When people think of metal presses, the first image that enters their mind may be that of a lone worker, throwing large pieces of sheet metal onto a heavy-duty press over and over again, with virtually no safety measures.
Decades ago, this image might have been an accurate representation of metalwork processes.
But modern forming presses are unquestionably safer than their older relatives, with safety measures advancing alongside technology.
Automation removes the human element from forming presses
While forming presses still require a certain level of human involvement, automation allows people to take a step back from some of the processes they used to be involved with in a hands-on way.
Not only has automation resulted in a boost in efficiency, but it’s also made forming presses a much safer tool.
Thanks to computer-automated processes like CNC (Computer Numerical Control), product details can be entered into the machine.
The machine then bends the sheet metal to the preference of the user to create the desired shape, as well as automatically reloading pieces of sheet metal when one sheet is done. With CNC, workers don’t need to constantly change the die when different shapes are required, either.
This is a much safer process because it reduces the amount of time employees need to spend interacting with the machine. The less time a person needs to spend around powerful machinery, the less likely they are to suffer an injury.
Forming presses benefit from modern safety measures
The intelligence of machinery has come a long way over the past couple of decades.
Thanks to advancements in modern safety technology, forming presses and metal presses of all kinds are safer than they’ve ever been.
Features like automatic shut-off, which will instantly shut down the machine should it encounters a mechanical failure, could be a huge difference-maker in stressful situations.
Some modern forming presses that use system analysis technology are even able to detect internal safety issues that wouldn’t be visible to physical operators. For example, if internal parts begin overheating and need to be switched off or changed. This makes the detection and repair of such issues a whole lot easier.
Then there are presence-sensing devices, which will shut off the machine instantly if detects a foreign element within the pressing range while the machine is in motion, human or otherwise.
This is a huge benefit for workers who may accidentally place items within range of the press motion, or place a hand into the press by mistake, avoiding a potential disaster.
It can also be notoriously easy to catch a button or lever, resulting in an involuntary press. At the wrong moment, this could be deadly, which is why high-risk buttons and levers come with covers or additional locking devices, so there’s never an accidental activation.
Plus, in the event of an electrical failure, modern forming presses need to come equipped with options for a manual override, should anything lock into place and need to be moved for safety reasons.
Cambridge Dynamics can help with your forming press needs
If you’d like to find out more about forming presses, or you’re looking to take advantage of metal pressing in your area of work, speak to Cambridge Dynamics.