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Feature Access hardware

Robust access solutions

When it needed lever latches for the external locker doors of its mobile cranes, off-highway equipment manufacturer, Liebherr, turned to Southco for a solution that would withstand dust, humidity and extremes of temperature


he lockers on Liebherr’s mobile cranes are outer panel close storage compartments where crane operators store clothes, tools and other equip- ment, and are faced with dusty and humid working environments. The company therefore needed robust latches that would be dust-tight and waterproof according to IP54, as well as being protected against corrosion. Dirk Hermann, key account manager at Southco, explained that the company also wanted them to have the ability to be combined with a locking cylin- der belonging to the Liebherr’s lock set used in every part of the vehicle. In addition, they required locking and non-locking styles, incorporating a red protective cap for the locking version, with prominent release buttons. They also had to withstand a temperature range from -40 to +80˚C.

Southco demonstrated that the C2 lever latch could

outperform the challenging specifications provided by Liebherr, including a tested dust- and water-proofness to IP65. The company was also able to supply its C5 latch, a sealed version of the C2 compression latch. This was developed with an O-ring seal for added protection against water and dust. Additionally, a prominent release button, which could be used equally for the versions with or without locking cylinders, had been developed in robust die cast zinc. This provided protection from vandalism and, due to its high quality powder coating, also offered protection from scratches on the surface.

The ‘new’ latch is visually identical to the old one as regards the mounting dimensions, grip range and mounting style, and can therefore be integrated easily into existing applications. Furthermore, it has been provided with a dampening and material protecting Neoprenkappe on the adjusting screw. Before installing the latches on its cranes, Liebherr carried out extensive tests of the latch to ensure it was dust- and waterproof, as well as salt-spray tests that successfully confirmed the corrosion resistance of the C2 latch. Tests also confirmed it met operating temperature requirements.

Southco Europe

T: 01905 346500

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Enter 119 Enclosure & Panel Building Solutions WINTER/SPRING 2014 21

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