIM and other tools, is to have connectivity networks (based on the Internet of Things) obtain the propensity of the “cases” in real time, as well as foreseeing and anticipating, and creating a new reality in people and property safety.
The world is in theory imperfect, and unpredictable. Siemens seems to know this reality better than anyone. But through resourcefulness, creativity, and courage, this great technology company, present in virtually every corner of the world, is at least committed to contributing to make the world safer. And by believing everything begins “with a small piece of plastic”, we can see the complexity and dimension of this challenge.