Achieve More Than Productivity with Smart Machinery Choices
Any production staff understands the hazards present in manufacturing environments; processes that utilize loud, fast-moving, and heavy equipment directly threaten employee well-being. Fortunately, organizations seeking to improve industrial automation safety can take advantage of time-tested, reliably safe solutions.
Of course, the choice of automation equipment isn’t the only element of a well-defined safety policy. Proper signage and indicators, comprehensive safety and equipment training, and incident response practices should also be used to keep employees safe in production environments. Safety managers should also factor their automated parts solutions into their safety strategy and incident reporting.
Automated part-feeding solutions help address industrial automation safety on multiple fronts. Removing manual aspects from many of the part-feeding steps on a production line is a good initial step; repurposing those workers to maintain the feeding equipment removes them from the more direct equipment-related hazards.
Occupational hearing loss is another real threat for people working in manufacturing facilities and other industrial environments. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 46% of all manufacturing workers have been exposed to hazardous noise and nearly 20% of those exposed have hearing problems that affect their daily lives. Automation solutions can produce quieter environments and remove workers from close proximity to the noisiest, most problematic processes that cause hearing loss.
Safety isn’t the only consideration. Human capital — your workers — is one of your most valuable assets. With automation, you’ll not only alleviate the risk of injury or other debilitating circumstances, but you’ll also free up employees to attack higher-value tasks. You can put their knowledge, skills, and experience to use in other ways and toward other endeavors. For example, instead of simply inputting parts into a production line, the worker can monitor multiple feeding stations at once; this will have a greater impact on overall production levels and efficiency than a more narrow or simple task.
With all that in mind, let’s examine some equipment choices that can pay dividends for your organization when it comes to industrial automation safety.
The Feedall Difference: Unsure about where to start? Visit our Find-A-Feedall page to get suggestions from our expert team about potential solutions.
Robotic Bin Picking
The loading and unloading of various bins, totes, and other containers remain one of the most manually-intensive processes in any production environment. While you might require human labor to place and remove bins from a cycle, the task of adding to or emptying the contents of these containers can be completely automated via robotic automation. This is where robotic bin picking equipment comes in.
Most available bin picking systems on the market suffer long cycle times due to machine vision algorithm processing, collisions, bin shapes and sizes not optimized for access, and picking errors. The root cause of these problems may include part finish, bin geometry, and overall process complexity. Feedall’s Smart Bin Technology(™) provides a patented solution to address these problems, eliminating the risk of collisions with the bin, improving access to all parts, shortening robotic movements, and improving visual proximity by elevating the parts as the bin empties. Integrating the Smart Bin into bin picking applications improves the overall safety profile, efficiency, and ROI of the system.
The Feedall difference: Our robotic automation equipment is designed with your users and end goals in mind. Explore robotic bin picking technology solutions.
Industrial Hopper Feeders
Few automation solutions are better equipped to eliminate manual processes than industrial hopper feeders. This machinery significantly reduces the need to involve people in the process of feeding parts and then orienting them correctly. Beyond this, industrial hopper feeders add flexibility with the capacity to handle different components — from bearings to shock tubes for example — without sacrificing speed or consistency in the part feeding rate needed to keep up with production goals and avoid batching issues.
With hopper feeders, you’ll employ a cost-effective automation process that allows your employees to focus their energy and time elsewhere — instead of on a time-consuming task that is never ‘completed.’ With equipment-focused feeder systems, organizations enjoy greater consistency in orienting as human error is eliminated while reducing the number of safety incidents.
The Feedall Difference: Feedall Automation offers a full line of random loaded orienting hopper feeders for your application. Explore them here and request a quote today.
Automatic Bar Feeders
If your application involves feeding bars and other cylindrical parts, automatic bar feeders are another industrial automation solution with excellent safety features — including operating at incredibly low noise levels. This is thanks to zero recirculation of parts, which can produce high decibel levels as metal clanks repeatedly against metal. Because these systems are highly automated, there’s little need for workers to engage with them apart from the occasional part replenishment. With workers’ ears and hands protected, the risk of short- and long-term injuries, production downtime, and other costly problems are avoided.
With several configurations available depending on your specific production needs, bar feeders can accommodate various part designs, sizes, and feed rates. Working with an automation expert like Feedall helps you determine which feeder best fits your facility, team, and production demands.
The Feedall Difference: Feedall has a wide array of bar and shaft feeders, with options to account for any specific production variable. Explore the possibilities here.
Improve Industrial Automation Safety with Feedall
Your production environment enables your organization’s success. It’s a worthy investment to explore ways to make it more efficient, cost-effective, and safer for your workers.
For decades, Feedall Automation has been custom-designing, engineering, manufacturing, and supporting automation solutions. Whatever your equipment needs may be, our team offers complete cradle-to-grave services and support that includes custom engineering, build to print, fabrication capabilities, replacement parts, and field support.
Connect with us today to learn more about our capabilities and to discuss how they can help your organization realize better industrial automation safety.