The Primary Metals Processing industry is a growing sub-sector of manufacturing today. It’s a booming business in the U.S. and provides lucrative opportunities to businesses supplying these facilities too. We believe our mesh guarding can play a role in supporting their operations. Here’s why.
Due to pent-up demand from COVID-19 and the strong economic undercurrent, companies that specialize in copper, steel, aluminum, iron, and titanium – to name a few – are struggling to keep up. The industry experienced a >6% increase in their producer price index in just the past few months. These organizations are massively investing in tooling and factory upgrades with much more to come.
Challenges Metal Processors Are Facing Amidst Surge in Demand
Even under normal demand, the conditions in Metals Processing plants pose safety risks for workers due to the intense environment, high-temperature processes, and use of heavy equipment. Hazards abound – whether it’s in the Hot Mill, the Cold Mill, or the Finishing Mill – which require heightened safety procedures and equipment to prevent injuries.
Staffing has also been an issue for many industries since the start of the pandemic, but that’s felt all the more within a “backed up” industry.
Safety in metal processing companies requires a priority on compliance practices and equipment. The profitability of metal processing companies, especially smaller ones, depends primarily on efficient operational procedures, according to First Research. This is true no matter the economic climate.
Mesh Guarding: Where Safety and Operational Efficiency Meet
We specialize in Automation and Machine Guarding systems ideally suited to the operational needs of the metals processing industry. Our equipment can withstand and support the harsh environments present in Metal Processing facilities.
Common applications for our Mesh Guarding Solutions in processing plants include:
- Aisleway protection for walkways
- Perimeter fencing for storage of hot product
- Guarding for crane access stations
- Machine Guarding for bundling and packaging
At WireCrafters, we have expertise in a wide variety of safety components that can be integrated with Guarding to create a safer environment for metal processing workers. These include:
- Safety Interlocks
- Pull Cords
- Safety Light Curtains
Machine Guarding Safety Features
Safety Interlocks are commonly used at the access points (doors) to a perimeter guard. They include gate switches and trapped key interlocks. They can be very sophisticated featuring Ethernet/IP CIP Safety and Profinet/ProfiSafe Technology or be quite simple depending on the application.
Pull Cords are extensively used in mills due to the long conveyance systems in place in most plants. They allow employees to stop movement at any time by pulling on a cord in close proximity to the hazard.
Light Curtains are used in many mills in the packaging area where fixed guarding might be only a partial solution. They feature a series of light beams that, when broken, create a signal to stop the machinery.
These components and our mesh guarding are only a part of effective safety systems and must be properly integrated in accordance with risk assessments to create safe applications.
We’re committed to supporting metal processing facilities and their workers with our safety and other operational solutions. How might machine guarding meet the needs of your facility?