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The Smithy mill is also distinguished by very high spindle speed and high feed torque. Some machine operators often ignore those requirements when operating in a machine shop. Therefore, there are different incidents. Accidents cannot be fully attributed to system design and, in some situations, they are caused by incompetence or ignorance on the part of the operator. This paper is needed to assess some of the injuries that occur when a smithy mill is used and how accidents are prevented. One mishap that occurs is slipping off of the tool when the spindle is at very high rpm. Most tools used are made up of high-speed steel, an extremely hard material. When such a tool hits the operator, it can result in serious injuries that might be fatal though in rare cases. In the same manner, when the tool is under extreme stress it can break or chip. Such an occurrence can also cause injuries if the broken chip hits the operator.
Tool slip can happen due to improper mounting of the milling tool on the spindle or use of the wrong tool. The same case also applies for tool breakage. However, breaking can also be caused by insufficient lubricant. The first precaution to avoid such mistakes is to ensure that the tool firmly mounted and the type of the tool is appropriate for the work. This can be done effectively during the design process by having an automatic mechanism that detects proper mounting of the milling tool. The machine can only start when the cutter is properly fixed. The working area can be covered with a transparent hard material such as Perspex as a way improving safety. After setting the work, the machine operator closes the cover or guard, and monitors the job from outside; this can help protect the operator from breaking chips. Another way of improving safety is by having a fault detection system that automatically stops the spindle in the case of tool breakage, misalignment or low levels of lubricant in the machine (Adler and David, 4).
The United States Department of Labor under Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that all moving parts in machinery should be guarded to avoid potential workplace injuries. Despite having all the safety precautions in place, accidents still occur frequently in the machine shops. Most operators do not pay full attention when working with the machine; this leads them to overlook some of the clear safety guidelines. Such people end up setting wrong spindle speeds or feeds for their work and sometimes even forget to wear proper gear during the work. Such possibilities occur and often cause severe safety issues in the workplace. In addition to that, very often machine operators are seen either installing or removing the milling cutters with their bare hands, yet it is stated that cutters should be handled using gloves or rags. This poses a danger of being cut or bruised by the tool.
Generally speaking, the safety of a machine is an integral part of the design process. Most manufacturers not only consider the machine itself but also other aspects such as safety of the work produced, safety in the workshop environment and machine operators’ safety. After meeting all the safety design requirements and enlightening the users about the safety guidelines, the operators have the responsibility of ensuring they follow the guidelines. The safety rules are in most cases designed based on real time experience and therefore, are always effective (Ullman, 403).
Adler, David T. "Safety shield for a milling machine, drill press, and the like." U.S. Patent No. 4,543,021. 24 Sep. 1985.
Ullman, David G. The mechanical design process. Vol. 2. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1992.
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