Fleet Service Vehicle Security Conversions Use Built-To-Last Solenoids from Penny + Giles

Today Fleet Service has developed a full service for the commercial vehicle, CIT and CVIT industry, which continues to maintain vehicles in the field and, having gained a broad range of experience of different conversions and system types, now carries out full vehicle conversions and installations as well as designing and integrating complex control systems. It also offers a wide range of security products to organisations whose business involves transporting valuable goods or cash securely or eliminating opportunities for fraud.

Commenting for Fleet Service, technical director Darren Clayton explains: “We started out as a repair service for several cash management specialists, and whilst we were carrying out regular routine servicing and repairs to the vehicle fleets we experienced many breakdowns relating to the conversion of the cash-in-transit fleet. Eventually we were asked to review the control systems and repair other issues with the conversions.”

Most of the security locks used by Fleet Service are controlled by solenoids and where possible, the company has always specified Penny + Giles (formerly Mechetronics) solenoids.

Fleet Service’s controls are industrial PLC-based systems that provide the driver with feedback via a cab-mounted graphical user-interface, enabling them to interact and control different vehicle operations, including the solenoid-based locking systems. Penny + Giles is currently supplying Fleet Service with two solenoids types, the SB291 (previously the MS SD291) power-to-unlock 90° door-lock and a bespoke version of its SB244 (previously the MS SD244) shot-bolt, the latter featuring a shaft specifically machined to a unique angle for Fleet Service.

Currently being assembled into locks which secure heavy-duty floor-to-ceiling roller/shutter doors, the Penny + Giles SB244 solenoid shot-bolt features a bolt with a chamfered edge that is mounted into a steel housing installed into the back of the vehicle. When the shutter door is closed, an integrated arm on the door itself locks behind the solenoid.

This system is used on multiple vehicle types, from small box vans to 26 and 33 tonne dry freight box trucks, and is proving extremely durable and reliable under the extremely harsh operating conditions. In fact, Fleet Service reports that some solenoids are still operational after more than twelve years and have even been recycled and reused after the original vehicles on which they were installed have reached their end of life!

The locks are also proving so successful that one Fleet Service customer is retro-fitting them to existing vehicles and specifying them on trucks designed and manufactured by other conversion specialists.

The Penny + Giles’ SB244 power-to-activate shot-bolt solenoid can also be used in a variety of industrial security applications including machine tool guards, security doors and gates, and for general interlock applications. It features a 15mm stroke and 50% duty rating from 24 Watts rated power, and is available with a variety of optional bolt ends. Additional features include a high side-load capability and optional operating voltages.

The Penny + Giles SB291 power-to-unlock 90° locks are being used as slam locks on cab doors and for sliding, side-load doors on vans. They are specified because vehicles needed a more robust system than the magnetic solenoids previously used.

The SB291 solenoid activated 90° lock can be energised to unlock in a variety of industrial security applications including machine tool guards, security doors and gates, and for general interlock applications. It offers a 16mm stroke and 100% duty rating from 40 Watts rated power, with features including optional operating voltages, high side-load capability and bolt position sensing.

Summing up, Darren says: “Over the years we have used many different solenoids and seen most fail when bolt-ends and bushes wear and coils fail or become lazy. But the quality of Penny + Giles solenoids is second-to-none and they are designed for heavy-duty applications, are much better built and built to last. This was always important when we were maintaining vehicles and repairing them on the road, and is especially important now that we are designing and manufacturing our own control systems and converting our own vehicles.”

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