Sometimes it is the simplest solutions that work best. Take the Pro-Lock® valve lockout as an example. The application, versatility and strengths of this elegant device will be immediately apparent to anyone who works with valves, be they a highly qualified engineer with many years of experience or the newest of recruits being trained as a plant operator.
The Pro-Lock has, according to Managing Director Neil Blair, been designed as a universal system that can complement or even replace high-priced security seals, padlocks and chains. “We believe it is ideal for the isolation of most types of valves, industrial machinery and many other items,” he states. “The original Pro-Lock device was designed to replace any known valve lockout system. Pro-Lock was the first colour-coded lockout and can be used independently, or in conjunction with additional security. It can also fit seamlessly into existing Permit-to-Work systems.”
Fitting the Pro-Lock is simplicity itself. The sturdy wire is first secured to the valve handle before being wrapped around a fixed point. Examples could be an adjacent pipe or structural beam. The wire is then drawn tight and slotted into the sides of the Pro-Lock. This avoids the need to thread the wire which can often be a fiddly, time-consuming operation. The top is then easily hand-tightened to secure the cable in place. The operator can then adjust the position of the Pro-Lock as required and hard-tighten using a purpose-built tool. For added security, padlocks or security seals can be fitted. This procedure is easily performed by a single operator.
Mr Blair comments: “Pro-Lock is tough and extremely versatile. Function testing between -55°C and +55°C shows no noticeable reduction in performance. Pro-Lock offers a reliable alternative to expensive or more difficult to use lockout products such as padlocks, chains and security seals. Moreover, the Pro-Lock is a reusable device.”
Pro-Lock has an enormous range of possible applications – on construction sites, in industrial environments and of course in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, concludes Mr Blair. “Easy to use, reliable and extremely hard wearing, Pro-lock® is one of the most effective and versatile locking systems currently available. For maximum security applications, the most cost-efficient lock-off combination is Pro-Lock, steel wire and a numbered security seal. Isolation details can be written on the security seal, thereby eliminating the need for high cost labels.”