What’s New In Welding Safety Equipment
Here are some ways to help your shop reduce the risk of injury and health-related overhead costs by making your welding processes safer for your employees.
SAFETY MATS FOR WELDERS
North American Safety Products, Inc. (Frankfort, IL) now offers the Duro-Ortho-Mat, the world’s leading welder-machinist matting. This product is a human resource manager’s solution to many issues. Worker’s compensation claims due to prolonged standing. Pains and strains are reduced significantly. Ergonomically designed, with guaranteed reduction of back, leg, ankle and foot fatigue. The Duro-Ortho-Matis the softest, most comfortable mat on the planet. And its endorsed by the National Floor Safety Institute.
This mat is exactly what most welding and machine shops desire. But these are just two fields in which it’s used. Duro-Ortho-Mat can be applied in many other fields such as automotive manufacturing, assembly lines, maintenance areas, factory and fabrication, steel factories and many more usage areas for the standing workers. Because of the closed cell feature, it eliminates absorption of liquids and fluids like oily and slippery surfaces typically found in shops.
Duro-Ortho-Mat uses an extremely spark retardant, self-extinguishing hard top that has been tested by cutting ¼ in plate steel, 12 in from the mat with a plasma cutter, with no damage to the mat. It is also metal chip resistant. It’s safe to say the Duro-Ortho-Mat works well in all areas of the shop or production plant. Non-allergenic, latex, and silicone free. Extremely user friendly and easy to cleaned with many products. For example, you can clean it with ammonia, bleach, chlorine or acid-based cleaners. It’s also okay to steam clean the mat if so desired.
Duro-Ortho-Mat is made in the U.S. It comes with a warranty of two years. Guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship including premature wear. (Pro rated based on condition of use.) Typical life expectancy of the mats is three to eight years. It comes in many sizes. Quantity and contract discounts are available.
North American Safety Products introduced the Versa-Guard® portable barrier system in 1995 and the Rear-Guard® expanding machine guarding system in 1999. Additionally, the company’s safety solutions includes: light curtains, safety interlock switches, automated guarding, custom safety interfaces and solves machine specific safety requirements with custom made-to-order configurations.
GUARDING SYSTEM FOR ROBOTIC WELDING CELLS
Frommelt Safety Products (Milwaukee, WI) reintroduces its Vertiguard Automated Barrier Panel, adding several upgrades that make it an even better option for industrial facility managers looking to increase safety and productivity in their plants. The Vertiguard is a unique bottom-up pneumatic panel that provides physical separation between machine operators and manufacturing processes. An alternative to light curtains or area scanners, it is ideal for small interaction points with single or double robotic cells, part assembly, and conveyor openings.
The most noticeable difference in the new Vertiguard is its standard size, which has been increased significantly to 110 in wide and 96 in tall (from 72 in wide and 86 in tall). Other upgrades include:
- Improved finger guard using a 40 oz FR vinyl sewn-in loop design to eliminate pinch point
- New brand cylinder and flange mount with center support
- Improved sliding panel design for smoother operation
- More options, including eliminating the toe gap to allow for lower stored panel heights
- Improved interlock switch brackets and additional switch options, including AB and Jakob Safety
- Galvanized steel back panel and cylinder cover
- Availability of 3D modeling for easy insertion into project drawings
- Improved pneumatic hose and fitting quality
- Photo-eye strip option to prevent door movement when obstructions are sensed
The Vertiguard is manufactured under ISO 9001 specifications and comes fully assembled with a one-year warranty. Equipped with optional Cat. 4, PLe, SIL 3 switches and controls (per EN 954.1, EN ISO 13849–1 and EN 62061 specifications), it is an ideal safe-guarding device in robotic welding cells and other applications that require both electronic safe-guarding devices and physical separation.
Frommelt Safety manufactures a complete line of rolling and folding automated guards, perimeter fencing, fabric area protection and air filtration products serving the automotive, metal manufacturing, materials handling, paper/packaging and alternative energy industries.
OXYGEN REGULATORS FOR REGULATOR BURNOUT PROTECTION
The Global Center of Excellence for Gas Apparatus of ESAB Welding & Cutting Products (Florence, SC) offers a range of high-quality oxygen regulators, all featuring a patented design that provides regulator burnout protection. ESAB oxygen regulators incorporate built-in Regulator Burn-Out (RBO) protection, which contains oxygen regulator fires when used properly. This patented design makes these regulators the safest and most accurate regulators on the market today.
A demonstration of patented Gas Regulator Burnout Protection from ESAB.
Oxygen regulator bodies are machined from solid brass bar stock, not made from forgings. The bar stock provides a thick wall that helps contain a burnout and keeps internal body cavities to a minimum. Small cavities limit the amount of gas that can accumulate in the body and contribute to the seriousness of an oxygen fire. This solid design also contributes to the overall durability of the regulator.
Massive baffle plates protect the diaphragm and keep it away from the main gas stream. The neoprene diaphragm is not directly exposed to hot gas or fire that could destroy it. Small bleeder holes in the baffle plate allow the diaphragm to function and respond to demand for greater or lesser amounts of gas supply. This baffle system prevents the fire from reaching the chamber, where the potential for an explosion is the greatest.
Using a relatively small quantity of seat material lowers burnout intensity should one occur. The amount of synthetic material used in the regulators is kept to a minimum to reduce possible fuel that could contribute to a fire.
These regulators also incorporate a fabric-reinforced neoprene diaphragm that combines thinness and high strength. When heavier diaphragms are used, the rubber can shrink in sub-zero temperatures, resulting in leakage between the body and cap. These regulators shrink less, thereby minimizing leaks. Regulator fires can occur when gauges are accidentally used for the wrong types of gas. Such misuse increases the potential for contamination of the regulator. Use of a contaminated regulator with high-pressure oxygen can result in a regulator burnout. As a further safety feature, all of these regulators are color coded and clearly labeled for their correct usage.
ROBOT CONTROLLER ENHANCES SAFETY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The new DX200 robot controller from the Motoman Robotics Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. (Dayton, OH) builds on the robust process capabilities of the current DX100 controller, including: patented multiple robot control technology with coordinated motion between devices (up to eight robots/72 axes), award-winning ergonomic teach pendant, built-in PLC cell control capability, and optimized path and process control capability.
Depending on application and robot size, the DX200 conserves power consumption by as much as 38 percent to 70 percent over previous generation robots/controls. Additionally, a static load reduction function reduces motor torque by ten percent when the robot maintains a static position (patent pending). The DX200 also conserves power during robot idle time by idling motors and fans, providing up to 25 percent energy savings.
An enhanced Functional Safety Unit (FSU) provides control-reliable zone and tool position monitoring, standstill monitoring and speed limiting. This can reduce costs for safeguarding hardware, while providing new capabilities such as collaborative tasks. The FSU can define multiple zones and monitor if the robot is inside or outside the zone. A graphic utility on the robot teach pendant aids in the setup of robot, tool and work zones. User-defined zones are displayed on the visual read out and are colored by work zone and type. The DX200 controller is compliant to ANSI/RIA R15.06–2012 and other relevant safety standards.
The DX200 has reduced cabling connections and improved layout to reduce the Mean Time to Repair (MTTR). Alarm troubleshooting information on the pendant, monitoring of motor torque to predict reducer wear and alerts when major power components reach designed life are some of the enhanced maintenance features. Its extensive I/O suite includes integral PLC and HMI pendant displays, built-in ladder logic processing, 4,096 I/O and a graphical ladder editor that can provide an efficient system level control.
The DX200 supports all major fieldbus networks and offers easy connection to an information infrastructure through standard network options for Ethernet/IP, DeviceNet, Profibus-DP and many others. A high-speed Ethernet server and MotoPlus™ developer tools allow partners to produce higher level connectivity (HMIs from Proface) or new capabilities (Robotiq Kinetiq Teaching™) with Motoman® robots.
Motoman Robotics Division of Yaskawa America, Inc., 100 Automation Way, Miamisburg, OH 45342, 937−847−6200, www.motoman.com.
AUTO-DARKENING WELDING HELMET DRIVES DOWN COST OF OWNERSHIP
The new, lightweight VIKING™ 1740 Series Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet from The Lincoln Electric Company (Cleveland, OH) offers a variety of features designed to reduce the cost of ownership while providing solid protection from a basic helmet. Weighing in at a mere 18.6 oz, this entry-level helmet series features solar power with battery assist, eliminating the need for an on/off switch. A continuously variable internal 9–13 shade control offers sensitivity adjustment for different welding environments and features adjustable delay time from a dark to a light setting.
An overview of the newest features found in the entire VIKING helmet line.
Also, new Roll Cage™ Welding and Rigging Gloves from Lincoln Electric deliver complete hand protection for both welding and rigging, which eliminates the need for two separate pairs of gloves for each task. Rugged, dual-purpose Roll Cage Welding and Rigging Gloves are ideal not only for welding and rigging, but also for cutting and grinding.
The finger-structure design enhances grip and durability. The gloves offer numerous safety features, including an overlaying layer that reinforces high-wear areas of the palm; inside lining that helps protect against cuts; and a longer-length cuff that guards wrists and forearms against heat and sparks. Fire-resistant Velcro® wrist guards secure the gloves while allowing for quick removal.
The company also offers its new Premium Welding Gear Ready-Pak® that is loaded with top-grade personal protection equipment for welding and other fabrication tasks. Everything a professional level fabricator needs to get started comes stowed in an industrial grade duffle bag, ensuring that all of the necessary gear is close at hand on the job.
The new Premium Welding Gear Ready-Pak® is sold in sized packages, ranging from Medium to 2XL. Each Ready-Pak includes:
- VIKING™ 3350 Series variable shade 6–13 black helmet
- Shadow™ split leather sleeved jacket
- Premium leather MIG/Stick welding gloves
- Full leather SteelWorker® gloves
- Finish Line™ clear safety glasses
- Split leather flame resistant welding sleeves
- Flame resistant doo-rag
- Industrial duffle bag
The industrial duffle bag can be purchased separately. Lincoln Electric also offers the Traditional Welding Gear Ready-Pak, containing a variety of other Lincoln Electric personal protection gear intended more for the student or occasional welder.
The Lincoln Electric Company, 22801 Saint Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44117–1199, 888−355−3213, Fax: 216−383−2699, www.lincolnelectric.com.
THE NEW CAT IN TOWN
The IRONCAT® heavy duty grain goatskin glove with Kevlar® liner (#86552) from West Chester Protective Gear (Monroe, OH) is a natural-fitting glove built for protection and performance that has a reinforced palm and fingertips for increased protection, flexible form-fitting stretch spandex back, and an adjustable hook and loop wrist for the perfect fit and feel.
Developed by welders for welders, this demonstration shows how IRONCAT® is designed for the unique heat shielding, dexterity and protection demands of Stick, MIG and TIG welding applications.
These gloves are also ideal for material handling, carpentry, landscaping, ranching and equipment operation. Also a great welder’s helper! Available in sizes M-2XL.
West Chester Protective Gear, 100 Corridor Drive, Monroe, OH 45050, 800−647−1900, www.westchestergear.com.