Machinery safety design in high-speed corrugated cardboard production is particularly challenging as a corrugator can be more than 100 metres long and made up of complex, modular elements that must integrate many levels of safety protection.Board24, a leading producer of corrugated packaging, sheet board and boxes, is committed to maintaining the exceptional health and safety record at its production facilities in Preston, Lancashire. So, when the company made an £7.5m investment in a new corrugating machine, it also took on the challenge of updating the safety systems on its existing machinery to be best-in-class.
As a result, Board24 has achieved an exemplary integrated safety system for its Mitsubishi corrugator with a design developed by industry-specialist systems integrators JKSP and enabled with SICK Flexi safety controllers and software.
JKSP were able to deliver a safety upgrade that achieved Board24’s objectives for:
- Compliance with the latest UK and European safety standards.
- Cost-effective, streamlined implementation of integrated safety circuits and wiring.
- Increased machine availability by eliminating non-safety-related E-Stops.
- Improved fault-finding and diagnostics.
“Board24 is committed to the highest standards of health and safety for our workforce,” says Lee Bullen, Corrugated Services Manager of Board24. “Investment in new machinery prompted us to undertake a safety audit according to PUWER98 and as a result we identified an opportunity to upgrade the safety system on the existing machine to bring it right up to date with current standards.”
Dr Martin Kidman SICK (UK) safety specialist explains: “The challenge facing JKSP and Board24 was that the machine had only basic zone E-stops with local safety switching which was standard technology in 1997 for such a long corrugating machine with so many different sections.
“JKSP have designed the system to bring it up to date and in the process have also upgraded the safety circuits to be more robust, improved productivity through safety and increased the diagnostics capabilities of the system.”
Ellis Brown, Electrical Design Engineer, JKSP, explains: “A key requirement was to have a global emergency stop. As the safety system spans over a great distance, it also required zoning for non-emergency stops. This is organised as a global stop loop and stop loops for each zone.
“A major benefit of the Global Emergency Stop System is that it gives the operators of the Wet End and Dry End the ability to hit an Emergency Stop at one end of the corrugator knowing that it will disable the other end also.
In consultation with Board24 and SICK, JKSP devised a safety zoning plan with different spans of control for the global and local safety functions so that the machine can run more safely and efficiently.
Health and Safety is a key priority at Board24 and the responsibility of all our employees, the company continually educates, informs and train staff to take care of themselves and others.
This approach of continuous improvement ensures Health and Safety remains a priority for everyone across the business and adheres to our MAKE IT SAFE programme.
Lee Bullen concludes: “JKSP’s knowledge of the SICK safety system was fantastic. In fact, we depended on it, as E-Stop systems, zoning and legislation have to be implemented correctly. When added to their thorough knowledge of corrugators, it meant were able to carry out the full installation for us, allowing our production and maintenance teams to concentrate on our job of manufacturing quality products to our customers.”