Injuries in the workplace are really costly for small businesses. They are bad for employee morale, lead to an increase in both litigation and work injury compensation costs, and can hurt the business’ ability to attract talent. Therefore, it is imperative for any company that is in the manufacturing industry to take steps to reduce the incidences of injuries in their workplace.
As it turns out, if your company employs the injection molding technique in its manufacturing process, you can easily prevent injuries by deploying injection molding robots. Here are the main injuries that you can reduce by simply taking advantage of automation.
Injuries resulting from trips and slips
Slipping and tripping is common in molding companies that mainly use manual labor to transport plastic pellets to the molding machine. Since the transportation is done by use of rail cars, trucks, boxes, or bags, these pellets can slip out of their containers. These pellets lying on the floor creates a safety hazard as employees can easily trip and slip on these pellets. This can cause injury.
Automation takes out the risk of plastic pellet spills. This is because robots are incredibly precise. They don’t make mistakes and hence the chances of them spilling the pellets are minimal. Furthermore, if a significant portion of the loading process is automated, employees won’t have to go into the loading area, and this will eliminate the risk of tripping or slipping in circumstances where pellets are lying on the floor.
Injuries resulting from falls
If your employees have to manually attend to loaders, they run the risk of falling. Normally, one usually needs a high ladder in order to properly tend to these machines. This is inherently dangerous, and if an accident occurs, the results can be catastrophic. Instead of exposing your employees to this risk, you can allow robots to handle this task. Doing so will make your workplace safer and thus attractive to prospective employees.
The injection molding process involves heating plastic to temperatures higher than 400F. At this temperature, the molten plastic is dangerous enough to cause extreme harm to employees. Any splash, slip, any accident, or any defect in the machinery being used could, therefore, leave employees with serious deformities. In some cases, it can even lead to fatalities.
To avoid the devastating effects of employees ending up with hot plastic getting splashed on them, you should let robots handle a significant portion of the molding process. You should program them to pour the melted plastic, purge the machines, and handle any loading tasks that are inherently dangerous. Doing this will not only reduce the risks of injury but also free up employees so that they can do other meaningful tasks that are not as risky.
When feeding plastic pellets through a feed throat, the pellets can get stuck in the feed trough. To get things moving again, an employee might have to clean the feed throat. This means stopping production, cleaning it, and then restarting the machine again. It can be a timeconsuming process, and not necessarily the most economical way to get things back up and running. Typically, operators tend to flout safety rules by simply sticking their fingers into the throat and then attempting to push the plastic through. This has led to cases where fingers of operators get trapped by the moving screws, something that causes dismemberment.
Robotic systems like cobots are versatile and flexible enough to handle all the tasks that entail the loading and maintenance of molding machinery. Therefore, you should be able to automate these processes. It is something that will go a long way towards making your company safer for your employees.
It is important to note that automation offers more than improved safety for employees. With most injection molding operations, automation increases efficiency guarantees consistency in quality and boosts the productivity of employees. Considering how affordable robotic technology is, automation something that every company should pursue if they want to survive in the modern manufacturing environment.