Baosteel protecting personnel with Castell’s trapped key interlocks

Shanghai steel plant safeguarding electrostatic plating process

Baosteel, the largest steel manufacturer in China and the second largest in the world, is entrusting the safety of personnel at its Shanghai plant to trapped key interlocking systems from Castell.


Many steel plants in China still rely on warning signs to remind employees of recommended operating procedures. However, this method is prone to abuse, with potentially disastrous consequences.

Castell’s products are being used to ensure that Baosteel’s electrostatic plating process is carried out safely. The three interlocking systems completely remove the possibility that personnel who ignore safety procedures could put themselves at risk, by forcing operatives to strictly follow a predetermined series of steps based on the transmission of keys.

Under normal working conditions, when maintenance is required, operatives must first turn and remove the key from the electrical switch; this action isolates the power supply to the electrostatic spray room. The key is inserted into a key exchange unit, releasing four access keys. Each access key opens a specific door into the electrostatic spray room. Electrostatic plating cannot begin again until each access key has been returned to the key exchange unit, and the initial key reinserted into the electrical switch.

David Hughes, Castell’s sales director, commented: “Winning such high profile business is very rewarding, and we are very pleased to be creating long-term partnerships with such important customers. The Castell system Baosteel has implemented will ensure its employees can work in a safe and efficient environment.”

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Boiler manufacturer relies on resilient safety interlocks

Castell’s products withstand demanding operating conditions at Ideal Heating

Leading British domestic and industrial boiler manufacturer Ideal Heating has upgraded safety procedures at its Hull site with the introduction of interlocking systems from Castell. The heating specialist has installed safety switches and access interlocks on ten machines in its foundry blowing area.


The blowing area turns out sand-based moulds for casting heat exchangers used in the company’s boilers. Waste sand from the production process tended to clog up the previous safety system, but Castell’s heavy-duty KSE20 multi-key electrical switches and AI access interlocks have been unaffected by the demanding environment.

“We had a problem with the old system,” admitted Jason Waltham, senior maintenance technician, “and thanks to Castell’s robust products we have addressed it. Their customer service has also been first class.”

Ideal Heating produces a range of domestic and commercial boilers for distribution in the UK and Eire. Improvement projects, like the installation of Castell’s safety interlocks, have had a positive impact and contributed to the goal of an accident-free culture. The company’s lost time frequency, reportable injury and accident severity rates currently stand at an all-time low.

When maintenance of a mould-making machine is required, the operative removes the primary key from the electrical switch. This action changes the status of the electrical supply to the machine to a safe condition and enables the release of two secondary keys. These keys are then used to unlock the interlocks on the machine’s access doors. The guards can only be opened when the electrical supply has been switched to a safe condition.

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