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Safety switches installed across country

19 July 2007

Forticrete Limited has installed safety switches from Fortress Interlocks at its site in Leighton Buzzard that specialises in the manufacture of concrete roof tiles and is one of twelve Forticrete sites across the country.

Chris Phillipson, site manager at the Leighton Buzzard plant, said that the Fortress products were specified for the new plant right at the outset of the project. “Forticrete has had previous experience with Fortress Interlocks. We knew they were reliable in conditions like ours where it is sometimes dusty with a lot of vibrations. They worked with us right from the beginning to specify a product that was suitable for the working conditions whilst meeting our needs for maximum uptime and very high levels of functional safety.”

Several amLok AS-i solenoid switches, from the amGard range of interlocks, were installed on the three production lines which are fully automated and move at high speed.

The heavy duty, handle operated switches prevent workers entering hazardous zones such as rack loaders and where robots are used to pack roof tiles onto pallets. In order to enter these guarded areas, the operator must select the stop on the control panel, and only when the machine has completed its run-down cycle will the solenoid within the amGard become energised, allowing the handle to be released and permitting entry.

Chris said that their decision to install Fortress amLok AS-i products was for several reasons, “Safety integrity is our main concern but we also want an efficient production line. amLok AS-i is an intelligent system that could be integrated with our fully automated plant and give the least possible down-time while maintaining operator safety.”

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