Conveyor Belt Safety

Chantland Swivel Belt Conveyor

As with any electrical and mechanical device, safety should be a major concern. There are many moving parts to a conveyor belt, and anyone who works near or around this type of machine should be well-educated in the safety regulations, and why they are not only important, but also necessary.

Climbing, sitting, riding or walking on a conveyor belt (whether in motion or not) can lead to bodily injury. This may seem illogical to even mention, but at times people may get curious and mischievous which can not only damage the equipment, but bodily injury can happen more often then you may believe.

Guards and covers are built into conveyors for safety, and operating a conveyor belt without these safety features is dangerous. Safety guards are removed for maintenance and should only be performed by someone who is trained to repair, clear jams and maintenance the chains, gears and other moving parts that makes a conveyor operate smoothly.

conveyor belt warning labelA technician may become too confident in their ability, and attempt to do a quick repair on the conveyor belt with properly shutting off the power. This type of laziness is what can lead to permanent (and unnecessary) bodily injury.

It is important not to overload a belt, and do not load a belt that is not in motion, as this can (and will) cause the conveyor belt to overheat. Also, excess debris, dust and oil should be kept at a minimum, as this may cause damage to the equipment.

Many factories and warehouses sound an alarm before a conveyor belt is turned on, and this is a good safety practice, because it alerts all employee to stay clear of the conveyor as it is about to become activated. In addition, this is a relatively inexpensive upgrade to ensure the safety of employees.

It cannot be reinforced enough that people need to stay away from a conveyor belt that is in motion. Hands, long hair, loose clothing and string that may be used to tie long hair back needs to be tucked in.

Long sleeves should be rolled up and out of the way.  Anyone who is visiting your plant/warehouse should be briefed on the safety issues, and observed, to confirm that they do not fall victim to carelessness.

It is also important that pull cords, ALL controls and emergency stop buttons are clearly visible and easily reachable. Anyone that works near a conveyor belt should have basic safety training on the location and function of basic controls of this piece of equipment.

Many of these safety rules and regulations are obvious, but each visitor and employee must adhere to them, to avoid injury while being around a conveyor belt.

An Excavator Brake Down

KOMATSU PC220LC-8 EXCAVATOR

A very specialized vehicle that is used in the construction and industrial industries are called excavators.  Also referred to as a 360 (short for 360 degree excavator) or a digger, the underside of the particular vehicle typically has tracks or wheels that allow the excavator to be mobile.  Also consisting of a topside cab, a boom, a stick and an articulated arm, these specific machines are believed to be the next era in steam shovels.

When it comes to an excavator, there are a variety of different options available including a long reach, steam, compact, dragline, suction and power.  Because there are many different types of excavators, a wide range of job uses can be accomplished with this machine.  Some of the various things that an excavator can do is lift heavy materials, dredge rivers, mine various materials, demolish different structures and build various landscapes.  Not only that, but an excavator can come in a many different sizes ranging from 3,000 pounds to 185,000 pounds.  Whether it’s a small, mini excavator or a large track excavator, each machine serves a unique process.  Before deciding on which one is best for you, it’s very important to understand the job it will be used for.

Typically, all excavators will have the same basic structure that consists of a cab, boom, stick, bucket and tracks for mobilization.  The main component of an excavator that houses the operator is the cab.  The cab is connected to the deck of the machine by specialized pins that maintain the gears and control the tracks.  The next part of the excavator, the boom, is also connected to the cab.  The boom uses hydraulic cylinders in order to allow the machine to be lifted into the air.  Depending on the specific job, more advanced excavator’s are fully equipped with a swivel so that the boom can operate without interference from the cab.  Another important part of an excavator is the stick.  The stick will allow for boom extension in order to reach materials like dirt, sand and gravel that are either further away or positioned up high.

As new technologies continue to be introduced, the capabilities of an excavator continue to increase.  Now able to handle more difficult jobs than ever before, excavators are no longer restricted to simple digging work.  With advanced attachments like hydraulic augers and grapples, these special machines are able to do much more than you might think.  Typically used with other pieces of equipment like loader and bulldozers, an excavator is essential in many different milling, digging and demolition projects.  Without question, one of the biggest advantages that an excavator provides is its diverse ability to get different specialized jobs done.

Bridge Cranes

Gentry overhead bridge craneBridge cranes are part of the many cranes available in the world. Bridge cranes were given their name because they require not less than two horizontal beams for locomotion.

How a bridge Crane Functions

The bridge supports a pulley system and a trolley. The bridge cranes are used in places where a lot of weight has to be lifted. Such places may include the warehouses, shipyards, and factories. Bridge cranes for sale are available to any buyer who may wish to use them in his establishment. They come with different features, but one should consider buying from suppliers who have earned a good reputation already.

Many people have found the bridge cranes invaluable equipment despite the improvement in the technology today. This is because they come with many benefits. A positive benefit about the bridge cranes is that they are simple to use. This, however, requires that the purchaser installs it himself if he has the knowhow and if he is not competent enough consider the services of an expert.

They are capable of working even in areas that are confined. With the attendance of qualified personnel, the bridge cranes are cost efficient in terms of their energy consumption. People consider them safer than forklifts.

Practical Usage

These cranes make it possible to have a diversified workforce. Bridge cranes ensure that the work can be done by both genders. Fewer numbers of people who will find it difficult to work manually can collect the load from the cranes. That set aside even the women can do it better especially when the entire workforce in the organization continues to age.

The use of these cranes will thus promote the goodwill among the employees, which may translate to high productivity for the organization. Additionally, more return on the investment will be realized in less time due to increased productivity.

The versatile bridge cranes can be used for many applications today. This is because they are applicable to many industrial situations. These bridge cranes have seen organizations make proper use of their workforce because they do not expend a lot of physical strength in operating the crane.

Their ability to lift unimaginable loads for a short time makes them more efficient and productive. This efficiency, however, requires that the user to have a crane that fits the workspace in his organization. The bridge cranes are viewed to function better in a rectangular work space as loads can be moved better.

Overhead cranes

Overhead cranes have also seen a greater use in the automobile industry. They are used to handle raw materials. In a Computer Network Controlled mill or saw, smaller workstation cranes are used to handle lighter weight in a work area. These smaller workstations are also common in paper mills.

They are used for maintenance that requires the removal of heavy rolls and equipment. Bridge cranes are used in the initial process of constructing paper machines as they facilitate the installation of massive cast iron drums for drying the papers and lifting of other heavy equipment weighing up to 70 tons.

Radial Arm Saw – A Versatile Cutting Tool

radial arm sawThis type of machining tool has both the capability of cutting and ripping various types of lumber. That notwithstanding, the radial arm saw is even more versatile as it has other vast applications in overhead routing, drum sanding and surface planing.

This type of saw requires professionalism in handling tasks because it is potentially dangerous. This is because it is dangerous when the angled crosscuts are made without caring where the user’s hand is placed. Spin direction of the saw may pose a risk where the user decides to collect materials without looking on the spinning direction, which is unadvisable.

Buying a Radial Arm Saw

In the tools’ shops where there could be a radial arm saw for sale, the purchaser is expected to make his decision based on the particular uses that he intends to use the saw. Various aspects of the saw in the purchasers mind will drive him to buy a saw that he cannot regret buying it.

The durability and versatility of the saw will be compelling the buyer to buy the saw. Since the miter saw technology is phasing out the radial arm saw, the purchaser must make an informed decision and buy a saw with more accuracy and undisputed precision.

Professional Use

An experienced professional can use the radial arm saw to serve most wood work needs. There are also radial arm saws designed to cut metal. If the purchaser were not a professional, hiring one to do the wood work for him would be a worthwhile consideration.

This will prevent the purchaser from making the wood work worse than when the professional uses it. It will ensure that the purchaser has extra time to work on the other part of his wood work. Timely finishing of his job will be an added advantage although at a cost. If the purchaser ignores the professionalism, he may injure himself thus incurring more costs.

Cutting Versatility

The various cuts made using the radial arm include the cross-cut; which could be limited by the length of the arm, and complex miter cut. The radial arm saw can make better cuts than it can do ripping. This means that a buyer must consider investing in few additional tools.

Special design for these tools will be crucial for carrying out of specific tasks, which result to increased efficiency. The process of ripping through thick stock of wood may make the radial arm saw to overheat. Overheating causes the motor to jam. Controlling heating is essential for better saw performance.

Although the radial arm saw has considerably high performance, its accuracy will still be wanting. This is contributed for instance by the design of its arm. The wandering of the blade and considerable deviations of the arm coupled with the wear and tear over time will pose the accuracy problem.

In case of breakdown, the components of the saw would require high-tech skills to assemble. This implies that if accuracy can be guaranteed, the user must handle all tools well. This will probably involve using the tool for its purpose as well as maintaining it for use in the future.

5 Things You Never Knew About Steel

steel hardwareSteel is an alloy of iron, but also comprises of about 1% of carbon. Some steel also comprises traces of other elements such as manganese. Whereas iron is soft and corrodes easily, steel is hard and rust resistant. Because of these qualities, steel is used to make everything from automobiles, skyscraper girders and appliances to paper clips and thumb tacks. It is one of the world’s most important metals.

In ranking, iron comes second after aluminum in natural abundance. It comprises of about 4.7 % of the earth’s crust, existing mainly in the form of oxides. Because of its poor qualities, it is converted into steel, a stronger and the least expensive of all metals.

Below are some of the things you never knew about steel:

 #1 Coining of the term ‘stainless’

The term ‘stainless’ was first coined when steel was discovered to produce cutlery applications that were rust-resistant. Before the coining of this term, stainless steel was known as Staybrite. Today, another name given to stainless steel is Inox. This term was derived from a French term known as ‘acier inoxydable,’ which literally means ‘non-oxidized steel.’

 #2 Making of Steel

For several years now, several countries have tried to make steel. During the 18th century, insignificant amount of steel was produced, Sweden being the main producer. In the 19th century, companies in the US started producing steel in large quantities until 1980, when Russia surpassed it. At the start of the 21st century till today, China took over as the world’s leading producer of Steel.

 #3 Stainless steel is used to make brewing equipment

Stainless steel is used to make brewing equipment because it does not release any off-flavors. If you didn’t know, beer corrodes manufacturing tanks and lines. The reason for this is that it is acidic in nature and contains microorganisms that are the main components of corrosion and fouling. Stainless is corrosive resistant, so it does not produce off-flavors caused by corrosive byproducts.

 #4 Steel has a high melting point

Blacksmiths avoid melting steel because it is one of the metals that have a high melting point. This is the reason they find it hard to produce. The heat that is used to oxidize or melt steel is in the form of a ball deep inside the center of coal. In this area (the center of the coal) is where the temperature rises past 1500 degree Celsius due to coal molding, which makes heat reflect and roll into a ball.

#5 Qualification of steel as ‘stainless’

For steel to qualify as stainless, it must meet certain technical requirements. One of the requirements is a minimum weight of 10.5 percent chromium but can be more than depending on the environmental condition.

These are some of the things that you may not have known about steel; however there are others. Always keep in mind that around 60 percent of stainless steel people use today is recycled.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading supplier of carbon, alloy and stainless steel in pipe, tube, fittings and flanges.

Styles of Automatic Screw Machines

automatic screw machineDon’t be fooled by the name, automatic screw machines – or the less formal ‘screw machine’ – are essentially lathes used to machine parts for industry or sale.  Automatic screw machines don’t screw things in (as a drill or screwdriver would), and while they are capable of threading material, that is not their sole function.

A screw machine is essentially a lathe which rotates a piece of material (i.e., wood, clay, metal) on an axis to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, deformation, facing, or turning.

Automatic screw machines fall into two categories – Swiss and Turret – and while they function differently, their output and benefits are more-or-less identical.

Swiss Screw Machines

Swiss screw machines are further subdivided into automatic and computer numerical control (CNC).  Both operate on a similar principle but the CNC machine – as its name indicates – is controlled by a computer.  This computer control allows for a high RPM (10,000) and accuracy level (0.0002 to 0.0005 inches).

 Turret Screw Machines

swiss automatic screw machineThe turret-type screw machine orients the material on a vertical ram which then moves into the tool. Turret-type screw machines produce results nearly identical to the Swiss-style machine.  The main difference between the two types is precision:  the Swiss-style machine is capable of a higher rate of accuracy.

While screw machines (Swiss or Turret) come equipped with a single spindle, double spindle machines (even quadruple spindle or more) are increasingly popular as they allow for increased output.  Using robotic integration, both Swiss-style and turret-style screw machines are capable of automatically transferring a part from one machine to another.

Swiss-style machines are becoming increasingly popular these days with both automatic and CNC screw machines being widely used in the IT, automotive, and consumer electronics industry.

Originally developed for high-quality, designer Swiss watch production, the automatic Swiss-style machines are prized for their accuracy and delicacy.  CNC Swiss-style screw machines are sought after for their quick production times, low variable costs, and largely un-supervised production methods.

Swiss-style machines of both types can handle exotic and common metals of varying strengths and composition making them widely applicable and integral in many different industries.

The Purpose Behind Vibratory Feeders

vibratory feeder in actionIf you have ever poured sand through a funnel and need to tap it gently to allow the sand to flow continuously, then you have personally experienced the basic concept of a vibratory feeder.

Although vibratory feeders come in a variety of sizes to accommodate a particular industry, the basic working principle is the same.

Vibratory feeders utilize gravity to pull dry material downward and vibration to move material side to side. Usually, only dry material is used in this type of machine, because unlike liquid, dry material may not move in a fluid motion, and may need assistance from a vibrating action.

Large quantities of material is fed into a cone-shaped opening at the top of the feeder and comes out the narrow bottom.

A pill counter is an excellent example of a vibratory feeder, as large quantities of pills are unceremoniously dumped into the large opening at the top of the machine. Gravity pulls the pills downward and the vibrations help them to flow easily, and not get congested or block the machine feeder. Once the correct number is reached, the machine stops and begins again, when a new bottle is placed and ready to be automatically filled.

The main purposes of a vibration feeder

(1) To move product quickly and effectively

(2) To allow product to be on a timed distribution and

(3) Counting and keeping accurate inventory of small products – especially narcotic prescription pills that are closely monitored.

vibratory bowl feeder

Bowl feeders are another name for vibratory feed machines, and they are a self-contained machine that has a bowl-shaped design. The drive unit (which is in available pneumatic and electromagnetic) drives the bowl and moves the material along a track.  The width, depth and length of the track will depend of the type of application that it will be used for. Speed control is also standardized on bowl feeders, and it used to control the speed of the vibration, as well as the flow output of the product.

Vibratory feeders are used in a variety of industries, the pharmaceutical industry (as we mentioned above), automotive, metal work, electronic, the food industry and a packing plant.

They can also be found in the recycling industry, glass production, steel making and on construction sites.

Depending on the industry, this resourceful and useful machine (which reduces labor cost and valuable time) is often referred to by a variety of titles, such as “rotary feeders”, “spiral feeders”, “bin vibrators” and “hoppers”.

Tube and Pipe Beveling and Chamfering Machine Manufacturer Review

Pipe or tube beveling is a process that allows an angle to be formed between the edge of an end of a pipe or tube and a plane that is perpendicular to the pipe surface.

MSI Manufacturing Solutions, Inc.

pipe bevelingMSI was established in 1992 to provide well-designed, easy to use, reliable machinery. The engineering department has over 60 years of experience in real-life manufacturing applications and this expertise has been applied to design and manufacture the best equipment for the industrial fastener industry although he company now serves all types of manufacturing and distribution operations.

MSI carries a line of standard machines that include the Chamfermate, Markmate, Nutmate and Feedmate machines as well as hydraulic bar shears. The company also produces custom machinery engineered and designed to meet specific customer and production requirements.

The Chamfermate line of high production chamfering and pipe beveling machines are designed to deliver easy set up and operation. The machines use heavy duty components and construction techniques that provide clients with years of dependable, reliable service. Models come in a broad range of diameters and applications.

These machines eliminate the need for any hand grinding or weld bevels and they are automated to provide higher yields and speeds than portable units. Chamfering and pipe beveling machines handle diameters of ½” up to 8” and can be accessorized with tooling to handle custom angles and J bevels.

The line of chamfermate pipe beveling machines includes a double end machine that chamfers both ends simultaneously of bolt blanks, stud bolts, rod, bar, tubing, or pipe.  These machines have bevel speeds up to 30 parts per minute significantly increasing the production of parts over standard chamfering machines.

MSI’s engineering department analyze customer requirements and provide a custom solution to meet your specific application. The company will modify an existing beveling machine or design a completely new piece of equipment that fits your requirements.

DWT GmbH Essen

Semi automatic pipe tube chamfering bevelling deburring machine

DWT is a family owned business headquartered in Essen, Germany.  Established in 1987 to supply German mining companies they now manufacture and supply pipe beveling machines and other products throughout the world to a variety of different markets and applications. Today, the company focuses on pipe beveling and cutting equipment as well as the production of nitrogen generators.

DWT specializes in products for weld preparation in pipe and pipeline welding applications.  The first step in the pipe welding process is edge preparation. The DWT product line offers unique equipment and tools to handle all working steps including pipe cutting, pipe beveling, pipe alignment and pipe handling.

The pipe beveling machine product line includes portable and stationary pipe beveling machines that can be ordered with either electric or pneumatic drives. The housing of the machines are aluminum with a very low weight. This makes the beveling of heavy duty pipes much easier.

Stationary tube bevelers come in several models and can be accommodated with CNC controls, roller benches and a copying system which allows very precise machining of thin-walled or non round pipes.

All models also come with a self-centering prism camp to firmly hold pipes in place as well as a large chip tray that has a separator to filter the chips out of the coolant. All MFS model bevelers also have a built-in pump for cooling fluid.

Flame, Plasma and Laser Cutting Machine Manufacturer Reviews

Flame, plasma and laser cutting machines are used in the welding and cutting of steel products. Following, you will find some of the top manufacturers featured here on Machine Sales, and an overview of each:

flame & plasma cutters

ESAB CUTTING SYSTEMS

The ESAM company was founded in 1904 when Oscar Kjellberg invented the coated welding electrode. Today, ESAB produces welding consumables and equipment for most welding and cutting processes. ESAB is a world leader in welding and cutting expertise, equipment and services headquartered in Sweden.

The ESAB product line includes plasma torches, oxy-fuel torches, oxy-fuel parts, plasma power sources, combination gantry cutting machines that can do plasma nad oxy-fuel cutting separately or in combination, waterjet cutting tools, marking tools, weld-edge preparation tools and a range of cutting and marking tools and controls.

Processes include: plasma cutting, oxyfuel cutting, laser cutting, waterjet cutting, marking and weld edge preparation.

ESAB products are designed to achieve optimal cutting quality at high cutting speeds.

CNC Pipe Plasma - Flame Cutting MachineEsprit Automation Ltd.

Esprit Automation, a leading manufacturer of CNC plasma and oxy-fuel flame cutting machines, is headquartered in Nottingham, England and has been in business since 1986.

Their area of expertise is sheet and plate cutting applications. Customers come from a wide range of metal processing industries including general and precision sheet metal, fabrication, steel service centers, HVAC ductwork and a broad range of product manufacturers.

Also represented in their customer base are clients within the automotive, agricultural, construction machinery, materials handling, and the food machinery and display equipment industries.

The Esprit product line offers CNC machines that are designed to use the latest plasma cutting technology. All custom machines are 3D modeled prior to manufacture and are designed for heavy duty applications, durability, and optimized performance.

In addition to plasma cutting machines, the company also provides extraction and filtration systems, and oxy fuel flame cutting systems.

SEC Machines

SEC machines is a manufacturer of a system of drives, carriages, rails and attachments that are designed to automate welding guns, cutting torches and other hand held tools. Their product line includes a variety of CNC profile cutting machines that work with oxy fuel and plasma.

They serve a range of steel fabrication industries including shipbuilding, pressure vessel manufacturing, rail car manufacturing, structural steel fabricators, mechanical contractors, steel supply, and steel service centers.

HVAC ductwork machinery

Whitney

Whitney manufactures a comprehensive line of cutting and forming equipment for the metal plate fabrication industry including global transportation, agricultural and construction equipment industries.

The primary product Whitney specializes in is the plasma-punch combination machine although they carry a full line of equipment including CNC plasma-punch combination machines, manual and CNC punching machines, notchers, benders, shears, laser and plasma machining centers, and tooling.

They also provide options for material loading and unloading as well as automatic part removal systems.

Their combination plasma-punch machines produce more parts per day from steel and aluminum plate than any other process including standalone laser, plasma, and waterjet machines at a lower cost per part. Their combination machines can also be customized with additional features including forming, drilling and tapping.

Vicon

Vicon is an industry leader in plasma cutting machines, coil lines and HVAC ductwork machinery. The company has over 40 years experience in the machine tool industry and every machine is manufactured completely in the US.

The Vicon product line includes a range of plasma cutting machines, waterjet cutting machines, coil line machine for ductwork, rollformers and duct fabricating machines. They also offer fabrication an HVAC software for their machines as well as calculators for forming and punching applications and machine justifications.

Beginner’s Guide to CNC Machinery

Horizontal CNC Milling MachineryImagine that you are running a machine tool, be it milling or a lathe, but you are not in direct control. Someone else has the levers, dials and buttons.

All you have to do is simply tell him or her what to do and it is done. This is because this “Operator” is far more adept in running the machine than you are, or any human being for that matter.

This “Operator” here is the Computer in “Computerized Numerical Control”, or as more commonly known, CNC.

At the business end, a CNC milling machine or a CNC lathe is the same as any manual machine. A CNC machine may have bells and whistles added to them, but they both do their job in the same manner.

Most of the tools can be used in either a manual or a CNC machine to do the same job in many cases. The main difference is the computer that controls the CNC machine.

How Does Numerical Control Work?

benchtop cnc milling machine in actionIf you put the drawing of a part that needs to be machined on a piece of graph paper, you can get the coordinates of the points that the cutter or the tool has to move through.

The computer on a CNC machine tool just runs the motors of the machine so that the tool moves through those points. Control by coordinates, i.e., numbers, that’s Numerical Control.

Letting the computer “see” the drawing on the graph and telling it exactly what to do is called Programming. The coordinates themselves have to be put in or perhaps just the drawing needs to be done.

There are codes to tell the CNC machine how to move (on straight line or on arc), how fast to move (feed rates, spindle rpm), when to turn on coolant, when to stop it…the list goes on.

Every action that CNC machinery can take has a code associated with it. There are hundreds of machine manufacturers out there, with hundreds of best ideas how they should work. Luckily, the codes are mostly standardized.

G codeOften, you would hear “G code” programming in CNC discussion. The reason is that this “Standard” list of code has lots of G’s in them.

Like if you want to move the machine to point x, you have to type G1 followed by coordinate of the point. Next code G2, or G02, is for the arc… and the list continues. Also, there are “M” codes which are arguably the second most prominent. These codes can turn on or off the spindle, control coolant and many such functions.

Advantages of CNC machines can be thought of in two opposite extremes. Think of a workshop that makes low volume but highly complex parts, most of them one-of-a-kind.

With manual machines, getting the desired shape out of the machines will be very difficult and time extensive, if not impossible altogether. CNC equipment can machine very complicated sculptured shapes by moving in 3, 4, 5 or more axes at the same time.

On the other end of the spectrum, where you have to make large number of relatively simple parts, manual machines with human operators can produce substantial amount of out-of-spec instances or rejects.

This is mostly because human operator can keep productivity at peak for only a limited time, especially if the work is monotonous.

A computer does not have this limitation. You tell it what to do and it will do it in the morning and the same thing at the end of the day when it churns out 100th or 1000th piece. You can even let it run continuously day and night.

On the downside, CNC is more expensive to buy and maintain. You will also need people with higher skills to program and run them. However, as CNC is now a mature technology, the benefits usually far outweigh these small trade-offs.