Keeping Safe in the Mechanical World

safety-first-by-petermeFactories and the automation they require have always created mixed emotions in human beings. Admittedly, we don’t know what emotions they would create in machinery, but people have an ambivalence toward automation.

On the one hand, the conveyor belt and the assembly line did wonderful things for people. Goods could be made much more quickly and efficiently — for which you can also read cheaply, and material wealth was within the reach of the average person for the first time.

Factory-made goods were more consistent than handmade ones, and the workers in a factory didn’t have to be amazingly skillful to make perfect goods.

Factories seemed to offer a fresh new approach that promised limitless wealth and ever-increasing perfection in all aspects of our daily lives. People admired factories so much that assembly lines were used as the model for everything from schools to cooking. It was seen as a more modern, cleaner, better way.

On the other hand, factories were — and are – dangerous places. Industrial spaces always require special care on the part of workers, simply because they are dangerous. But safety regulations aren’t magic; they require human action if they are to accomplish anything, and people can (and do) choose not to take those actions. According to the National Safety Council, some 89% of workers ignore safety regulations.

What’s more, safety regulations focus on obvious dangers, while operating machinery can be bad for people just because the work spaces and the workflow are designed for machines and not for people. Repetitive motion injuries, noise pollution, and the stress of long hours are the result simply of working in an environment designed for machines.

Rexroth has always been safety-conscious, and legacy units from Rexroth and Indramat have safety features. Newer machines tend to have more safety features, though, and many workers are more relaxed around their machinery now than they were back when Indramat drives were built. When 21st century workers come in contact with 20th century machinery, they may not be as conscious of their safety as they should be.

As specialists in legacy servo motors and drives, we know how to work safely with your Indramat and Rexroth drives. Instead of poking around yourself and planning to call later, once you’re sure you need help, consider calling us first. Our number is 479-422-0390. Put it in your phone now and use it — for your safety and that of your machinery.

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