End Coding Speeds Safety Interlock Delivery
New manufacturing approach dramatically reduces lead times
Erlanger, Kentucky (March 11, 2010) – Industrial safety specialist Castell has adopted a manufacturing process to improve efficiency and benefit the end-users, machine builders and distributors who use its safety interlocks. The company is the first in the interlocking sector to implement end coding, which allows standard products to be coded at the final, rather than initial, stage of production.
End coding enables the company’s interlocks to be fitted uncoded to machinery and remain there until they are commissioned. The coding scheme can be changed right up until commissioning is accepted, when an authorized coding engineer codes the system. As a result, standard products can now be held as stock with distributors and machine builders, speeding up the supply chain.
The system relies on a coded tablet that is inserted into the lock. Once inserted, the tablet cannot be removed or recoded, which guarantees the integrity and safety of the system. Tablets can be provided within 24 hours of being defined and requested.
Since trapped key interlocks were first designed, the production of any system could not start until each code within the system had been defined. This created a number of potential issues. There was no flexibility during the commissioning phase for alterations once the locks had been fitted. Similarly, as each unit was individually coded at the start of the manufacturing process, replacement stock required a full set of duplicates to be kept as spares. Machine builders could not stock items and orders could only be placed once end-users had confirmed codes. The product was not readily available as a stock item either at distribution outlets or from the manufacturer. Essentially, each component was a special order and as such came with an extended lead time, no matter how frequently that product was used. Castell’s new end coding system changes all this with flexible and fast safety interlocking.