Standard and bespoke machine guards prove cost-effective


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Procter Machine Guarding has supplied and installed standard and bespoke guards and barriers for Sapa Building Systems

Standard and bespoke machine guards prove cost-effective

Procter Machine Guarding has supplied and installed a combination of standard and bespoke machine guards and barriers for Sapa Building Systems, which manufactures innovative aluminium systems for curtain walling, doors, windows, conservatory roofs and specialist applications.

Included within the scope of supply were 100 linear metres of 2m high standard modular perimeter guards with wire mesh infill, 20 linear metres of 2m high custom-designed guards with clear polycarbonate infill, and 20 linear metres of 2m high bespoke steel barrier with a large cantilevered sliding door.

The standard and bespoke guards were installed to provide a barrier between a walkway and a production area in the factory, while the steel barrier separates the production area from the training workshop. The factory hosts numerous visitors, mainly customers undertaking training on the assembly of products from Sapa’s profiles. To reach the training workshop, the visitors need to walk past the production area, so the perimeter guards were installed as a barrier to prevent unauthorised access to the CNC machining centres and other machines (all of which are individually guarded).

For most of the walkway, Procter Machine Guarding installed products from the Satech perimeter machine guarding system (Basic range), with steel posts and steel wire mesh infill. However, to protect the visitors from airborne swarf that can be ejected from some machines, Procter’s designer recommended 20 linear metres of the bespoke barrier constructed from the same standard Satech posts but with custom panels infilled with clear polycarbonate of 4mm thickness. In addition, a flexible skirt was affixed to the bottom of the clear panels to prevent swarf from passing beneath, while still permitting easy cleaning.

Emergency access through the barrier was provided in the form of six hinged gates equipped with ‘break glass’ panic latches.

Both the mesh and polycarbonate panels are supported on steel posts with a tough yellow polyester powder coating. The panels all use the same 1200mm module size, and Procter Machine Guarding manufactured the bespoke polycarbonate panels with black powder coated frames to match the frame design on the standard Satech mesh panels.

To separate the training workshop from the production area, Procter Machine Guarding designed, manufactured and installed bespoke steel screening, finished in a RAL 9001 (cream) polyester powder coat to match the décor in the factory. A manually operated sliding gate was also installed. This uses a cantilevered design, so the lack of a track at floor level gives forklift trucks clear, unhindered access through the 3.5m wide opening.

Martin Bowyer, the Production Engineer at Sapa’s factory in Ashchurch, near Tewkesbury, states: “Procter Machine Guarding offered us the right solution for our factory; the Standard Satech system was good value yet smart and robust, while the bespoke products met with our requirements and were also cost-effective.”

Sapa Building Systems had previously designed, manufactured and installed some perimeter guarding consisting of steel posts with mesh infill, but Bowyer observes: “Buying off-the-shelf Satech products from Procter was considerably cheaper and quicker.”

Procter Machine Guarding installed the guards while Sapa was still moving into the factory, so the installers worked around Sapa’s own personnel as required. Bowyer comments: “The installation teams worked extremely well and, although the timescales were tight, the promised delivery dates were adhered to and everything was completed on time and to a very high standard.

“In fact, it was very useful to have Procter on site at that time, as there were some extra barriers and guards that we found we needed. They took this in their stride and were, at all time, extremely helpful.”

For more information about standard and bespoke machine guards, barriers and screens, follow the links above, contact Procter Machine Guarding by emailing or telephoning us or see the brochures and free guides available from the Free Downloads section of the website at