Kirk Key Interlock Company LLC manufactures trapped key interlocks and safety interlocking systems for the protection of personnel and equipment. Our products include mechanical interlocks, electro-mechanical interlocks, valve interlocks, solenoid key release units, time delay key release units, and transfer panels. Proper application of our trapped key interlocks guarantees that a sequential pattern is followed for each step of a prescribed sequence. KIRK key interlock systems are designed and configured to each user’s requirements and revolve around a key or keys that an operator must use at each step in the sequence. We manufacture four different styles of trapped key interlocks: SD Series, MD Series, HD Series, and Eagle Series interlocks, featuring valve interlocks for flow control applications.

Company details

9048 Meridian Circle NW , North Canton , Ohio 44720 USA

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Business Type:
Manufacturer
Industry Type:
Health and Safety - Workplace Safety
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:
1932
Employees:
11-100

This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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KIRK believes that everyone has the right to be safe at work!  To ensure safety, the risk of hazardous energy and or equipment needs to be controlled.  Our trapped key interlock safety systems and safety components provide our customers with solutions to control these risks.

KIRK manufactures more than 70,000 safety components each year for use in a wide range of industries, guaranteeing a sequential pattern of safe operations for isolating energy and safely accessing hazardous areas.  KIRK safety products are designed and configured to each user’s requirements, providing protection from each application and peace of mind for our customers.

We educate customers, design firms, and OEMs on the benefits of our safety systems and work with industrial and safety associations to standardize the use of these systems.

Our products include mechanical interlocks, electro-mechanical interlocks, solenoid key release units, time delay key release units, transfer panels, and smart technology. Proper application of our safety interlock systems guarantees that a sequential pattern is followed for each step of a prescribed sequence.

Key interlocking was developed during the 1890s to improve safety on the railroads for use in the application of railway track switching.  Ralph Levering, 'R.L.' Kirk was the first to pioneer the use of key interlocking on circuit breakers and switches, by reducing hazards caused by improper switching operations. R.L. Kirk filed for his first patent 'Safety Interlock for Electrical and Mechanical Equipment and Systems' in 1931 and Kirk became an authority in electrical safety.

In 1932, KIRK® trapped key interlocks were manufactured in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, USA as part of the Railway & Industrial Engineering Company, which held the patent filed by R.L. Kirk.  Through the years, Railway & Industrial Engineering changed to ITE, then Gould, which turned into Gould Brown Boveri, and finally ABB.

In December of 1999, Kirk Key Interlock Company LLC separated from ABB and was completely independent, moving operations to Massillon, Ohio, USA. In 2011 Kirk Key Interlock Company LLC was purchased by the holdings company Halma plc, and in September 2014, 

moved operations and manufacturing to North Canton, OH, USA.

Through the years, electrical safety standards have evolved and the application of trapped key interlock systems has greatly expanded. Today, in addition to electrical power equipment, KIRK trapped key interlocks are utilized on machine guarding, loading dock safety, and many other industrial applications to protect personnel and equipment.

  • A FRONT LINE SAFETY DEVICE for protecting both personnel and equipment.
  • Applied to two or more moveable parts, PREVENTING (OR ALLOWING) MOVEMENT.
  • Drives a PREDETERMINED SEQUENCE as specified by the customer to protect from hazardous energy.
  • Keys are transferred from one lock to the other using UNIQUELY CODED INTERLOCK KEYS.
  • TO PROTECT personnel from hazards by ensuring predetermined sequences of operations are followed
  • TO PREVENT financial setbacks due to expensive machinery and electrical equipment damaged by operator error
  • TO PROVIDE continuous service and manufacturing without interruptions due to mis-followed operation sequence

Fact:
In excess of 70% of reported accidents world-wide in the industrial marketplace are attributable to human error, accounting for 90% of the financial loss.
 
Fact:
Written operating procedures alone cannot prevent the inadvertent operation of equipment out of sequence.
 
Installing a trapped key interlock system ensures a predetermined sequence of events is followed. Whereas Lock Out – Tag Out (LOTO) provides a visual warning and some protection, a trapped key interlock system physically prevents a specific set of actions until the previous action(s) have been completed.

What Is A Trapped Key Interlock?
A trapped key interlock is a safety device applied to two or more moveable parts, preventing (or allowing) a movement or operation of one part only when another part is locked in a predetermined position. KIRK trapped key interlocks operate on the principle that the key can be removed only when the locking bolt is in a predetermined position. See diagram below.
 
The KIRK interlock is used to protect personnel and equipment, with the goal of eliminating errors that can occur when it is necessary to obey a sequence of predefined operations. The KIRK system prevents anyone from trying to circumvent the default and crucial to the safety of the procedure sequence. The KIRK interlocks can be mounted directly on the equipment, ie, the system is fully integrated and simple to operate.

  • TO PROTECT personnel from hazards by ensuring predetermined sequences of operations are followed
  • TO PREVENT financial setbacks due to expensive machinery and electrical equipment damaged by operator error
  • TO PROVIDE continuous service and manufacturing without interruptions due to mis-followed operation sequence

Fact:

In excess of 70% of reported accidents world-wide in the industrial marketplace are attributable to human error, accounting for 90% of the financial loss.

Fact:

Written operating procedures alone cannot prevent the inadvertent operation of equipment out of sequence.

Installing a trapped key interlock system ensures a predetermined sequence of events is followed. Whereas Lock Out – Tag Out (LOTO) provides a visual warning and some protection, a trapped key interlock system physically prevents a specific set of actions until the previous action(s) have been completed.