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Enhancing Process Safety with Alcatraz Interlocking Devices on High-Tech Plastics Extruder Systems

Case Study:
Enhancing Process Safety with Alcatraz Interlocking Devices on High-Tech Plastics Extruder Systems
Extruder Systems

High-tech plastics manufacturing facilities are characterized by their intricate machinery and complex processes. Ensuring safety in these environments is of paramount importance to protect both personnel and valuable equipment. One critical aspect of safety in plastics extrusion is the implementation of process safety interlocking devices. This case study elaborates on how a leading high-tech plastics manufacturing company successfully integrated Alcatraz Interlocks into their extruder systems to enhance safety and compliance.

Company Profile:
Name: Covestro AG
Industry: High-Tech Plastics Manufacturing
Location: Chempark Uerdingen, Germany
Established: 2015, subsidiary of Bayer Material Science/Bayer which was established in 18

Company Objectives:

  1. Human Error: The risk of human error during the extrusion process or equipment maintenance was a significant concern. Operators could incorrectly operate the equipment, leading to potentially hazardous situations.
  2. Equipment Protection: Ensuring the longevity of their expensive extruder equipment was a priority. Incorrect use or operation without proper setup could result in costly breakdowns.

To address these objectives, Covestro AG initiated a project together with Alcatraz Interlocks to integrate process safety interlocking devices into their extruder systems. The project involved the following key steps:

  1. Safety Assessment: A thorough safety assessment was conducted, involving safety engineers, operators, and maintenance personnel. This assessment identified potential hazards and safety gaps within the extrusion process.
  2. Interlocking Device Selection: After evaluating various interlocking devices on the market, the company selected Alcatraz Interlocks for a combination of devices bespokely designed and produced specifically to their specific extruder systems. These devices ensured that certain actions could only be performed in a predefined sequence, preventing unsafe conditions.
  3. Installation and Integration: the bespoke products of Alcatraz Interlocks devices were installed on critical points of the extruder systems. Particular Interlock key exchange units were included to only allow the current key operations for each of the specific operational and maintenance handling processes.
  4. Operator Training: All extruder operators received comprehensive training on the new Alcatraz Interlocks systems, emphasizing the importance of adhering to safety protocols and the consequences of bypassing interlocks.

The successful integration of Alcatraz Interlocks process safety devices into Covestro AG 's extruder systems not only provides a safe workplace but also positively impacted operational efficiency and cost savings. This case study demonstrates the importance of proactively addressing safety concerns in high-tech plastics manufacturing and how Alcatraz Interlocks can contribute to a safer, more productive, and compliant work environment.

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Published by Alcatraz Interlocks on 18/10/23