Factory fire stemmed by sprinklers
A blaze at a Colorado wood-pellet plant is all but extinguished by the automatic sprinkler system.
When a fire touched off in Confluence Energy’s wood-pellet plant in Kremmling, Colo., one early Saturday morning in October, it got hot enough to damage insulation on the roof. However, because the sprinkler system kicked in quickly, the fire was nearly contained by the time the local fire department arrived on the scene.
According to Kremmling fire chief Tony Tucker, the fire—which most likely started in the drying area—was largely contained to the plant’s internal equipment. “You can’t see any physical damage from the exterior,” said Tucker. “It looks just like it did from a week ago.” No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.
The factory opened shop in August to manufacture Eco-Flame Pellets; made from beetle-killed trees from around the state, the pellets are designed to be used in heating and renewable energy production.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.