Not all industrial working environments will necessarily present the same challenges a PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) must face. In a general sense: “Not all occupations and work areas require all the protection capabilities a multi-standard PPE is able to provide”, says Christa Foistner, Product Management PPE for Rofa Bekleidungswerk GmbH & Co. KG. “Each specific working environment has its unique requirements regarding standards, fabrics and design. Therefore, when designing multi-standard PPE, compromises regarding the weight, accessories or design often have to be considered. However, within many industrial environments, the fabric’s flame-retardant capabilities are the lowest common denominator”. In order to be able to combine a broad spectrum of protection capabilities, Rofa relies on comprehensive research work combined with materials tests, aiming to bring together precisely adjusted fabric blends and manufacturing procedures to accommodate several distinct standards and provide the user with the optimum protection.
The Vis-Line collection available since autumn 2020 is an extension of the existing Pro-Line portfolio. Because of the consistent design language, the Pro-Line and Vis-Line collections can easily be combined, depending on the expected level of warning protection. The Vis-Line I, complies with the requirements of warning protection class 1 while Vis-Line II complies with the requirements of warning protection class 2. If the request stands for warning protection class 3, a combination of Vis-Line I and Vis-Line II can comply with the standard requirements.
In-house fabric production is the key for high quality
“For our Vis-Line, we chose a fabric structure able to blend the flame resistance of certain materials, with the capacity to sustain the typical yellow fluorescent colour of the warning protection” explains Cornelia Jäger, Product Management Textile. “The new fabric is more hardwearing than our former cotton-polyester blends and the dye is able to better withstand the washing procedures.”
Rofa operates a practically vertical production structure – from yarn to final product – and is herewith able to supervise each and every production step. In the quality securing process, the PPE manufacturer relies on an in-house laboratory to test the tensile strength, abrasion resistance, or resorts to flame-resistance testing instruments. Moreover, all new clothing components are tested to determine, for example, the compliance with the industrial washing and drying demands, using its own industrial washing machines and both tumbler and finisher. Furthermore, certain company employees take an active part in several research and standardization bodies and the contributed know-how can be tracked back in various standards. Sure enough, this is a further opportunity to translate the acquired knowledge into market ready elements.
The collections are a mix of design and functionality
With the new Vis-Line, along with the protective capabilities, a good visibility is especially provided for situations in which the employee, according to the risk analysis, must be equipped with PPE of a specific level of warning protection. A distinctive visibility in daylight or darkness is granted by the utilization of fluorescent fabrics and retro-reflective stripes. Therefore, the collection is well applicable for safe operations in petrochemical industries or pipeline operations and is suited for electric arc or explosion prone risk work areas. For working activities in railroad facilities, the Vis-Line collection is available in a colour combination with fluorescent orange.