With the aim in mind to provide the off-highway sector with the most technologically advanced secure and safe access solutions available, Southco has been working closely with off-highway manufacturers over the years to develop sophisticated components and systems that offer enhanced protection for vehicles by integrating access control and electromechanical locking devices at the point or entry.
It is against this backdrop that the company has harnessed its extensive access hardware engineering expertise across the off-highway industry and a wide range of other industrial and sector specific applications worldwide, to launch a more effective, bespoke and flexible option to its market-leading, yet more traditional, assortment of individual latching and locking components developed for the security and safety of off-highway vehicles and operators. This takes the form of the R4 Rotary Latch system which is unique in the industry. This unrivalled system solution is available in a mechanical or electro-mechanical format for interior and exterior use. This new rotary latch system solution presents a flexible package in each of its three constituents - the rotary latch, cable and actuator.
Ulrike Sturman, Industry Marketing Manager for Transportation at Southco, takes up the story. “Within the off-highway industry, theft and driver safety underpin the overall access solutions and Southco’s latest system fully supports these prerequisites.
“Designed for a range of interior and exterior applications, the new rotary latch system comprises a variety of actuators together with cables to connect latches to actuators for remote latching, a wide array of latches and trigger options to meet the requirements and preferences of customers, and a range of accessories to complete the system. The system has been designed with three distinct segments, rotary latch, cable and actuator. This enables it to be customized and developed according to the exacting needs - relating to access points - of individual OEMs, plant and equipment rental companies and end-users.”
Applications for the rotary latch system are extensive and include entry doors, engine covers, baggage doors, access panels, tool boxes, truck hoods and storage compartments.
There is a choice of actuators to meet a variety of user preferences for latch operation. For interior applications, these include paddle actuators in plastic or aluminium, an ergonomically-styled T-handle, a push-button and a squeeze handle. Actuators for exterior point of entry are available in zinc die-cast as well as stainless steel. For added security, this range of actuators offers key locking options and is suitable for a mechanical override actuation, if used with Southco’s keypads, electronic keys, RF-based control systems and other keyless entry systems. Single-point and multipoint actuation can be accommodated.
Southco’s range of concealed rotary latches cover four sizes. Their rugged steel construction provides for a reliable and robust performance, with some designs being FMVSS standard compliant. There is the option of a two stage engagement for protection against false latching. A double-stage rotary latch operation holds the latch firmly secured in a secondary latch position.
The cables are used to connect the actuators to the latch and allow remote latching via various cable types to suit ‘straight line’ and ‘routed’ applications. Southco’s broad cable offering comprises seven end fittings to allow easy integration into a multitude of applications.
Ulrike Sturman: “Construction vehicles, equipment and machinery represent a massive investment within the off-highway industry and operatives working in the sector deserve the very best access control security devices available to protect their investment in addition to the capability to enhance the safety and comfort of drivers.
“By working closely with its off-highway customers, Southco has established its credentials in the industry over the years for the provision of state-of-the-art locks and latches and, with the development of this new and exciting complete rotary latch system unique to the industry, the company has taken access control solutions for the off-highway sector to the next level.”