Green Bay Converting goes beyond Wisconsin’s fire code

Green Bay Converting goes beyond Wisconsin’s fire code

Life Safety at Manufacturing Facility
Ron Hildebrand, VP of Special Projects at GBC, discusses project specs with Martin Systems President Cory Peters.

Manufacturing facility implements state-of-the-art fire protection and life safety systems

Founded in 1999, Green Bay Converting (GBC) has become one of North America’s leading independent contract converters of sanitary towels, tissues, and other paper products. With locations in Wisconsin and Mississippi, they are strategically located to provide the most value to their customers. Over the past 20 years, they have grown from 25 to 200+ employees by focusing on producing quality products and providing exemplary customer service. When they began building a new, state-of-the-art warehouse and manufacturing facility, they focused on ensuring the safety of their employees above all else. 

Martin Systems has worked with GBC for several years on their original facilities in the Green Bay area. So, when GBC was planning their new facility, they chose to work with Martin Systems based on past positive working relationships.

FIre Protection Planning inside Manufacturing Plant
Martin Systems CEO Michael Martin conducts a final walk-through in the warehouse area at Green Bay Converting.

As the planning and build process began, Martin worked with GBC to understand their needs in the new facility and their overall goals for the project, and GBC relied on Martin as experts on the state code requirements for a facility of their size. At the same time, GBC highlighted that they wanted to ensure that all employees would be alerted appropriately if the need arose.

“When we started the project, we knew we needed to meet the minimum code requirements for fire protection and life safety measures, but we wanted to take it a step further. With our manufacturing environment and considering a few hearing-impaired employees, we wanted to ensure that everyone would be effectively notified in the case of an emergency.”

Ron Hildebrand

VP of Special Projects

Green Bay Converting

Fire and Life Safety Buttons
Separate emergency call buttons for police, weather, and fire are readily available throughout the facility.

As the project progressed, Martin began to develop a fire notification system that would go beyond the minimum state requirement of a temporal 3-fire alarm system – the standard alarm pattern – and they considered other types of notifications. Through this exploration, GBC decided to add voice notification functionality to their alert system along with message boards and strobe lights that would communicate the type of alert – Fire, Weather, or Emergency. To effectively notify everyone throughout the warehouse and manufacturing plant, Martin analyzed the size of the facility to determine the number of lights and speakers required by code. To help keep everyone safe, they placed various emergency alert buttons – Fire, Weather, Emergency, and Panic – in strategic locations throughout the facility.

Fire System Design
Jason Karnz, Senior Engineer-Manager of Fire & Life Safety, relies on 27 years of experience while overseeing the design of custom fire protection systems for clients.

“All in all, the project took 11 months to complete, and installation was done right alongside the build process. We ended up installing 50 speaker strobes on the warehouse side and 48 on the manufacturing side. My favorite part of the project happened during the final test. State code requires that all strobes must be in sync. So, when we did the final test, and every light flashed simultaneously, it was exciting to see the customer smile.”

Jason Karnz

Senior Engineer-Manager

Fire & Life Safety

Martin Systems, Inc.

While much of the project focused on fire protection and life safety systems (Notifier by Honeywell), Martin also engineered and installed a security system. The security surveillance system included indoor and outdoor Axis security cameras. The Axis cameras are integrated into OpenEye’s web-based video management system and network video recorder. The NVR offers up to 96 channels. The OpenEye Web Services (OWS) platform is integrated into a high-performance Keyscan access control system, and the exterior gates are secured on a schedule.

“It is unique to find a company willing to put their staff first and go the extra mile for employee safety,” says Martin Systems CEO Michael Martin. “We look forward to continuing to support Green Bay Converting well into the future.”

GBC considers Martin Systems a long-term partner based on their local proximity, troubleshooting ability, and outstanding customer service.

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