If you’re running a manufacturing business, then you’re very likely to be relying on CNC machines, automated machines that are running on a series of commands generated or pre-programmed into a computer. While these can make the workplace safer by reducing the need for human intervention, you still need to ensure that you’re aware of the risks they can represent, and what you can do to mitigate those risks.
Automation doesn’t mean they can be left alone
Despite the benefits of reducing human labor in the manufacturing process that they bring, you shouldn’t be leaving your CNC machines alone. While the chance for failure might be slight, it’s still there. Humans need to interact with CNC machines at some point, and failing to spot any issues with it could lead to more damage to the machine or even injury to your worker. As such, you should make sure that you have every CNC machine under regular surveillance by someone who is trained to be aware of their regular faults, including improper tools, programming errors, and chatter/vibration.
Ensure training for any who use them
While CNC machines are designed to do the majority of their work without the need for much input from humans, they still require someone to be there and you should make sure that only those trained with the necessary experience and knowledge are allowed to interact with them. You can invest in CNC training for your team to make sure that they bring the understanding of necessary safety precautions with them.
Keep the area around them as safe as possible
The area around a CNC machine should be kept clear, and workers should understand that they are not to cross any barriers to interact with them while they are still turned on. Aside from ensuring that workers are trained to not try to fix jams or incorrect positions, you should make sure to install machine guards for all of your CNC machines and to keep their doors closed for as long as they are operational.
Invest in proper maintenance and replacements
While the components of CNC machines can be expensive, you should never opt to save money by choosing cheaper parts for replacements or to try and repair it yourself without the right training. Make sure that you’re putting the proper investment into CNC machine repair and buying the quality replacements that the manual recommends for you. Otherwise, you’re only more prone to see machine failure in the future, which can be dangerous as well as costly.
Take care of your workers
The rate of accidents and injuries becomes much greater when the operators of the machines in question are tired or uncomfortable. Aim for scheduling that allows for regular breaks and ergonomic workplace design to ensure that your workers can stay comfortable and are a lot less likely to feel the physical stress that can make them more prone to feeling mistakes. In manufacturing, ergonomics tends to mean ensuring that they don’t have to twist or reach too often within their workspace.
CNC machines can bring a lot of cost-cutting benefits to your manufacturing operations, but you have to treat them with the seriousness they demand. Hopefully, the tips above show that.