Metalsa-Hopkinsville Steels Press Safety
Interlock Gates Guard Against Accidents
Workplace safety is vital, no matter the occupation. Metalsa, a global maker of automotive structural components, turned to Solutions Technology Group to improve safety at their Hopkinsville, KY facility where heavy presses turn rolls of steel into frames for trucks and vans. Daphne Dixon, an industrial engineer at Metalsa, commissioned the development of a safety interlock system for the gates on four presses to help ensure operator safety.
Solutions Technology Group allied with Cunningham Machine to develop a safety interlock system that prevents the presses from operating whenever the gate to them is open. Cunningham Machine designed, fabricated, and installed new gates while Solutions Technology Group engineered the dual channel redundant circuitry designed to inhibit the press cycle until the gate is closed. An option for conveyers to be used on smaller gates was also achieved by tethering a plug mounted on the conveyer that lets the circuit activate only when the conveyer is in place.
Dixon, who oversees a variety of plant projects, says she is satisfied with the result. “I think it improves safety for our employees tremendously by having these interlock gates. Solutions Technology Group is my go-to company because I know when I award them business they’re going to see the project through until I’m satisfied. And that means a lot.” Though unforeseen issues may have arisen, Dixon says the company persevered until a satisfactory result was achieved. “Anything we ran into, we were able to work though. Everything doesn’t always work perfect, but we work though the problems and we get a solution,” she says. “The big thing to me is that no matter what the project is, at the end of it we’re very pleased with the result. Solutions makes sure.”