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Reducing the Likelihood of a Press Brake Incident

- September 20, 2019 by Mark Yeck, CIH, CSP (View all posts by Mark)

Use of machines such as press brakes and mechanical power presses are still commonplace in manufacturing throughout a variety of industries. Over the decades, there have been numerous improvements in safety technology available for the equipment that includes light curtains, motor control systems and A/B gate systems.

Since machine operation is typically high-frequency production, reducing the Likelihood of injury is a key risk reduction area with potential for significant risk reduction and return on investment (2010 average cost of amputation claim survey estimated over $65,000). That said, many antiquated pieces are still in service, often with no safety features at all and poor if any maintenance. Compounding lack of basic safety features is the nature of the work itself. Tasks often requires holding the work piece in the machine or in close proximity. Some press work may require multiple entries into the die for production of small or difficult to extract parts (like rings). Die changes can also pose a significant risk.

Likelihood reduction efforts for high-frequency machine operations could include:

  • Developing feed jigs or devices to move the worker’s hand further from the point of operation
  • Use of custom hand tools for feed or removal of materials from machines
  • Changing the material flow to reduce worker interface in the production process
  • Integrating Robotics into the feed and removal process
  • Change of process –
    • water jet vs. punch
    • one higher speed, roll feed, automated part-revolution press with motor control system vs. several slower single revolution uncontrolled presses
  • Utilizing hand-free clamping processes such as magnetic or pneumatic clamping devices
  • Upgrading to automate dye change systems

Do you have an exposure your company’s struggling to get under control? Let us know, and we’ll dedicate an upcoming blog to that topic

Categories: Machinery Tags: , ,