Fike Europe coordinates Fike’s manufacturing, sales and distribution capabilities for its European market and across the EMEA region. Headquartered in Herentals, Belgium, the company is responsible for Fike’s other European subsidiaries in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
The European market continues to be a key market for Fike with strong growth in recent years. “Last year we enjoyed particularly strong growth in the UK, despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and growth in the European market was extremely good for us in the past year,” says Head of Product Marketing Jan-Bart Seymortier. “Europe still has great potential, even if the market is mature. When advances are made, we are one of the pioneers of new technologies and applications.”
Fike’s product range covers the three key areas of fire protection, explosion protection and overpressure protection. The company is an expert in products and solutions that provide effective protection for people and assets.
“Our solutions are not about the products, but the technology and the way it is implemented on our customer’s manufacturing processes,” insists Mr. Seymortier. “We invest a great deal in research and development to find new ways to minimize the risks inherent in certain industrial processes.” Much of this research is carried out at a dedicated test site at its headquarters in Missouri. It is also concerned with developing environmentally friendly solutions such as its clean agent and inert gas fire suppression systems.
“A key focus of our work is on explosion and fire detection methods,” adds Mr. Seymortier. “We are a pioneer of technologically advanced intelligent fire alarm systems, video monitoring and early warning detection. Early, reliable detection is a must to minimize the effects of the incident.”
The same can be said of explosion protection. Fike offers a full line of explosion protection solutions including ATEX certified explosion vents, flameless explosion venting, explosion suppression systems, explosion isolation systems, and explosion detection and control.
It operates a state-of-the-art explosion testing facility to test materials in accordance with ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and ISO (International Standards Organization) procedures to ensure the best solution for its clients’ needs.
A recent innovation is a unique explosion protection system designed to protect large biomass silo inlets as they are being filled. “As with all of our systems, preparation is key,” says Mr. Seymortier. “The breadth of our product range allows us to tailor each explosion protection to the needs and requirements of each unique manufacturing process. After the initial installation we continue to support our customers with the servicing and maintenance of the safety systems.”
Situations in which overpressure may occur can also be dealt with cost-effectively with Fike’s rupture discs. The rupture disc acts as a planned weakness built into the process vessel so that escaping pressure is vented in a controlled fashion. Fike’s ATLAS and AXIUS are the latest addition to Fike’s rupture disc product line.
Manufactured using the patented G2 production process they are unequalled in operating ratio and lifespan in cyclic applications. Rupture discs can be used as primary overpressure protection device or as a process isolation device for pressure relief valves preventing corrosion and leakage. “In that application it results in less maintenance, fewer fugitive emissions and a significant reduction in the overall costs of ownership.”
Fike’s traditional markets are Europe and North America but it is increasingly active in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region. “We have a global presence and a broad distributor network,” says Mr. Seymortier. “Many of our customers are global players and can expect the same level of support and service from Fike wherever in the world they are located.”
Despite its size, Fike remains a resolutely family-owned company with the long-termist outlook that status generally conveys. “We are big enough to operate globally but small enough to react dynamically and adapt to new trends,” says Mr. Seymortier. “We are trendsetters and close to our customers. Our vision for the European market is to be the trusted partner to our clients, one that goes the extra mile for their needs.”