ThyssenKrupp selects amGard AutoLok safety switches

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ThyssenKrupp has selected amGard AutoLok safety switches from Fortress Interlocks to protect workers who need to access areas in the vicinity of iron ore furnaces.

Fortress Interlocks has supplied German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp with amGard solenoid interlocks at its steel production plant in Duisburg, Germany. These amGard AutoLok safety switches regulate access to the battery area of the new Schwelgern furnaces that melt iron ore. The furnaces, part of KBS GmbH, a sister company of ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, began production in 2003 and output approximately 2.5million tons a year.

Fortress Interlock's AutoLok is part of the amGard range of heavy-duty industrial safety gate switches. It has a robust steel tongue that holds the access door closed when the machinery is running. Operated by a solenoid within the unit, the tongue is only released from the lock when the operators have stopped the machine and the run-down time of the machine has elapsed, breaking the channels of the safety circuit. The integral solenoid becomes energised and a yellow LED on the unit indicates the actuator can be released and the operator can open the guard door. A red LED indicates when the tongue is removed.

A spokesperson for ThyssenKrupp commented that: "Safeguarding our workers is our number-one priority. Using amGard eliminates the risk of human error and potential danger and just knowing our workers are protected brings huge relief."

AutoLok is particularly suitable for machines that require quick and frequent access to equipment via hinged or sliding doors. It is designed with a tamper-proof locking mechanism and heavy-duty construction that can withstand harsh environments. Both the head and tongue can rotate in 90-degree increments, and the tongue allows misalignment by +/-12mm. AutoLok interlocks are suitable for EN 954-1 category 4, high-risk applications.

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