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, or call 1-866-637-1255. To learn more Castell trapped key interlocks, go to

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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 Interlocks Safeguard Sikeston Power Station

Missouri power plant upgrades to trapped key technology
Chicago, Illinois (October 23, 2013) – Sikeston, Missouri’s Board of Municipal Utilities (BMU) recently installed trapped key interlocks from industrial safety specialist Castell throughout its 600 acre coal-fired power plant. The system limits access to dangerous areas, protecting employees from injury and equipment from damage.

Castell Interlocks .

Castell Interlocks and key exchange cabinet installed at Sikeston BMU.

Brought online in 1981, Sikeston’s 235 megawatt coal-fired steam electric generating station serves both Sikeston and numerous cities throughout the Midwest. More than a million tons of Powder River Basin coal are burned at the plant each year. The coal moves through a steady line of processing steps to the plant’s power-generating steam turbine. At each step in the process there is equipment–pulverizers, boilers, precipitators, etc.– that can be dangerous if accessed under unsafe conditions.

To prevent human error, the 30 year old plant’s safety equipment was recently upgraded with a system of trapped key interlocks from Castell. Castell worked closely with the Sikeston BMU to select the interlock types suited to each of the processing areas. The resulting custom system ensures that proper safety precautions are taken before accessing equipment for maintenance and routine operation.

Electrical breakers, transformers and nuclear bevel detectors were fitted with Castell’s K and KF bolt interlocks to control the movement of operating handles within these panels. Only when accessed with the proper key can the bolt be retracted to change switch position. In the KF model, an additional flange increases mounting possibilities. Additionally, Castell’s AI single key access looks were installed on hopper and maintenance doors throughout the facility. A NEMA4X stainless steel enclosure manages key exchange, protecting keys from the environment.   Sikeston chose Castell products for their durable design and construction. Most of the locks were installed outside, exposed to the elements as well as fly ash from the plant. Unlike typical light duty locking devices, which can become plugged in such environments, Castell’s lock mechanism has a sealing key and cap to keep out dust and debris. This design, coupled with a large handled key, guards against failures. The key is capable of transmitting much more torque to the lock than a standard pin tumbler key for ease of operation and longevity of the interlocks.

“When looking to replace our key interlock system on the precipitator, we found the reliability, craftsmanship, support, and economic value of Castell to be the total package we hoped to achieve,” said Don Miller, Sikeston BMU’s Operations Superintendent. “We were completely satisfied with Castell and would highly recommend them for key interlocking systems.”

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Safety Interlocking Guide Improves Efficiency in Waste and Recycling Industries

Castell safeguards sorters, shredders, bailers and more
Chicago, Illinois (July 24, 2013) –Safety specialist Castell has released a new application guide for the waste and recycling sector. The guide covers methods for interlocking safety specific to waste and recycling facilities that ensure that personnel are protected while operations remain efficient.

Interlocking waste and recycling

Castell’s Safety Interlocking Guide for Waste and Recycling Industries.

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 safeguard access to emission control systems, protecting personnel from high-voltage equipment.

The equipment used to crush and shred waste has a high potential for worker injury if proper precautions aren’t taken. According to 2008 OSHA figures, the Waste Management and Remediation Services industry has a 5 times higher fatality rate than the average of other industries (source). Interlocking removes the potential for human error and enforces safety procedures. If each step in the safety sequence is not completed correctly, dangerous equipment can’t be accessed. With a robust mechanical design, Castell’s products are guaranteed to perform over extended periods of time, particularly in harsh conditions and aggressive environments.

The new application guide can be downloaded from the Castell website (

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New Switchgear Interlocking Application Guide Facilitates Selection

Castell covers incomers, transformers, busbars, UPS, ESP, wind farms and more

Chicago, Illinois (May 31, 2013) – 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 industrial applications. The guide covers 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.


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 equipment from leading manufacturers.

Switchgear isolation can be achieved mechanically, through control circuitry or through power circuitry. In complex operations a number of isolations may need to occur to ensure the plant is safe to work on. With the ability to work across high-, medium- and low-voltage applications, a single Castell system can provide personnel safety and ensure equipment is operated in the correct way.

The new application guide can be downloaded from the Castell website (

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Castell Celebrates 90 years of Industrial Safety

Chicago, Illinois (November 29, 2012) – Industrial safety specialist Castell has recently marked 90 years of protecting people and assets worldwide.

When James ‘Harry’ Castell formed the company in 1922, the health and safety industry was in embryonic form; it would be another 50 years before countries began enacting federal safety guidelines. The electrification of London provided the catalyst for Castell to focus on safety at work. Electrical systems offered workers little protection, leading to many accidents and deaths. Castell applied the concept of interlock use from the railway industry to electrical systems and electrical trapped key interlocking was born.

In 1979, Castell established operations in Kentucky, bringing more local sales and product support to its customers across the United States. Now located in Chicago, Castell continues to provide safety products that provide personnel protection and compliance with US regulatory guidelines.

Castell’s UK 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.

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.”

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New catalog facilitates customer product understanding and selection

Castell has launched a 72-page product catalog for its main product range of trapped key interlocks, which are typically used with machine guarding and in the switchgear industry. The catalog 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 catalog 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 catalog 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 catalog.

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

The catalog 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
Industrial safety specialist 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, amidst competition from 40 other Halma subsidiaries.


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 dispatch. The results have been dramatic: orders that would have taken weeks to build and ship can now be dispatched 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 Salvo Protects Cascades Inopak

Automatic door drive-away prevention system mitigates human error
Chicago, Illinois (March 12 , 2012) – At its busy Drummondville, Quebec site, Cascades Inopak has chosen the Salvo system from Castell Safety to eliminate risk of unscheduled truck departures from its loading docks. The brake line interlocking system minimizes the possibility of human error to protect workers from injury and property from damage.

The Salvo system from Castell Safety eliminates risk of unscheduled truck departures from loading docks.

The Salvo system from Castell Safety eliminates risk of unscheduled truck departures from loading docks.

After a routine facility-wide Health and Safety audit at its food packaging manufacturing plant, Cascades Inopak determined that there was opportunity for increased security at the loading docks. The company wanted to go beyond restraint systems that rely on employee compliance to a more risk-free automated system like the Salvo, ensuring the highest level of protection possible to its employees.

“In smaller facilities, a restraint system might be sufficient when only a few well trained employees are performing loading and unloading,” explains Cascades Inopak plant manager Serge Blais. “With the number of employees accessing trucks at our facility, it’s harder to ensure that everyone is following the rules. That’s why we chose the Salvo system; with it, there is no opportunity for personnel to overlook safety procedures, because they cannot open the dock door unless the system is engaged.”

Each Salvo system consists of a Salvo SGL gladhand lock, control panel, and internal and external traffic lights for visual communication. When a truck arrives at Cascades Inopak’s loading dock, an employee attaches the SGL to the truck’s emergency brake line, immobilizing the truck. With the SGL properly attached, a uniquely coded key is released for use in the Salvo control panel. Inserting the key into the control panel turns the traffic light green inside to alert workers that the dock door is now unlocked and it is safe to enter the truck trailer, while a red light outside reminds the driver that the truck is not able to depart.

Until the automatic door is closed and locked, the control panel will not release the key, making it impossible for anyone to remove the Salvo gladhand lock from the trailer brake line before it is safe for the truck to leave. With Salvo, the dock workers are in total control of their loading dock environment.

“Our employees have found that the Salvo system is no more complicated to operate than a restraint system,” says Blais. “And with it, I’m 100% confident that we are getting the highest level of dock safety.”

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Amtrak Acela Workers Protected with Castell

Exchange key interlock system for power isolation at a high speed rail maintenance facility
Chicago, Illinois (January 5, 2012) – During a recent upgrade, an exchange key, power isolation interlock system from industrial safety specialist Castell was installed at the Amtrak Southampton Maintenance Facility to ensure worker safety during maintenance and repair operations.


The South Boston facility serves the High Speed Rail Acela Express System and is a major terminal facility for trains running between Washington D.C., New York city and Boston. The Acela is the fastest domestic train system, so following safe, efficient maintenance and operation procedures is critical to its smooth operation. Castell safety equipment protects workers from dangerous high voltage operations, while keeping the trains running efficiently.

With 25kV power overhead, personnel must follow a predetermined sequence of tasks before beginning maintenance operations to ensure safe working conditions. As part of a recent overall facility upgrade, Castell’s US sales partner, Tapeswitch Corporation, was invited to engineer a replacement for its current combination of interlocks and panels from multiple manufacturers. Castell and Tapeswitch Corporation provided a fully integrated system, consisting of Castell’s durable, exchange key interlocks and power isolation panel, an effective solution to streamline and secure safe maintenance operations.

When a train pulls into the maintenance facility, the release of an electrical power isolation interlock confirms power disconnection, trapping an exchanged key until the enabling solenoid is de-energized. The power is safely controlled until the overhead conductor rail has been retracted and is no longer a hazard to the maintenance workers requiring access to dangerous areas.

The system then releases exchange keys that activate 480V maintenance power panels and a maintenance lift. Additional exchange keys released energize the panels that run onboard systems for test and repair. When work is completed, the process is reversed, releasing the key controlling the power and allowing power to be returned, so the train can leave the facility safely.

Castell’s durable products perform well in challenging locations like the busy Amtrak maintenance facility. Typical light duty locking devices can become plugged in dirty environments. Castell uses a lock mechanism with sealing key and cap to keep out dust and debris, extending product life. This design, coupled with Castell’s robust, large handled key, guards against failures. The key is capable of transmitting much more torque to the lock than a standard pin tumbler key for ease of operation and longevity of the interlocks.

Tapeswitch Corporation is the exclusive sales partner for Castell products in the US. Its national sales force is available for full demonstrations of Castell’s complete interlock products and systems, especially with main or control power isolation. Many of its models accept optional solenoid interlocks.

“With our full demonstration, the engineers were able to visualize the steps in the process and appreciate the strength and quality of Castell’s products,” explained Tapeswitch Corporation Sales Representative Dave Jackson. “The system we implemented was a unique and complete solution, which allowed them to control multiple operations, while ensuring reliable safety. It has been in place since March and has been well received by the Amtrak maintenance personnel.”

Also available from Tapeswitch Corporation are Castell’s mechanical and electromechanical interlocks for access control and main power isolation; solenoid controlled interlocks; motion sensing and key exchange unit products. Tapeswitch Corporation chose to partner with Castell for the durability, reliability and quality of its safety interlocks that provide area guarding, machine guarding and personnel protection.

To learn more about Castell’s safety products and to schedule a hands-on demonstration, contact Tapeswitch Corporation at 1-800-234-8273 or visit

About Tapeswitch Corporation
For over 50 years, Tapeswitch Corporation has been a leading manufacturer of safety, sensing, and signaling products, engineering systems and solutions for many industries throughout the world. Their complete product lines include switches, pressure sensitive safety mats, safety edges, sensing bumpers, light curtains, and safety interface controllers for complete systems. They custom engineer safety products and systems to fit customer applications.

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