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Thread: Electrical Engineer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Red face Electrical Engineer

    I am a controls engineer that has been asked to take over our CNC milling machines. I have been programming PLC's for years but have limited experience with CNC's; G Code.

    The first task assigned to me is to come up with a safety standard to implement on all of our machines, one that makes since, nothing to inhibiting. I was wondering if there is a safety standard already in place that is accepted throughout the industry?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Great State of Wisconsin
    Thanked 133 Times in 111 Posts

    Default Re: Electrical Engineer

    Welcome to the group. Glad you could join us.

    What kind of saftey? Operations or Maintenence? There are standards for things like lock out tag out for working on the machines but operating is really about working smart and having the proper saftey devices on the MT.

    (The opinions in this post are my own and not those of and its management)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default Re: Electrical Engineer

    As a machine tool tech, I have been in a lot of shops with varying degree of safely standards. From what I have seen there is a tension between safely and getting the job done. Machine tools are inherently dangerous. Each thing you add to make a machine safer adds time and effort to your machining process. What you might start with is to find the manuals for the machines in your shop and read through their safety instructions. This might give you some ideas over all, and some specifics to the machines you have. I listed below the basics that I see in most shops. That might help you.

    1.Safetly glasses must be worn at all times in the shop.
    2.No loss or baggy clothing.
    3.long hair should be tied up under a hat or hair net. rings or necklaces should be worn in the shop. open toed shoos in the shop.
    6.Keep the safety doors on the machines closed when ever possible. (Note this is not always possible, when not possible try to provide a tool to reach in the machine while running rather than their hand, and make it a tool with a grip that is hard to hold so if the machine grabs it their hand will not get pulled in also.)
    7.If your shop is very noisy you might require earplugs also.
    8.Keep the floors clean of oil and debris.

    To facilitate many of these the company will need to have the necessary supplies including things like; If the safety covers have windows the windows might need to be replaced if the employ can't see through them, and replaced with proper safety windows that are made for the machines. Have safety glasses available for guests. Hire a janitor to keep the floors clean. You might also consider the safety lockouts that Stevo mentioned, as I tech I really appreciate that. Etc.

    You may also want to talk to the guys running the machines, they can give you ideas and problems they see with safety ideas then find ways to make the machines safe that get around their concerns. You will also need to train them, and including the why behind the safety requirments you put in place. No safety program will work if the employs are not on board with it.

    I hope this helps some, and good luck with this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default Re: Electrical Engineer

    One of the biggest issues that will/can cause injury is the overriding the door switch. Removing it, taping it, removing the key and plugging it into the switch, jumping the connections in the main cabinet, or adjusting the keep relays in the control. If you have a pallet machine, write up macros to ensure the proper cnc program is called up when a particular pallet is in the machine. Tool changers with multi stations can sometimes be accessed while the machine is running. Set up an alarm system (simple as a relay) or add a door switch. Check out parameters and your keep relays as there are generally several options that can add to the safety. An example is limiting the amount of wear offset that can be added. An example may be .005 or .010 in case the decimal is missed or a zero left out. it will just not accept the value.
    Generally just look over all the machines you're involved with and verify all the safety items haven't been altered.
    Good luck!

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