Case Study –tGard in Action

tGard is Fortress’ brand new customisable safety system that controls access to hazardous machinery and equipment.

Whatever the application, tGard has the flexibility to be configured to the customer’s needs. Housed in a metal body, tGard accepts elements (components) to create an overall assembled product that is easily mounted onto machine guarding.

You choose which elements are necessary. If you want a standalone emergency stop, you can have it; if the application requires a trapped key interlock to control access, you can have it. If a safety gate switch is needed, (solenoid or non-solenoid), you can have it, and if that gate switch needs machine control buttons integrated, then that too is possible. tGard is built to suit customer needs with almost unlimited configurations.

tGard in Action

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tGard is ideally suited to safeguard workers in the packaging industry. Modern automated packaging machines often use robots to handle bigger payloads by picking up complete layers of product for packing. The main danger associated with palletisers is the lack of visibility; a maintenance person can go into the guarded area to undertake work and, if he is underneath the machine, he may not be seen. The door can easily be closed and the machine restarted with him inside, resulting in possible injury or death. EN safety standards recommend the use of safety interlocks to protect workers from the dangers of palletising machines.

Due to its flexibility, tGard can be configured to safeguard the palletiser in a number of ways. tGard can include a solenoid controlled interlock on the guard door. This uses trapped keys to control access, thereby preventing potentially dangerous situations by ensuring actions are undertaken in a pre-determined sequence. Once the solenoid has been energised, the operator uses a unique, coded key in the door lock to shut down the machine and release the door; he then takes the released key with him into the area, preventing the door from being closed and the machine starting up again.  Machine control additions, such as ‘Request to enter’ and ‘restart’ push buttons can also be integrated into the tGard body to create an efficient, integrated system.

EN ISO 14119 standards on machine safety states that if there is a risk of a person becoming trapped behind closed guards, an emergency escape is needed. tGard features an internal release element. If an operator inside the guarded area needs to exit through another door in the cell because his first option is blocked, the operator pushes the tGard Internal Release inside the cell and is granted immediate access out of the area and away from danger.

This is an example of tGard in use; tGard is suitable for several kinds of machines in a wide range of industries from pharmaceuticals to electronics.

Benefits of tGard

Along with its flexibility, tGard offers several benefits. It offers a combination of access and control features, such as gate switches, trapped key interlocks and operator control buttons, all in one unit. It is simple and robust, and future-proof, in that it allows for elements to be added at a later stage.

tGard is easy to install, it only requires two fixings and if the ‘Quick Disconnect’ version is selected then the device comes pre-wired and the installer simply connects the cable, reducing the install time significantly in comparison to other systems on the market. tGard has been designed to be fully compliant with the new machinery safety standards.

For more information about tGard and how it can be used in your application, call Fortress Interlocks on +44 (0)1902 349 000 or email sales@fortressinterlock.com.

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tGard Access Control System from Fortress Interlocks

Customized approach maximizes safety
Erlanger, Ky. (October 17, 2013) – The new tGard Range from Fortress Interlocks is a novel approach to controlling access to hazardous machinery and equipment. The compact, metal-bodied safety system enables the custom configuration of multiple safety products including electrical safety gate switches, mechanical trapped key interlocks and electrical operator controls, for optimum safety.

tGard from Fortress Interlocks

tGard interlocks enable the custom configuration of multiple safety products including electrical safety gate switches, mechanical trapped key interlocks and electrical operator controls.

tGard systems can either be configured as separate devices or integrated into one device and are wholly customized to the needs of the end user. The range of tGard components includes safety switches (solenoid and non-solenoid), personnel keys, emergency release, push buttons, estops, indicator lamps and a choice of operating handles for both hinged and sliding guard doors. The required elements are user selected and then assembled into a robust housing, resulting in an exact configuration specific to the user’s application.

tGard is quick and easy to install and can be mounted directly onto a flat surface, doors or extruded aluminium profiles without the need for mounting plates or brackets. It is IP65 certified as standard and has been designed to be fully compliant with the latest machinery safety standards.

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A New Approach to Controlling Access to Hazardous Machinery and Equipment

Fortress Interlocks prepares for the launch of its brand new safety product, tGard.

Made up of elements, tGard options integrate mechanical trapped key interlocking, electrical safety gate switch interlocks and machine controls to create an intelligent control system.

tGard is coming soon!

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Fortress Interlocks Introduces Compact SR Safety Key Switch to Isolate Power

The new SR unit from Fortress Interlocks is a compact safety key switch that is ideal for isolating power to machinery.

For example, when the key is trapped inside the SR unit the power to machinery is on, and when the key is free, power is off. This allows the person carrying the freed key to enter the machinery or guarded area safely and power is not resumed until the key is returned. This is a typical sequence and other sequences can be specified.

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The key switch is heavy duty, housed in a metal enclosure which is IP rated 65/66/67. Its compact design allows the customer plenty of space for wiring, a feature not available in previous switch offerings. The switch current is 20A.

The SR key switch is part of Fortress’ mGard range of safety interlocks. mGard is the premier range of modular trapped key products that are used to safeguard dangerous machines and hazardous processes. Individual modules can simply be added or removed depending on the application which allows flexibility and tailoring. Fortress’ mGard range of products is suitable for use in high risk applications.

For more information about how the SR unit can be used in your application, please call Fortress Interlocks on +44 (0)1902 349 000.

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Fortress’ mGard Interlock Range receives TÜV SÜD Safety Approval

Fortress’ mGard range of safety interlocks has achieved approval from TÜV SÜD*, the leading international Notified Body for the certification of safety components. Fortress is the only trapped key manufacturer to carry independent third party approval on its trapped key range of interlocks, for use up to SIL3/PLe, reinforcing its position as market leader.

TÜV SÜD has certified that the mGard range meets the interlocking requirements of the latest European safety standards, so customers can install mGard with peace of mind.

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Trapped key interlocking is an ideal method of safeguarding machinery or potentially dangerous areas. The mGard range has a fail-safe design, undergoing an extensive FMEA (Failure Modes Effects Analysis) during its design stage, with over 100 different, rigorous safety tests.

Fortress’ mGard range of robust mechanical trapped key products is a completely modular system where individual modules can simply be added or removed depending on the application. The mGard range is ideal for a wide range of industries, such as food and drink manufacturing, for wash-down or explosion proof applications, resulting in an extremely cost-effective and flexible safeguarding solution for a wide industrial audience. Fortress’ mGard range of products is suitable for use in high risk applications.

* Technischer Überwachungs-Verein (Technical Inspection Association). Headquartered in Munich, Germany and founded in 1866, TÜV SÜD is one of the world’s leading technical service organisations. For more information, please visit http://www.tuv-sud.com/.

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Fortress Interlocks Unveils New US Facility

Ribbon cutting ceremony celebrates new office
Erlanger, Ky. (February 15, 2013) – Fortress Interlocks dedicated its new Erlanger, Kentucky facility Friday, February 8, in a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. The new premises position the UK-based safety products company for continued US growth.

Fortress employees Mark Gilvin, Josie Dewald and Mike Martin.

Fortress employees Mark Gilvin, Josie Dewald and Mike Martin.

When it outgrew its current space, Fortress chose to stay in the same conveniently located Northern Kentucky city of Erlanger, upgrading to new facilities. Now just five minutes from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, customers can easily visit for on-site training and demonstrations of the company’s safety access and control systems.

State-of-the-art conference facilities enable live conference calls with the Fortress UK manufacturing facility. With additional square footage and warehouse space, some light manufacturing will be possible locally to reduce lead times on common assemblies. 

The office opening was commemorated with a visit from ambassadors of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Chamber members Steve Harrington of ProSource and Tammy Trimble of Zalla Companies joined Fortress employees Josie Dewald, Mark Gilvin and Mike Martin for a tour of the new space and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Existing phone, fax and email contacts remain the same. The new mailing address is 1455 Jamike Ave., Suite 200; Erlanger, KY 41018.

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LOK Link adaptor Connects Modular Safety Interlocks to Enhance Machine Safety

Fortress Interlocks has introduced a new LOK Link adaptor that connects its modular mGard interlocks directly to its new amGard Pro range of LOK and Stop safety gate switch interlocks.

The ability to link the two enhances Fortress’ mechanical mGard range by adding a safety switch and direct solenoid control option to the mechanical module. This means there are several possible configurations that LOK Link provides that will enhance safety in a variety of heavy duty, industrial applications.

LOK Link can connect stainless steel mGard heads to explosion proof locks, facilitate electrical indication of bolt position, connect a head for small radius doors and join mechanical interlocks with monitored exchange boxes and solenoid controlled exchange boxes and bolt locks.

Trapped key interlocking is a proven method of safeguarding operators and machinery. By trapping and releasing keys in a pre-determined order, safe working environments can be achieved and only then will access be granted.
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Fortress’ mGard range of robust mechanical trapped key products is a completely modular system where individual modules can simply be added or removed depending on the application. The new amGard Pro range builds on the modular, robust design of the existing amGard range but with added features that delivers new control functionality. amGard Pro is designed for heavy duty environments and the LOK Link adaptor provides customers with new configurations to suit their applications.

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Fortress Debuts amGardPro at IMTS 2012

Erlanger, K.Y. (August 22, 2012) – Fortress Interlocks will be exhibiting its safety access and control systems at the International Manufacturing Technology Show, September 10-15 at McCormick Place (Chicago, Ill.). The Fortress exhibit at booth E-5846 will include its new amGard Pro range of heavy duty interlocks, as well as its mGard, amGard and eGard products, designed to safeguard manufacturing personnel and equipment.

 

Fortress amGard Pro heavy duty interlocks.

Fortress amGard Pro heavy duty interlocks.

The company’s new amGard Pro range ensures compliance with developing global standards to safeguard plant and personnel in heavy duty environments. Its modular design provides electro-mechanical interlocking with the option for traditional lockout retro-fitting. The amGard Pro and other interlocking products will be demonstrated live during the show using a robot cell. Booth visitors can watch as the cell is powered down and entered safely with Fortress products.

The company will also display its mGard line of trapped key mechanical interlocks, its standard amGard range, and the custom eGard line for complex systems.

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Fortress Develops Modern amGard Pro Range of Heavy Duty Interlocks

Industrial safety specialist Fortress Interlocks has significantly developed its amGard range of heavy duty, safety gate switch interlocks to create amGard Pro.

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amGard Pro builds on the recognised modularity and robust design of the existing amGard range but with added features and benefits identified by market feedback. Some added features include forward and backward compatibility, stainless steel heads, emergency release options, anti-vibration parts and non-contact technology. The Pro range integrates modern technology to deliver new control functionality but still offers the option for traditional lockout retro-fitting, creating a variety of new configurations not previously available. amGard Pro has been tested to withstand up to 10KN retention force, making it Fortress’ strongest yet.

Tony Baggott, Sales & Marketing Director at Fortress Interlocks, commented: “We have revamped the amGard range as part of a long term programme to ensure our products remain at the forefront of industrial interlock technology. amGard Pro builds on the success of amGard, and the new developments keep pace with changing technology while ensuring compliance with developing global standards. amGard Pro is the ideal safety interlock for safeguarding plant and personnel in heavy duty environments. ”

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Fortress Interlocks Joins Machine Safety Alliance to Provide Machine Safety Knowledge

Safety Interlocking company Fortress Interlocks is a member of the Machine Safety Alliance with Festo, Pilz Automation Technology, Troax, UK Engineering, and Werma. The Machine Safety Alliance aims to share its collective knowledge and expertise to help machine builders and users make sense of safety and safeguard their productivity.
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The withdrawal of safety standard EN 954-1 means that EN ISO 13849 will become the most widely used standard for the design, verification and validations of the safety related parts of control systems. The Machine Safety Alliance brings together experts of the collective technologies under one roof to provide comprehensive safety knowledge that is more readily accessible.

Fortress Interlocks is a leader in access and control safety systems, designing and manufacturing safety interlocking systems, trapped key, key exchange, solenoid and non-solenoid guard switches and modular control devices that ensure safety by action in a pre-determined sequence.

Tony Baggott, Sales & Marketing Manager at Fortress Interlocks commented: “The Machine Safety Alliance is a non-profit organisation. Our hope is to help companies understand and comply with safety regulations while balancing productivity. Fortress Interlocks, as a market leader in safety access and control systems, is well placed to provide expertise in this field in collaboration with our specialist partners in the alliance.”

The Machine Safety Alliance has organised a series of seminars at various venues across the UK which will focus on real-world applications of various technologies and the application of EN ISO 13849-1 and other safety-relevant standards. For more information about the Machinery Safety Alliance, please visit the website at www.machinery-safety-alliance.co.uk

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