Additional information regarding ASAP LOCK PPE inspection

Petzl have updated their technical information regarding routine inspection of the ASAP LOCK mobile fall arrestor. Details of the update can be found on Petzl's website here.

Facts

During routine equipment inspections one customer detected cracks on the stainless steel arms of three ASAP LOCK. These three defective products will be returned to Petzl for analysis.

Petzl Immediate Actions

    • We have inspected our inventory and have not found cracked ASAP LOCK arms.
    • We have audited the ASAP LOCK manufacturing facility. The quality inspectors who inspect each individual ASAP LOCK before packaging have never encountered this issue.
    • We have begun a technical investigation to determine the cause of this exceptional event.

Risk Assessment For The Users

- Extreme tests:
    • We intentionally cut both stainless steel arms at each rivet to simulate potential cracks.

ASAP LOCK before test with multiple cuts to simulate cracks

    • We performed the EN 12841 test with a Petzl PARALLEL 10.5 mm rope and Petzl ASAP'SORBER.
    • We performed a static tensile test with a Petzl PARALLEL 10.5 mm rope.

- Dynamic Tests results:
    • The fall was arrested and the mass was not released.
    • The ASAP'SORBER deployed.
    • No deformation of the cuts due to the dynamic test.

 

The ASAP LOCK prototype after dynamic testing

- Static tensile test results:
    • Rupture of the rope sheath at 7.2 KN.
    • Visually apparent opening of one cut but without rupture of the component or release of the load.

- Conclusions:
    • As described in the instructions for use, the Petzl ASAP LOCK must be used with an ASAP'SORBER or ABSORBICA L57. These two shock absorbers limit the dynamic forces to 5KN.
    • In the worst case scenario, a cracked ASAP LOCK arm presents no additional risk to the user.
    • However, the presence of such cracks in the arm requires immediate retirement of the ASAP LOCK.

Investigation Into The Causes Of These Cracks

    • This first investigation is only based on the photos and email we received. An additional investigation will be conducted as soon as the three cracked ASAP LOCK are returned to Petzl.
    • Since all cracks on the three defective ASAP LOCK are located around a rivet, our working hypothesis is that the cracks result from a combination of the riveting parameters, which create a potential residual tensile stress in the stainless steel, and the heat treatment parameters, which result in this part being too rigid. In this case, the cracks will always start in the smaller section, and will appear over time. The gradual appearance of these cracks makes them undetectable during Petzl's final quality inspection.
    • Only a very small number of units may be affected by this phenomenon. Today, only these three ASAP LOCK have been reported to us with cracks on the stainless steel arms.

Petzl Corrective Actions

As an immediate measure of precaution, technical modifications will be implemented to the manufacturing process of the ASAP LOCK:
    • Adjustment of the riveting parameters to eliminate potential residual tensile stress in the stainless steel parts.
    • Adjustment of the parameters for heat treatment of the stainless steel parts to reduce rigidity of the material.

Petzl Recommendations For ASAP LOCK In Service

    • Regularly inspect your ASAP LOCK in accordance with the ASAP LOCK PPE verification procedure.
    • A cracked arm presents no additional immediate risk to the user. However, as with any PPE, the presence of such a crack requires immediately retiring the product
    • In the unlikely event you find a cracked arm, retire your ASAP LOCK immediately and contact your local distributor for a replacement under warranty.
    • The ASAP (B71 AAA) is not concerned by these recommendations.

Future Actions

    • As soon as we receive the products in question, we will send them out for a metallurgical analysis, in order to confirm the investigation hypothesis. We will also perform dynamic tests on the ASAP LOCK. This additional analysis may instigate other corrective actions.
    • Petzl continues to investigate the potential causes of these cracks, and will communicate its findings as soon as possible.

Petzl is committed to continuously improving its products to provide its communities with high quality tools and to continue to earn the trust of its customers. We are sorry for any inconvenience that this issue may create. We commit to doing everything possible to quickly solve this problem.

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