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Safety Interlocks Protect Employees at JRI

12 May 2008

Fortress Interlocks has installed its interlocks to enhance the protection of workers at the JRI manufacturing plant in Sheffield. JRI manufactures joint replacement implants and surgical instruments. The final stage of manufacturing requires spraying an artificial bone coating on the joints with a plasma torch inside a vacuum vessel. Having been told it was impossible to interlock the plasma torch with the door of the vacuum vessel, which would then expose workers to potential danger should the plasma torch power up when the door is open for a tool change, JRI immediately approached Fortress with its problem. Fortress designed a safety system for JRI using a voltage-switching unit and safety interlocks on the vessel door. Only when the voltage of the machine measures zero can the key be removed from the power box and transferred to the door of the vacuum vessel granting access. The power torch cannot power up without the keys being replaced and the door closed, preventing accidents and safeguarding JRI workers. Ceramics Manager at JRI, Martin Birks, commented: "We are really pleased that Fortress could solve our safety issue. Our employees' safety is our main concern and it's a relief to know they are protected against any accidents. Fortress sorted everything out and installation was so quick, we barely knew they were here." For further information about eGard or other Fortress products, please visit the company website at

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