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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Castell forges new partnership with Kempston Controls

Kempston now supplying Castell’s full range of trapped key interlocks

Castell Safety International is pleased to announce a new and exclusive distribution partnership with Kempston Controls, a leading specialist distributor of electrical and electronic components. Kempston has over 70 years’ experience supplying OEMs, panel builders and end users throughout the UK.


Photo caption: (l-r) Symon Winch, Castell’s European sales manager, with Kempston’s sales manager Philip Hayhurst and production manager James Townend

Castell’s full range of trapped key interlocks is now available from Kempston, with a selected range held in stock for immediate order fulfilment. The new partnership makes the dramatically reduced lead times delivered by Castell’s unique end-coding manufacturing process available through a UK distribution channel for the first time.

In order that the partnership offer maximum customer benefit, both companies have been focused on ensuring that the correct training and knowledge transfer has taken place.

Symon Winch, Castell’s European sales manager, commented: “I am pleased to be working with such a professional distributor. The processes Kempston has in place deliver a high level of customer service, which in turn will provide even greater value to customers wanting to buy Castell products.”

Kempston Controls’ sales director Craig Barrowcliffe added: “Both Castell and Kempston have a long history of delivering high-quality products and service. I see this partnership as a great opportunity to provide products that complement our marketplace. I am looking forward to a very successful future.”

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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

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 improves manufacturing process to reduce delivery times

Company wins Halma Manufacturing Excellence award for 2012

Castell has redesigned its manufacturing process to increase flexibility and reduce delivery times. As a result, the company has received the Manufacturing Excellence award for 2012 from its parent company Halma, beating off competition from 40 other Halma subsidiaries.


Photo caption: Geoff Unwin (left), Halma’s Chairman, presents the Manufacturing Excellence award to Castell’s MD, Tim Whelan.

According to Halma, “Castell has transformed its manufacturing capability through a combination of product design innovation, excellent application of lean manufacturing and an ambition for international expansion. Today it has an incredibly efficient UK manufacturing base and an assembly shop in the Halma China hub, which is now making the majority of company output.”

Traditionally, trapped key interlocking systems could only be produced once the key coding details had been received, leading to long delivery times while the system was confirmed. Three years ago Castell introduced the end-coding system, which meant that products could be built and then coded at the end of the manufacturing process. This dramatically reduced the time in which products could be delivered.

“End-coding had a significant impact on our ability to deliver standard products quickly and enabled us to make a step change in how we delivered our products,” explained Keith Allingham, Castell’s operations director.

All Castell products with ‘FS’-style locks are now end coded, which has given the company the opportunity to rethink its whole manufacturing process. The result has been a complete redesign of the manufacturing floor, so that manufacturing flows from end to end, assembly cells flow seamlessly into in-line test facilities where products are fully tested and coded, and products are then passed to in-line packing and despatch. The results have been dramatic: orders that would have taken weeks to build and ship can now be despatched in days, improving levels of service and customer response time.

David Hughes, sales director, commented: “Customers have told us that their lead times have been significantly reduced. In some cases this has gone from between eight and ten weeks to between eight and ten days or less for full switchgear systems. This has meant that we have had to respond. The work that has gone in to implementing the new manufacturing system really enables us to harness the benefits of end-coding. Being competitive in the marketplace means that having a high quality product is no longer enough – delivery is also key. Since we have gone live with the manufacturing redesign, our delivery performance has improved significantly. This will benefit our customers in a big way.”

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Castell improves delivery times and safety rating with new UPS systems interlock

Multi-voltage and solenoid-controlled KSUPS+ safeguards uninterruptible power supply systems

Castell, currently celebrating its 90th birthday, has launched a new multi-voltage interlock primarily for use with uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. The KSUPS+ is a solenoid-controlled trapped key interlock that only permits access to a UPS system once the system has been put into a safe condition.


The KSUPS+ features a number of innovative design improvements, including multi-voltage input. Having a wide voltage input range means that a single device now replaces eight previous devices; the input voltage for the KSUPS+ ranges from 24 V AC or DC to 220 V AC or DC.

As a safety device, the integrity of the KSUPS+ is vital. A monitored solenoid increases the safety performance rating of the KSUPS+, ensuring a higher level of protection for personnel whilst working on UPS systems.

Castell has also reviewed the aesthetics of the KSUPS+. Not only does this improve the look of switchgear cabinets, it also aids operational efficiency and gives a clear indication of where the safety component is located on a panel. Importantly, the KSUPS+ retains the same mounting dimensions as the previous unit and therefore the KSUPS+ can be retrofitted.

Inserting and turning the key operates four pole switch contacts and allows the system to run. The key remains trapped and can only be released when a signal is received by the device and the solenoid is energised. Removing the key switches the contacts to the ‘off’ state, and the key can then be used to open the access interlock.

Simplicity has been at the forefront of the design of the new KSUPS+, as Paul Marks, Castell’s new product development director, explains: “Selecting the old KSUPS meant that customers had to first be sure of the signal voltage for the solenoid, which often led to delays in being able to place the order and selection errors.  Removing these issues has been uppermost in our minds when we looked at how to develop the new KSUPS+. The solution we have delivered is multi-voltage. Together with the improved level of safety offered by the solenoid monitoring, and the enhanced look of the unit, we are sure the KSUPS+ will be a very successful product.”

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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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New datasheets simplify product selection and reduce order processing times

Wealth of information enables customers to choose products more accurately

Castell Safety International Ltd has updated its product datasheets to help customers order products in the quickest and most efficient manner.


The full and revised set of datasheets show product operation, usage, installation, technical details, drawings, application notes and ordering information in a consistent format. Customers can now select and order products more accurately, ensuring that misunderstandings are kept to a minimum and order processing times dramatically reduced.

The datasheets are available from the download section of the Castell website at:

David Hughes, Castell’s sales and marketing director, commented: “Creating a new set of datasheets for our product range is an important step in enhancing our customer communications. Having full access to technical specifications will allow for more effective product selection and ultimately safer solutions for our customers.”

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