Idlewinds Farm – Hexriver Valley, Western Cape


Idlewinds Farm, with partners Southern Group and Van Wyk Family, in the beautiful Hex River Valley in the Western Cape is responsible for packing table grapes for the export market. In August 2020, CA Du Toit Western Cape approached Technoswitch to assist Idlewinds Farm in installing a fire detection system to comply with current South African fire safety standards. Technoswitch subsequently drafted the ASD designs and engineering specifications to comply with the site-specific requirements. The project was awarded to MFS Pro Installations, and Technoswitch supplied the fire detection products for the project.

The buildings at Idlewinds Farm are vacant for most of the year, but the site operates virtually 24/7 during harvest time in November and December when the fruit is packed and dispatched for export. The farm required an effective and approved fire detection solution to satisfy the insurance company and protect its workers and assets.The site is one large, corrugated iron building divided into sections, each requiring an area-specific fire detection solution. The primary packing and sorting area necessitated high-sensitivity detection to ensure early warning in the event of equipment or product fires. The Securiton ASD range of aspirating detectors was identified as the best-suited solution for this section. 

Large fans are installed in the package material storage area, causing dust and hot air to flow through the section. The area also holds stock of carton boxes for packaging, posing a high fire risk. Protectowire LHD cable was chosen for its high performance in industrial applications and excellent abrasion and chemical resistance characteristics. Securiton’s SecuriSmoke ASD detectors protect the pre-cooling and holding areas where a temperature of ±10°C is continually maintained, while Apollo point detectors were installed in the office and workshop areas. All detection devices are connected to and monitored by an intelligent 2-loop Advanced fire control panel. The installation was completed and commissioned by the end of October 2020, right on time for the harvest season.

Steven Sloan from MFS Pro Installations: “The biggest challenge was that MFS had to provide conduit and wire ways for the ASD units to protect the PH30 fire cable from damage. Another difficulty was that the site was far from Cape Town, and the MFS team did not stay locally. So, it involved early starts and late evenings in getting the work done. This resulted in tight project timelines, and there was very little room for extra challenges, such as any installed equipment not working as planned.  

“The Securiton ASD-531 and ASD535-2 units were easy to commission and worked as per the pipe-flow designs, which meant the project ran to plan. MFS has done similar installations using Technoswitch equipment, including the Securiton ASD units, with the same results and will continue to do so. The equipment may not be the cheapest on the market, but it works as planned, saving time during installation and commissioning and thus ending up being the most cost-effective product to use, which is a win for the customer, of course. MFS is confident to have similar installations for the same customer and will continue to use the Technoswitch equipment.”

Industries: Agriculture

Products Included: Advanced Intelligent FACPs, Heat & Smoke Point Detection, Intelligent, Protectowire LHD, SecuriSmoke ASD, Technoswitch PSUs, Warning Devices