Castell’s motion-sensing product safeguards rotating machinery

BEMF monitors mixers to protect workers in cement industry

Castell has developed a motion-monitoring product to protect workers in industries such as cement manufacturing. The BEMF unit ensures that motor-driven equipment up to 600V with a variable rundown time has completely stopped before access is possible.

The BEMF unit ensures that motor-driven equipment up to 600V with a variable rundown time has completely stopped before access is possible

In the cement industry, safe access to the mixer is important as set cement can easily cause blockages if not regularly washed down. However, large rotating machinery presents significant dangers, even when switched off, due to the momentum it builds up while running.

The delay between a machine being switched off and actually coming to a standstill can often be as long as 15-30 minutes. This interval is the most dangerous time for a machine because, although the machine is off, it is far from being safe. Access to the machine should be prevented until it has come to a complete stop.

In addition, workers gaining full-body access to rotating machinery could have a door shut behind them. The individual is then trapped inside a machine which, due to a switch on the door becoming activated, could be restarted, often with tragic results.

While an electric motor is rotating, whether powered or not, it generates an electromotive force (EMF). This force is monitored by the Castell BEMF unit. When the BEMF detects zero EMF, establishing that the motor has come to a complete standstill, it releases a trapped key corresponding to a lock on the machine’s guard hatch. Access cannot be granted without the use of this key and power cannot be restored to the motor until the key is returned once maintenance is complete.

The BEMF is also designed to improve efficiency. The time wasted by fixed-delay systems is eliminated, since the BEMF ensures that machine access is granted as soon as the rundown is complete; rundown times will vary according to the load in the machine.

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Castell launches new Salvo™ dock safety system for leased warehouses

Latest SML-EI system requires minimal footprint and installation

Castell has launched a cost-effective new version of its Salvo™ loading dock safety system, designed specifically for customers who have leased warehouses.

Castell's new Salvo™ loading dock safety system is designed specifically for leased warehouses

Quick and easy installation is crucial in leased warehouses, due to landlord restrictions and future relocations. All equipment must be able to be easily transferred to other warehouses in the event of a move.

The latest Salvo™ SML-EI system requires minimal footprint and installation while still providing a high level of dock safety. The maintenance-free equipment mounts to either the door or post on the inside of the dock, and comes complete with auxiliary contacts in order to connect with traffic lights or existing power dock levelers. The system can also be configured to allow customers to keep their doors open in the summer and comply with OSHA 1910.23.

Fast, safe access is an important issue in loading docks. Salvo™ prevents the accidental drive-away of a vehicle during loading or unloading by interlocking the trailer’s air brakes with the dock door. The Salvo™ Glad Hand Lock attaches to the truck’s emergency brake line, ensuring brakes are applied. This provides worker safety and ensures compliance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178 and FMCSA 49 CFR 393.41 vehicle loading requirements.

Once the Gland Hand Lock is applied, a uniquely coded key is released. The key is then used to open the dock door to begin loading or unloading the trailer. Only after work is completed and the door closed is the key needed to unlock the Salvo™ Glad Hand Brake Lock released, making it impossible for the driver to depart prematurely. Unlike many alternative systems, Salvo™ eliminates human error and provides dock workers with complete control over their environment.

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Five ways trapped key interlocks protect tanker loading and unloading

Loading and unloading tankers carries significant risk. Procedures are often complicated, particularly when earth lines and valve systems are involved. Drivers have to consider variables such as load characteristics, the frequency of vehicle movement and the number of products to be loaded or unloaded.

Potential issues include:

• “Drive-aways” while tankers are connected to equipment or damage to extended gantries;
• The wrong substance being loaded or unloaded;
• Shortcuts being taken and steps in safe loading missed, such as earth line connections being made or hoses returned;
• The danger of loading or unloading hazardous or flammable substances;
• Product spillage;
• The environmental impact of product release.

Loading and unloading tankers carries significant risk

Trapped key interlocks (TKIs) provide specific protection and risk control in these types of application. TKIs encode procedures to ensure that systems can only operate one way: the safe way. Depending on the application, TKIs typically control five main risks:

1) They immobilize vehicles while loading and unloading is taking place by using an airline interlock or interlocking existing barriers. This prevents a “drive-away” while equipment is connected.

2) For multi-step processes, they force drivers to always follow the correct procedure and avoid shortcuts.

3) They ensure that valves can only be operated when it is safe to do so.

4) They make sure the correct substance can only be delivered or received by the appropriate tanker.

5) As primarily mechanical devices, they do not pose an ignition-source risk in hazardous areas.

Designing an effective TKI-controlled tanker loading system requires a clear understanding of the procedure involved and the equipment to be included in each stage of the process. This should be carried out in conjunction with a thorough risk assessment of the process itself.

By: David Hughes, Sales Director, Castell Safety International Ltd.

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Castell Appoints New Distributor, Mayer Electric Supply

Castell’s trapped key interlocking products available to customers in the Southeast through Mayer
Chicago, Illinois (January 5, 2016) – Castell has improved service to customers in the southeast by appointing Mayer Electric Supply as a distributor for its complete line of trapped key interlocking and Salvo dock safety products.

Castell Mayer

Castell Interlocks

Castell’s trapped key interlocks ensure that personnel follow a predefined sequence of actions to assure safe access to machinery and adhere to safe operating procedures. Interlocking systems are unique to each application, often requiring product customization to suit customer needs. Mayer now offers Castell customers a local contact for expert technical consultation on product selection, system design, installation, and service. The company will sell all of Castell’s trapped key interlocks, including its switchgear, machine guarding, and Salvo drive-away prevention products.

Mayer is among the largest electrical distributors in the United States. The company offers a range of electrical equipment and supplies, including lighting, factory, automation, and communications products and tools. The company partners with its customers in both new construction and maintenance settings to provide OEM components, parts, equipment and supplies to contractors, industrials, utilities, commercial businesses and institutions. Mayer is a third-generation, family-owned business founded in 1930.

To contact Mayer Electric Supply, visit www.mayerelectric.com, or call 1-866-637-1255. To learn more Castell trapped key interlocks, go to www.Castell.com.

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How trapped key interlocking protects workers at HV substations

Interlocking switchgear within HV substations ensures that personnel operate equipment safely, according to the correct procedures. Using a well-designed trapped key interlocking scheme will prevent personnel accessing potentially dangerous areas before the switchgear system has been put into a safe condition.

Castell

Interlocking switchgear within HV substations ensures that personnel operate equipment safely.

A good interlocking scheme will also ensure that the system functions correctly, so that there is no chance of, for example, switching two incoming feeds onto a common bus bar. This protects the equipment from damage and greatly reduces the risk of fire or arc flash.

There are four ways trapped key interlocks (TKIs) protect HV substations and their operators:

  1. Many HV substations are located in remote, unmanned sites which can attract attempted unauthorized access. TKIs help to safeguard this kind of vulnerable equipment.
  2. TKIs intended for HV substations have a proven design life of 45 years, allowing the safety devices to perform through decades of operation.
  3. Trapped key interlocking enforces the correct operation of equipment and therefore protects the continuity of supply.
  4. TKIs ensure that part of a system is isolated and correctly earthed before maintenance can be carried out on that section.

By: Adam Felton, Technical Marketing, Castell Safety International Ltd.

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Switchgear and protection: trapped key interlocking vs LOTO

There are two potential options when considering a mechanical safety system for switchgear applications. The choice is between a trapped key interlocking system or a padlock-based lock-out / tag-out (LOTO) system. Both systems:

  • Provide a method of isolating switchgear.
  • Allow safe personnel access when maintenance of machinery is required.
  • Are available in full stainless steel or brass versions.
  • Offer a comprehensive range of products with different forms and sizes to suit the needs of the equipment concerned.
TKI Switchgear

Trapped key interlocking applied to switchgear protection.

However, in terms of safety, trapped key interlocks (TKIs) offer significantly higher levels of protection compared with LOTO.

LOTO

LOTO systems don’t provide the same level of protection as trapped key interlocking.

There are four main reasons trapped key interlocking beats out LOTO:

  1. TKIs are durable with a proven track record of withstanding harsh operating environments through decades of operation.
  2. TKI’s force workers to follow a strict process which prevents them from deliberately skipping or inadvertently missing steps. The equipment is interlocked together in such a way that steps cannot be overlooked or ignored.
  3. In an environment where staff may be unfamiliar with operations and speak a range of different languages, the enforced procedure of TKIs negates miscommunication or misunderstanding of operating practice.
  4. When there is a need for full-body access, TKIs provide a personnel key that protects workers from potential danger and puts them in control of the process. Until the personnel key is returned, the switchgear cannot be returned to the live state.

By: Adam Felton, Technical Marketing, Castell Safety International Ltd.

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Castell to show loading dock safety system at ProMat 2015

Castell will be exhibiting its Salvo™ loading dock safety system at ProMat 2015.

Castell Interlocks will be exhibiting its Salvo™ loading dock safety system at ProMat 2015

Salvo™ prevents the accidental drive-away of a vehicle during loading or unloading by interlocking the trailer’s air brakes with the dock door. The system eliminates human error and provides dock workers with complete control over their environment.

In addition, Salvo™ DockMonitor enables businesses to spot and implement loading dock efficiencies, avoiding the unnecessary costs associated with expansion or additional resources.

US sales manager Pierre Balson will be at booth # 674 to discuss specific applications or bespoke interlocking solutions.

Since 1922, Castell has produced heavy-duty safety products that perform well in the most challenging locations. The company’s solutions eliminate human error and safeguard loading docks, warehouses, and automation processes with trapped key interlocking technology.

ProMat 2015 takes place on 23-26 March at Chicago’s McCormick Place South. The show is the largest for manufacturing and supply chain professionals in North America.

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Trapped key interlocks vs light curtains in the food industry

In all industries it is important to balance the demand for safety with the need for fast access to machinery. The latter is vital in the food industry, for several reasons:

  1. The need to easily and hygienically clean the production environment.
  2. The impact on downtime of repetitively cleaning electronic systems.
  3. The requirement to clean all guards and accessories in the immediate location of the food area.

When protecting workers from the dangers of food processing equipment, both light curtains and trapped key interlocks can provide ways to control risk.

Light curtains offer such benefits as:

  1. Immediate access to production areas.
  2. A reduced need for guarding, which in turn reduces the time needed to clean a production area.
  3. Levels of protection ranging from full-body to finger, depending on the light curtain selected.
  4. When programmed appropriately, allowing raw materials to be passed into the production environment without halting processes.

The advantages of trapped key interlocks include:

  1. The ability to isolate the dangerous area until food machinery is made safe through timed or motion-sensing control.
  2. Higher life expectancy thanks to their mechanical (as opposed to electrical) design.
  3. Putting the operator in the hazardous area in full control of restarting the machine through the use of full-bodied interlocks and personnel keys.
  4. Resisting wash-down environments for extended periods due to their mechanical design.

 

The clear difference between light curtains and trapped key interlocks is most obvious in relation to full-body access

The clear difference between light curtains and trapped key interlocks is most obvious in relation to full-body access. Although light curtains can detect personnel crossing into a full-body zone, they are unable to determine if anybody remains in the danger zone when the machine restarts. This can lead to a dangerous situation if workers are hidden from sight behind equipment.

Trapped key interlocks are able to protect workers while they are in the danger zone through the use of a personnel key. When the operator is in the danger zone, the key is retained with them. This means that the machine cannot be restarted until the personnel key is returned to its original position. If multiple personnel are required to enter the danger zone, several keys can be provided to allow access – the machinery cannot be re-started until all access keys are returned to the exchange point.

In summary

Ensuring that the best solution is applied will depend on:

  • Understanding the hygiene regime requirements for each application.
  • Assessing who needs access to these areas, why and how often.
  • Evaluating access requirements: full- or part-body?
  • Conducting a risk assessment to understand the specific risk around the machinery or equipment.
  • Remembering to assess risk both pre- and post-implementation of a solution.

By: David Hughes, Sales Director, Castell Safety International Ltd.

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Castell appoints distributor to cover four western US states

Bulldog Controls to represent safety interlocking firm in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah

Castell has chosen Bulldog Controls to represent its machine, switchgear and loading dock safety products in the states of California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

Castell has chosen Bulldog Controls to represent its machine, switchgear and loading dock safety products in the states of California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

“Bulldog Controls has a wealth of experience and knowledge of industrial safety, both domestically and internationally,” said Castell sales director David Hughes. “We’ve chosen it to represent Castell’s interlocks because of its attention to specific customer requirements, and local and international standards, as well as its commitment to customer care and service.”

Castell’s trapped key interlocks are robust, heavy duty products that provide machine safety. The mechanical technology ensures isolation procedures are carried out prior to workers gaining access to a hazardous area, in accordance with ANSI Z244.1 (Control of Hazardous Energy—Lockout/Tagout and Alternative Methods).

The rugged design and construction of Castell’s interlocks make them suitable for use in harsh industries such as food processing and packaging, where devices must withstand daily wash-down procedures. The technology is also found in the mining and marine sectors, as well as other challenging environments where plastic safety switches and electrical components often fail or require continual maintenance.

In addition to machine guarding, Bulldog Controls will also offer Castell’s Salvo™ loading dock safety line. Salvo ensures truck trailers cannot be moved or driven away while loading or unloading is taking place. Unlike typical restraint systems, Salvo uses the trailer’s own brake force to prevent unscheduled drive-aways. Castell’s patented trapped key glad hand lock (SGL) is applied to the exposed trailer brake line coupling. Only once the SGL is locked in position can the key be removed from the lock, which ensures the trailer brakes are applied. The key can then be taken to initiate loading/unloading, by unlocking the manual or powered dock door, unlocking a chain barrier or even opening valves for tanker applications.

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Castell Salvo Protects Loading Docks

Drive-away prevention system mitigates human error
Chicago, Illinois (April 4 , 2014) – Castell’s Salvo™ Loading Dock Safety System drive-away prevention products promote safety on automatic and manual loading dock doors. The brake line interlocking system minimizes the possibility of human error to protect workers from injury and property from damage.

Castell's Salvo

Castell’s Salvo brake line interlocking system prevents premature loading dock drive-aways.

Fast, safe access is an important issue in loading docks. The Salvo system prevents injury and damage to loading platforms by making it impossible for trucks to drive away during loading or unloading. Salvo’s Glad Hand Lock attaches to the truck’s emergency brake line, ensuring brakes are applied. This provides worker safety and ensures compliance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178 and FMCSA 49 CFR 393.41 vehicle loading requirements.

Once the Gland Hand Lock is applied, the uniquely coded key is released. This key is then used to open the dock door to begin loading or unloading the trailer. Only after work is completed and the door closed is the key needed to unlock the Salvo Glad Hand Brake Lock released, making it impossible for the driver to depart prematurely.

A number of custom Salvo configurations are available. The range includes manual and automatic door systems, brake line locking options, accessories and a new efficiency enhancing software program, DockMonitor. The software captures operational data such as loading time, number of operations, idle time and available time, measuring performance while still guaranteeing safety.

To see a video demonstration of the Salvo in use, visit http://www.castell.com/us/salvo/.

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