What are the risk factors when operating a winding machine? The Finish family-owned company Reka Kaapeli Oy was assisted by SICK when answering this question. At the end of the assessment, they decided to equip their machine with state-of-the-art protective devices and in doing so also boost its productivity.
Risk assessment for a winding machine in cable production
Reka Kaapeli Oy is a Finish family-owned company with a history dating back to the 19th Century. The company is the largest Finnish-owned cable manufacturer. Its product range extends from installation and instrumentation cables right through to medium and high voltage lines.
Safety and responsibility
Reka Kaapeli is conscious of its corporate responsibility in many areas. A certified quality management system as well as in-house testing equipment and a testing laboratory provide the foundation for meeting the highest possible quality requirements. A certified occupational health and safety management system ensures a safe workplace. And a further component is also the regular conduct of risk assessments in all production plants and departments of the company.
“Safety is a fundamental requirement for us and always one of the first topics discussed in our morning meetings, with the ongoing development and improvement of all safety initiatives firmly on the agenda. Hazardous situation reports are an established practice whenever risks arise. An important element of our safety measures is to discuss, examine, and identify possible risk factors,” according to the company.
Safety assessment of the winding machine by SICK
Safety training and assessments for machines are part of the advisory services provided by SICK. The data collected by an external service provider supplement the information obtained by the customer in an internal audit. The SICK experts offer their assistance not only with their comprehensive experience but also up-to-date technical knowledge of the available safety devices and technologies.
Consulting and design
The process at Reka Kaapeli was initiated by PJ Control Oy, a sales partner and supplier of technical solutions. PJC implements a variety of automation projects, including sourcing the associated components, on behalf of Reka Kaapeli. SICK is the primary partner of PJC in the core area of safety.
In the spring of last year, we conducted a half-day information session for Reka Kaapeli on the topic of ‘Safety’,” says Ville Kolehmainen, Head of Sales at PJ Control Oy, and adds: “We evaluated the most critical areas of production with regards to safety and then suggested a safety assessment by SICK.”
“That is why we then commissioned a safety assessment for our machines by SICK,” says Teemu Koskelin, a specialized technician at Reka Kaapeli. “The investigation was needs-oriented and the specialist from SICK understood exactly how our machines work and the risks associated with their operation. These risks, to which the operator may be exposed when operating the machines, were predominantly crushing, entanglement and cutting risks from moving parts. We received from SICK a very informative report, a comprehensive analysis, and recommendations for the necessary additional safety devices. The clear SCRAM matrix in SICK’s report uniquely identifies the various safety-related sub-factors, for example the probability of occurrence of a hazardous event, the severity of the potential damage resulting from the hazard as well as the level of hazard exposure.”
Increased safety and productivity in cable production
“Our winding machine is employed in a five-shift operation because the majority of our deliveries pass through the winding process,” says Koskelin. “The safety guards that used to be present were not particularly functional and made it harder to use the equipment. The safety devices with the new technology make it easier to move around in the vicinity of the machine, simplify the loading and unloading processes, and increase the speed of the overall production facility. A winding operation normally takes 10-30 minutes, with 20-30 spools being wound per shift. There are therefore a lot of changeovers, and it is essential for productivity that these run smoothly. Thanks to the new technology, the equipment is a lot safer now than before while also achieving a significantly higher productivity. The total costs for this investment in the safety of the machine came to a five-figure amount but were amortized, however, within just a few months.”