Castell launches new spring-loaded interlock

KSP more efficient than traditional bolt interlocks

Castell has launched a new spring-loaded lock, the KSP, to increase efficiency in traditional bolt interlock applications.

Spring-loaded bolt interlock

The KSP is a spring-loaded version of the Castell K lock, and uses an internal spring to automatically extend the lock’s bolt to its fullest extent when circumstances permit. The key-operated mechanical interlock is suitable for the safe locking of simple actuating mechanisms.

The KSP is generally used at the start of a process and traps a key while equipment is running. When the equipment is switched to a safe state and the aperture in the actuating mechanism is aligned, the spring-loaded bolt automatically extends and is locked in position. This represents an advantage over existing bolt locks as the operation happens immediately and without the need for human intervention.

Once the equipment is in the safe state, the key is released and can be used to gain access or start a separate process. The key must be inserted and turned, retracting the bolt, to allow the actuating lever to be moved again.

Paul Marks, Castell’s technical director, said: “We were already using a spring-loaded lock within our product range and realised that the same device could deliver significant benefits elsewhere for our customers. We view the KSP as an important addition to our existing K bolt interlock range.”

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Safety interlocking guide improves efficiency in waste and recycling industries

Castell’s new brochure informed by 90 years’ experience of high-risk sector

Castell has produced a new interlocking guide for the waste and recycling sector. The guide suggests ways in which customers in those industries can safely interlock their particular application, ensuring that personnel are protected while operations remain efficient.


The application guide can be downloaded from:

In the waste and recycling industries, safety interlocks are typically used to safeguard sorters, shredders, compactors and bailers. Following growth in waste-to-energy projects, Castell has increasingly been asked to ensure safe access to emission control systems, protecting personnel from high-voltage equipment.

Through robust mechanical design, Castell’s products are guaranteed to perform over extended periods of time, particularly in harsh conditions and aggressive environments.

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New switchgear interlocking application guide facilitates selection

Switchgear safety specialist Castell has released a new application guide for switchgear interlocking that makes it easier to understand and choose interlocks for a wide variety of customer applications.


The guide covers the following industrial applications: earthing systems; high-, medium- and low-voltage hazards; switching incomers onto common supply busbars; switching UPS systems and generators on to common supply busbars; and controlling the supply from multiple incomers.

Castell has been safeguarding electrical networks for over 90 years. The ability to work across high-, medium- and low-voltage applications means that a single Castell system can be used to provide personnel safety and ensure equipment is operated in the correct way.

Working closely with key switchgear manufacturers, Castell assembles interlocks designed specifically for use on the leading OEM’s breakers, isolators, disconnectors and earth mechanisms. The new application guide shows how Castell’s interlocks can be used in conjunction with the equipment of leading manufacturers.

The new application guide can be downloaded at:

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Castell chooses Laxmi Export Industries as new distributor

LEI will supply full range of trapped key interlocks to west and central India

Industrial safety specialist Castell Safety International has chosen Laxmi Export Industries (LEI), a leading supplier of electronic components, as its new distributor for west and central India.


LEI mainly targets the renewable energy and power industries, and has applied for ISO 9001:2008 certification.

David Hughes, Castell’s global sales director, commented: “I am looking forward to working with the team at Laxmi. Their expertise in the Indian market, especially in the wind energy sector, will provide more opportunities for Castell.”

Laxmi Export Industries’ sales director Deva Choudhary added: “We have assigned a dedicated team to developing the Castell trapped key interlocks business. This will ensure the best possible customer support for this product range.”

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New restraint prevents rigid vehicle drive-aways

Salvo™ Chock now quicker and easier to use

Industrial safety specialist Castell has redesigned Salvo™ Chock, its interlocking wheel chock, to improve its technical specifications and operational performance.


Castell’s design team has gone back to the drawing board to create a restraint for rigid vehicles that can satisfy the demanding conditions of the loading yard. The result is a chock that is lighter, stronger, significantly easier to use and, importantly, faster to manoeuvre.

Salvo™ is a system that restrains vehicles at loading docks while loading or unloading occurs. This is achieved through patented technology that interlocks either an exposed airline coupling, or a wheel chock, and the loading dock door. This means that while the loading door is open there is no way the vehicle can move; only when the loading door is closed can the restraining device be removed.

Paul Marks, Castell’s new product development director, explained: “To enable Salvo™ Chock to really deliver the performance required, we had to spend extensive time researching from first principles what was needed. We believe that, by creating the new Salvo™ Chock, the design team has addressed the key needs of the market.”

Launched eight years ago to prevent drive-aways in the logistics industry, the Salvo™ range has undergone significant product development in the last 12 months. New software, DockMonitor, has been designed to enhance the efficiency of the loading process by capturing operational data such as loading time, number of operations, idle time and available time. The addition of DockMonitor to the range means that Salvo™ now enables loading dock performance to be measured while still guaranteeing safety.

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Castell celebrates 90 years of industrial safety

Industrial safety specialist Castell has celebrated 90 years of protecting people and assets worldwide.


Photo caption: (l-r) Sheena Shah, Kishore Pisavadia, Chris McDonald, Mike Ganesh, Neil Thakor and Jim Dilks with their long-service awards

When James ‘Harry’ Castell formed the company in 1922, the health and safety industry was in embryonic form; it would be another 52 years before the UK would see the passing of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The electrification of London provided the catalyst for Harry to focus on safety at work. Electrical systems offered workers little protection, leading to many accidents and deaths. Taking the concept of interlocks from the railways, Harry applied the technology to electrical systems and electrical trapped key interlocking was born.

Castell’s headquarters stand on the same north-London site that has served as home for the vast majority of the company’s life. Castell is still protecting people in the workplace, although the company’s reach has increased dramatically. With operations throughout the world – from Shanghai to Chicago and Chennai to Cologne – the business is now truly global. The variety of applications the company tackles has also grown, from electrical switchgear to machine guarding, marine safety, rail, logistics and transport.

This year also sees Castell’s longest-serving employee, Jim Dilks, complete 40 years’ service with the company. Castell held an awards ceremony in October 2012 to celebrate this extremely rare event. During the ceremony, Castell also presented long-service awards to a further five Castell colleagues: Mike Ganesh (35 years), Neil Thakor (30 years), Kishore Pisavadia, Chris McDonald and Sheena Shah (25 years each).

Keith Allingham, operations director, commented: “Trapped key interlocking is so versatile, it lends itself to a wide variety of applications. With the level of safety Castell interlocks provide and the length of service they can endure, we see demand from all four corners of the globe.”

Dr Tim Whelan, Castell’s managing director, spoke of the pride of being part of a company with such a tradition: “Castell has a long history of providing robust systems, and this is something at the forefront of our minds when we think about how we develop the company and satisfy customers’ requirements. We estimate there are over two million Castell locks still in circulation, which is a lot of people being kept safe by our products, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We still regularly receive calls from customers who have had locks installed for over 50 years and are looking to extend and develop their systems. The team we have at Castell is equally dedicated to ensuring that high-performance products are manufactured and distributed worldwide today. It is a testament to our organisation that we have many employees who have been with us for 20, 30 and even 40 years.”

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Salvo™ DockMonitor maximises loading dock efficiency

System displays real-time site performance and individual dock statistics

Industrial safety specialist Castell has developed a data-gathering and analysis device to maximise loading dock efficiency. Salvo™ DockMonitor combines the Salvo™ safety system, a data-gathering device and a live graphical interface running on a PC to display overall site performance or individual dock statistics.


The system’s report function generates graphical reports on dock use, loading times, idle times, shift-to-shift comparison and maintenance. This information can then be exported to a range of standard file formats for further review and analysis.

Salvo™ Dock Monitor has been designed to enable loading operations to run more efficiently by providing crucial information in real time. Increasing efficiency at the loading dock cuts costs in terms of reducing the number of loading docks required in a facility and ensuring assets are used as economically as possible.

Modern logistics is a high-pressure industry. Increased fuel costs, congestion, tight delivery schedules and safety are all issues facing distributors and manufacturers in a highly competitive market. When capacity is tight, the cost of installing an additional loading dock can run into tens of thousands of pounds. Having staff and assets sat waiting for docks to become available during busy periods can also prove highly expensive.

Jason Reed, global Salvo™ business development manager, commented: “Salvo™ has been an important development in loading dock safety and implemented on thousands of loading docks worldwide. Salvo™ DockMonitor now adds a second dimension. Not only can customers be sure their site is safe, they can drive real efficiency through the loading process in a safe manner using real-time information. In operations where time is crucial and capacity is limited, Salvo™ DockMonitor will make a big impact.”

Paul Marks, Castell’s NPD director, explained the development process. “Building a tool like this has to involve the customers from an early stage to ensure the right information is delivered in the right manner. We have worked closely with our customers to ensure we have fully understood their requirements and the pressure their environments bring. Increasing efficiency at the loading dock can bring big rewards, such as reducing the number of loading docks required in a facility and ensuring assets are used as efficiently as possible.”

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Castell and Traka produce intelligent loading bay safety system

DockSafe prevents accidental driveaways and offers complete end-to-end audit trail

Industrial safety specialist Castell and access control expert Traka have joined forces to create DockSafe, an intelligent loading bay safety system.


DockSafe uses Traka’s immobiliser system to control access both to the loading bay and Castell’s Salvo Susie mechanical locking device. Since only authorised users can gain access to the loading bay equipment, the possibility of untrained staff accessing potentially hazardous equipment is removed.

Access is granted through the intelligent Traka ifob, which allows Castell’s Salvo Susie to be released from its storage cabinet. The Salvo Susie is then fitted to the articulated trailer’s exposed emergency airline coupling. A Castell key is subsequently released from the Susie and inserted into the Salvo Control Panel, enabling the bay doors to be opened. This sequence of events ensures that the trailer is immobilised while loading or unloading is carried out.

Castell’s considerable experience in the provision of loading bay safety systems has seen the company install Salvo on thousands of loading bays worldwide. Similarly, Traka’s expertise lies in access control solutions for forklift trucks and loading bay door control within logistics and distribution markets across the globe. Together the two companies have created a system that enhances loading bay safety regardless of vehicle type. The system restricts access to authorised personnel only, and gives full traceability in terms of who used which door, and when this occurred. This audit trail is vital when assessing both performance and efficiency.

David Hughes, global sales director at Castell, commented: “The ability to track and control who is accessing equipment delivers a number of benefits to the end user: increased safety, improved efficiency and a complete end-to-end audit trail. I believe this system presents the market with a unique solution.”

Traka’s managing director Robert Smith also sees DockSafe as “a truly unique solution, which protects the health and safety of all employees involved in loading bay operations, while improving business efficiency in a cost-effective way”.

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New catalogue facilitates customer product understanding and selection

Industrial safety specialist Castell has launched a 72-page product catalogue for its main product range of trapped key interlocks, which are typically used with machine guarding and in the switchgear industry. The catalogue is designed to facilitate product, and system, understanding and selection.


There are three factors to consider when designing a trapped key interlocking system: the power source being isolated, the number of access points there are and the type of access required. The layout of the catalogue reflects this selection process, enabling customers to choose the right safety system or products according to their specific requirements.

An application example is provided for each product to clarify the product’s functions and uses. The catalogue also features new products, a map showing worldwide Castell installations, a product overview and a glossary of trapped key interlocking terminology.

Castell’s product range has been developed over 90 years to provide industry with interlocks of high quality and integrity. All products are now well documented via both the recently updated data sheets and the new catalogue.

David Hughes, Castell’s global sales director, commented: ‘Following the release of the product data sheets, the publication of the new catalogue is the next step in ensuring that our customers can easily select the features and benefits of Castell products. The development of the catalogue was informed by customers’ experience of selecting and understanding product specifications and applications. I believe the new catalogue will make it much easier to use Castell products correctly.”

The catalogue is available to download on the Castell website at Printed copies will be distributed to customers and can also be requested from the website.

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Castell introduces unique web shop for safety interlocking industry

In a first for the safety interlocking industry, industrial safety specialist Castell Safety International Ltd has launched a web shop with unique functionality, Porta Castell (


Porta Castell is an online facility that allows customers to order not only Iso-Lok lock-out/tag-out products and replacement FS keys, but now selected trapped key interlocks and Salvo products via a symbol configurator. Iso-Lok padlocks can be ordered according to existing differs or suites, with customers specifying the required differs when placing their order. Replacement spares of trapped key interlocks and Salvo products can also be purchased to suit customers’ existing on-site systems.

Payment can now be made via a purchase order system, in addition to the existing payment (credit/debit) card option. The web shop also features a facility to create and export a quotation to satisfy customers’ paperwork requirements.

Porta Castell ensures that orders are processed faster, with improved lead times for trapped key interlocks and Salvo products; products can be despatched within seven days.

Customers also benefit from an improved acknowledgement service; Porta Castell orders receive an immediate order confirmation.

David Hughes, Castell’s sales director, commented: “This is an important development for Castell. The ability for customers to be able to place orders and select products using Porta Castell will reduce lead times and also ensure that customers can select the correct products at the point of purchase. Castell’s products are installed all over the world – being able to respond to demands from our customers to support this installed base is a key issue that Porta Castell helps solve.”

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