Construction Materials – Brick Forming

In large brick forming facilities, parallel conveyors can be used to transport bricks between the hazardous forming process to the packaging and palletiser areas. Within the safeguarded space hydraulic powered presses force material into a mould to create bricks for construction. When maintenance is required to one of these lines, isolating all parallel lines can be costly and cause unnecessary downtime.


The process to construct bricks can be dirty and dusty, so a robust solution that operates in this environment without impeded functionality is critical.


“How can I maximise uptime in instances where access is required to specific production lines?”



The Fortress Solution


Stop – Detect – Prevent with a combination of robust guard locking devices mounted to the entry locations to the safeguard and hydraulic safety valves installed within. When access is required, the upstream hydraulic supply is blocked, the downstream supply to the hydraulic presses is returned to tank, removing the hazard from the hydraulic portion of the machinery. Dual channel positive driven mechanical switches indicate the status of the device up to a Category 4. PLe.


The guard interlock device is equipped with both reactive and proactive inhibit functions to ensure operator safety when inside the guard. The personnel safety key provides a mechanical means to prevent the safety channels inside the device closing until the key is re-inserted and turned. An escape release on the inside of the cell provides a means of escape in cases where operators do become trapped inside the cell.


Installing this system for each of the parallel conveyors, isolation of the hydraulic and electrical energy can be localised to one zone, maximising uptime on neighbouring zones unaffected by the access requirement.


Installation on this project could have been minimised by cabling these products over the network.