Fonterra Canning Lines Safety

Canpac Ltd
Production Line Safety Gates & Light Curtains
12 months

Fonterra’s Canpac site is the Co-operative’s largest secondary packager of milk powders, and supplies branded nutritional powders, bulk blended nutritional milk powders and infant formula cans to customers across the globe.

Located in Hamilton, Canpac produces enough cans each year to stretch end-to-end from London to Los Angeles. This means that up to 40 truck or rail loads of freight depart the site every day carrying 40 million cans and 50 million sachets every year.

As part of Fonterra’s ongoing commitment to a safe working environment we were asked to develop a safety system compliant to AS-4024 for the Shed 9 Blending Tower and Ghost Train pallet conveying systems.

This project involved the addition of safety fencing around all pallet conveyors, elevators/de-elevators, light curtains and safety gates at the forklift load-in and load-out entries. The controls were designed with production line-stop push buttons to ensure that machinery moves to a safe position before gates unlock for operator entry.

A unique feature of this project was the developing of electronics receivers so that the existing bar code scanner guns used by the forklift drivers could also be used to reset the light curtains across the load-in/load-out workspace.

Our brief was to improve the safety interlocking of the original equipment while maintaining the existing plant which was constantly in production throughout this project. All moving equipment needed to be interlocked to the safety controllers so that no entrapments can occur that could injure site staff.

Close co-ordination between the mechanical contractor United Sheetmetals and Hennessy’s was required and also careful design with Sick Pty Ltd the New Zealand supplier of safety zone rated equipment. 

Our work included:

  • Provide engineering support for Design and HAZOP reviews and Operator training sessions.
  • Replace or modify all existing safety fencing to meet the current standards.
  • Install light curtains with modified barcode scanner guns at all forklift entry and exit points.
  • Design new control system to interlock gates, estops, indication and maglocks to keep gates shut.
  • Hydraulic blocking valves to prevent hydraulic lifters from moving when “locked out”.
  • Installation of new safety controllers from SICK Pty Ltd and software engineering.
  • Addition of interposing contactors to prevent conveyor and motor start ups when safeties have been “tripped”.
  • Commissioning installation and AutoCAD drawings.

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