Product News

WATCH YOUR STEP

When it comes to safety, every step matters. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, portable ladders have been a factor in 25,383 non-fatal injuries. OSHA recommends that people have at least one hand free to grasp a ladder and that they not carry any object or load that could tip them off balance.

There are plenty of regulations governing where and how employees can use ladders. At ProMat 2003, you may have noticed a few improvements to the conventional ladder. Another option is the Wave Work Assist Vehicle. This battery-powered unit transports a load and the worker, eliminating climbing. Maximum picking height ranges from 135 in. to 161 in. Maximum travel speed is 4 mph. Crown Equipment Corp.; crown.com, 765-653-1926.

A CLEAR VIEW

For a clear line of sight across a factory floor, the A26 Low-Profile Disconnect Enclosure series keeps enclosure height to a maximum of 60 in. These off-the-shelf units are available in freestanding, wall- or machine-mount versions. Thirty-eight models and 10 subpanels range from 30 in. by 28 in. by 8 in. with one door to 60 in. by 196 in. by 16 in. with five doors. Hoffman; hoffmanonline.com, 800-355-3560.

EXPLOSION-PROOF DUMPER

Lift and Seal system accepts a drum at floor level, then elevates and discharges product into a mixer at 222.5 in. above floor level. The unit provides a dust-tight seal between the drum and pour cone. Additional features include a 60-degree discharge angle, NEMA 7/9 controls and a continuous-duty hydraulic system. Material Transfer & Storage Inc.; materialtransfer.com, 800-836-7068.

Case Study

Conveying Production Agility

by Ed Sullivan

“You’ve got to be fast on your feet,” says Bruce Wakefield, manufacturing engineer for Mann+Hummel, referring to the need to produce new designs to meet automotive requirements.

The South Bend, Indiana, plant develops and produces injection-molded plastic manifolds for the international automobile industry. This Tier One producer supplies air and liquid filters, intake manifold modules and liquid management systems. It produces three-part manifolds for four-cylinder General Motors engines, and a four-part assembly for eight-cylinder Chrysler engines.

Although the original conveyors performed reliably, there were circumstances when a reconfiguration would have helped production flow. When manifold designs changed, the molding cells needed to be reconfigured, and in some instances this meant ordering new conveyors and awaiting delivery.

In early 2000, managers replaced the conventional steel conveyors on a secondary line with a DynaCon modular plastic conveyor system made by Dynamic Conveyor Corporation, Muskegon, Michigan. They put an angle on the end of a conveyor to be more ergonomic with the positioning of the parts to the operator. As needs change, they can try a 30-degree or 45-degree angle, for greater flexibility in the floor plan layout.

For the full story, go to totalsupplychain.com, MHM, Articles, Industry News, “Conveying Production Agility.”

Dynamic Conveyor Corp.; dynamicconveyor.com, 866-249-2641.

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