Processing Technologies International (PTi; Aurora, IL), a global manufacturer of high-performance sheet extrusion machinery, has received a U.S. patent for its new roll lock-out system which stops sheet rolls from closing during cleaning, maintenance and thread-up activity. This safety unit—an industry first—improves operator safety by employing mechanical lock-outs with redundant electrical interlocks.
The roll lock-out system is easily integrated into any LOTO program and features a readily accessible pull handle which engages the positive mechanical and electrical interlock components. Mechanical presses have included integrated safety devices for decades but this is the first for roll stands, according to Matt Banach, PTi’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
“This new invention is a significant development in roll stand safety, enabling processors and manufacturers to better protect machine operators,” said Banach. “This new mechanism is a further testament to our deeply-rooted commitment to safety.” PTi has placed a high priority on safety/regulatory issues and has developed a range of systems to enhance operator safety. Two of the company’s employees sit on key ANSI Safety Standards teams including Plastics Extrusion Machines and Plastic Sheet Production Machinery.
The U.S. patent (9,139,393) was recently awarded to PTi President Dana Hanson and colleague Mitchell Gritzner. Features include a center roll bearing housing with pivot assembly, integrated column brackets with shape and spacing of chrome roll journals, and manually activated, easy-to-access pull handles. The unit also has latches in operation and maintenance positions which assure full position shift.
Key operational benefits include mechanical lock-outs and redundant electrical interlocks which provide operators with ease of mind that rolls won’t close during maintenance and cleaning. The redundant electrical interlocks prevent rolls from closing if column stops are not in fully stowed position. Spring loaded pivot assemblies ensure positional engagement and prevent column stops from rubbing on chrome roll journals during normal operation.
The proprietary roll lock-out system is a value-added feature and has received a strong market response, according to Banach. It is an optional feature and can be retrofitted on PTi’s complete line of roll stands. The safety enhancement can also be retrofitted on many non-PTi roll stands.