SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC IMPROVES ERGONOMICS WITH THE GOAL OF IMPROVING EFFICIENCY IN PRODUCTION
Did you know that Schneider Electric was the first company to receive both the Robert W. Campbell Award and the Green Cross for safety medal? Well, now you know. You should also know that this recognition was well deserved. Just the same way it does not compromise on the quality of their products, Schneider does not compromise on the safety of its employees. It puts safety at the heart of its operations and they go great lengths to walk the talk. Schneider has worked with Ergonomics Plus since 1995 to ensure that safety is maintained in all its facilities.
The adjustable assembly tables
On realizing that the physical burden on employees in the server rack and large steel computer patch cabinet production line was a lot, Schneider Electric recently opted to install adjustable and tiltable assemble tables. The tables were dubbed the project N111. To further reduce physical burden on employees, timers were built into the tables to limit the number of times that tilting of the tables can be performed over a certain period of time. This entire design regulates the employee’s pace of work further reducing the physical burden and consequently improving the quality of production. The tables are adjusted and tilted by LA36 actuators from LINAK Actuator systems. These actuators are PLC controlled.
The tables also come with numerous safety measures built into it. They are able to detect the type of server rack being worked on, if the retention clips are inconsistent with the type of server rack being worked on, then the tilt function stops. This was, it is able to prevent accidents. The actuator controls are located more than an arm’s length from the assembly table. This is because the actuators have a lot of force and hence need to be handled in a deliberate manner. To further enhance safety, the tilt action can only be activated using two hands.
Besides safety, there are a couple other options offered by the tales.
- Work height setting
- Countdown until the next tilt and counter reset
- Readout, model to be assembled
- Representation tilt height
- Representation Emergency stop
- Fault diagnosis
LINAK Actuator systems (LA36) are compatible with the PLC control systems making it easy to implement the system. Moreover, the actuators can be controlled in parallel since they provide the required power, this is mostly so when it comes to height adjustment and tilt features. According toGeerteKrikke of Rikke De Wit TechnischeTiloplossingen, the system is compact, simple to control using PLC and its price is a little lower compared to other solutions.
More efficiency, more quality
Since Schneider installed the N111 in the production lines, workers have benefited from the correct working heights and speeds. The quality of work has also gone up substantially. The Helmond plant now prides itself on harboring a safe automated environment that combines safety and efficiency.