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Industrial Safety Essentials: How to Eliminate Chances of Hydraulic Press Related Accidents

Machines from days of the industrial revolution made modern, massive-scale manufacturing possible for the first time. Although the classic hydraulic press has gone through multiple changes ever since its inception near the end of the 18th Century (1795), it still continues to be one of the most fundamental equipment in manufacturing facilities.

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Unfortunately, something that has been precisely designed to provide incredible crushing power, also comes with some very real and graphic dangers. To keep yourself and your employees safe, read on as we discuss a few effective safety tips to protect against hydraulic press accidents that are not yet as uncommon as they should be.

Equipment

In order to be safe, it is important to invest in high-quality hydraulic press safety equipment such as ejection curtains, anti-restart motor control units, push button stations, ballistic blankets, gloves and face masks to name a few.

Which ones you need and which products will suit a particular hydraulic press the best, will vary. Get to know the make, model, strength, power requirements, projectile potentials, etc. first, in order to be able to buy exactly the kind of protective gear your employees will need.

Inspection

Before anyone even starts the hydraulic press, it is necessary for every one of them to conduct a small inspection routine first. It must be made mandatory to check both the press and the safety equipment every single day for damages, leaks and malfunctions, before work can begin.

Training

The hydraulic press can be divided into the following broad categories:

  • Movable table press
  • Movable frame press
  • Air operated press
  • Double acting press
  • Manual press

Each of these have specific uses and require adequate safety precautions, but the last one, that is the manual hydraulic press, is not useful in industrial manufacturing anymore today.

Operative training is necessary to operate any hydraulic press, but advanced training will also be necessary, if the factory just received a new model. Even subtle changes in how the powerful machines operate can lead to accidents, if the operator isn’t properly acquainted with those changes.

Projectiles

When metal, glass, wood, etc. are pressed with the tremendous crushing force of a hydraulic press, projectiles are common, and unless the entire operation area is properly guarded with an ejection shield, any shrapnel from the crushed metal can hit anyone in the vicinity. When that happens, injuries are often fatal or severe at the very least. It is for this very reason that environmental awareness while operating hydraulic presses, or even while working near them is crucial to safety.

Materials

Another understated danger that can occur during press related operations often occurs during the loading or unloading stage. If the material is slippery/hot/cold/sticky/heavy there’s a chance that it will fall off and injure the loaders.

To prevent such an accident, manual loading should be avoided for heavy materials, while gloves are to be used while loading and positioning everything else.

Injuries and fatalities in a factory are neither good for a business, nor does it do anything to boost employee morale. As an employer, it is your duty to provide a safe working environment for everyone, so do everything you can to avoid any gruesome tragedies from ever occurring.

3 Ways Robots Can Speed Up a Manufacturing Assembly Line

Automation is the way forward for the manufacturing industry. As much as people are concerned about job losses, nothing lasts forever, and we can’t fight the relentless march of technological innovation. One way that manufacturing is benefiting from technology is via robotics.

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Robots Do the Dangerous Jobs

In actual fact, robots are not a bad thing in the manufacturing sector. There are many jobs in manufacturing that are tedious, repetitive, and dangerous. Whilst humans can do these jobs, it’s often safer and more productive to pass them to robots.

Robots won’t get tired after working a 16-hour shift. They are happy to do the same repetitive job in quick succession without a catastrophic loss of concentration. Much of the risk in manufacturing is caused by machinery. When humans operate machinery without due care and attention, accidents happen. This could be down to a lack of training or simply that the person wasn’t paying attention. Robots don’t make these mistakes. They can also work in dangerous environments, such as extreme heat, extreme cold, or working with hazardous materials.

Introducing robots protects low-paid workers from dangerous working environments and creates more high-skilled jobs in the programming and maintenance sector.

Robots are More Efficient

Efficiency is critical in manufacturing. The more efficient your processes are, the more profitable the venture will be. One of the key advantages of introducing robots into a manufacturing environment is that robots can do a task more efficiently than a human worker can. Robots can operate on assembly lines 24/7. They don’t need breaks and don’t slow down at the end of a long shift.

There are many repetitive processes where it makes sense to automate. For example, case erection is a tedious job that can be done by machines in a fraction of the time. Case erector manufacturers produce simple equipment, but it’s equipment that makes packing a lot faster and easier. In addition, the packaging is assembled safely, hygienically, and reliably.

Robots are Faster

Robots are much faster than human workers. When you use robots on your manufacturing assembly lines, productivity will increase, and mistakes will drop. This is the best way to boost profits in your manufacturing operation.

One area where manufacturing speeds up tasks is during transition phases. For example, if blue widgets need to be moved from one machine to another, so they can be packaged and labeled, it will take time when human workers do the job and there are bound to be breakages and product loss.

By automating the process using robotics, moving blue widgets from point A to point B is optimized for maximum efficiency. Time is saved and product losses are minimized. This can be done at all transition phases of the manufacturing process, but especially in the packaging stage.

Lastly, robots may reduce the need for low-paid workers, but they allow manufacturing operations to relocate back on-shore, where more skilled workers are available to maintain, calibrate, and operate complex machinery. It’s a win-win for everyone.

4 Ways an Automated Case Sealer Could Add Value to Your Operation

Case sealing is the process of closing or sealing your boxes. This is often the last step in the packaging process, occurring before you slap a label on the box and ship it to the customer or load it on the truck and send it to retailers. This process is often done by hand, but it can be automated. Here are four ways an automated case sealer could add value to your operation.

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It Increases Production Rates

Too many production lines experience a bottleneck in the packaging operation. The automated production line churns out a steady stream of products, and your team is clustered at the end putting products in boxes, erecting boxes, sealing them and wrapping them.

This is not just an expensive waste of manpower but a limit on how much product you can ship. Set up case sealers along with other packaging equipment so that your packaging operation can keep up with the production line output and you’ll eliminate the need to pay overtime to packagers trying to keep up with a more efficient production line.

It Reduces Material Use

Packaging automation doesn’t just save money on labor costs and increase production. It also reduces how much packaging material is used. Automated case sealers use as little tape as possible. Furthermore, they’ll use the right adhesive for the job and apply it correctly. This allows you to use less material without sacrificing packaging performance.

If you use less tape, labels and other packaging materials, you’ll be able to tell customers that you’re reducing material use and waste in the facility. This makes packaging automation like case sealers an investment in a greener business. This is even true when you buy a case sealer that can support several tape widths. That machine can be used on multiple products, and it won’t use the widest tape on every single box coming off the line unless it is necessary.

It Improves Employee Productivity

A case sealer and similar packaging automation will improve employee productivity. When they are stuck loading and taping boxes, they’re going to get tired. They’re at risk of repetitive stress injuries, too, that can result in missed work and medical bills. Having a lot of people packing boxes and loading them onto pallets or trucks also increases the risk of other accidents. Every incident results in increased insurance costs for the business and lower productivity for everyone involved.

Automating tasks like this frees up employees to do a variety of value-added tasks. Whether this is reloading cases and tape in packaging equipment or handling shipping problems, they’re doing more of the work that can’t be automated.

It Improves Quality

A case sealer will not only close boxes quickly but give it a professional finish. Compare this to the masses of tape sometimes applied by inexperienced or rushed employees. Instead, you’ll get even tape lengths and positions that are consistent across all your boxes.

Retailers and distributors will notice this as well as the impact it has on the supply chain. For example, the well-sealed box is less likely to be tampered with or have products stolen from it. There won’t be as many disputes over whether or not you failed to ship a full order or that something was pilfered before it hit the shelves.

A side benefit of proper sealing is that you’re less likely to have products get damaged in transit. The box is not prone to coming open if it tips over during transport, spilling the contents. It is less likely to get crushed or shift because someone didn’t seal the top properly.

Conclusion

Case sealers are a surprisingly valuable form of automation for the average business. They will directly impact your business’ bottom line while improving quality and productivity across the board.