Just as we have addressed safety in our VektorFlo® catalog, we will address that issue here. Safety starts in the planning stages, and should remain a focus during daily use. Thinking and working safely will allow you to benefit from using pneumatic clamping in many applications. If safety is forgotten, workers can be injured and expensive equipment damaged.
Like other mechanical devices, the use of pneumatic clamping is subject to certain hazards that cannot be precluded by mechanical means, but only by the exercise of intelligence, care and common sense. It is essential that personnel working with this equipment be careful, competent, trained and qualified in the safe operation of the pneumatic clamping. Some examples of hazards include, but are not limited to: inadequate clamping capacity; unprotected pinch points; hoses, tubing and fittings not rated for system working pressures; improper installation and maintenance; and inadequate system monitoring.
These clamps, like any other clamp, have pinch points. Secondary pinch points also exist in some devices, such as swing clamps, because of their rotation. If any of these conditions exist, personal injury may result from crushing action, flying projectiles and burst plumbing. These same actions may also result in destruction of property.
Plan with safety in mind
No matter what your application, start by providing good lighting, ample workspace and easy access for inspection and maintenance of your clamping equipment. When planning the position of valves, safety guards and controls, keep the operator’s safety in mind. Make sure that all components being used are rated for the highest working pressures the system will encounter. Check compatibility of all components and their ability to perform their functions.
Assemble and install equipment with care
Always use caution where high-pressure air leaks could happen, as high-pressure can cut. Improperly secured components can become projectiles and careless installation of your pneumatic system can create built-in hazards.
Route tubing where it won’t be exposed to damage. Make sure connections are properly made and tight, with threads fully engaged on mountings. Be sure your stops are able to withstand the clamping forces that may develop. Test the system before production starts.
Keep your operators thinking
With your system on line and in production, set-up and enforce work rules that help avoid human injury and damage to equipment. Be sure every operator knows his equipment and develops good work habits. An operator should always make sure valves are in the correct position before starting the system. Keep hands clear during operations. Use judgment when positioning the work piece; make sure it is properly positioned when clamping forces are applied. Watch for kinks in tubing. Make sure system pressures remain within your boundaries. Swing clamps must be able to rotate freely through 90 degrees into position before force is applied.
Caution: Keep clear of swing clamp pinch points. All setups should be carefully planned and checked.
Follow good maintenance practices
A clean and well cared for workplace is a safer workplace; inspect daily for damaged tubing, fittings and leaks. Repair or replace components that show signs of wear or damage. Minor problems become major when they are not addressed.
Designed and built for durability, performance and safety, your VektorAir™ components last long when properly selected, installed and maintained.
As an integral part of system design, care must be taken to select the proper devices and accessories to work well with your operations and personnel. Sufficient safety measures must be taken to avoid the risk of personal injury and property damage from your application or system. Vektek, Inc. cannot be responsible for injury or damage caused by unsafe use, maintenance or application of its products.
Please contact the Vektek office including specifics for guidance when you are in doubt as to proper safety precautions regarding design, installation or operation in your particular application.
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