Rod lock cylinders are a cost-effective way to promote worker and machine safety in pneumatic holding and clamping applications.
The machining and construction industries are some of the most in the world.
The precarious match-up of humans and machines these industries require continuously ranks them in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' the top ten list on its National Consensus of Fatal Occupational Injuries.
That is a grim reminder of both the dangerous nature of the work and the need to rethink the tooling and safety strategies we use to keep these workers productive and safe.
Clint Trenor, product sales manager for Parker Hannifin, has a few ideas on how we can do this.
In a recent article on American Machinist, he suggested one cost-effective approach: rod lock cylinders
"These are piston-operated clamps that hold a load in position during emergency-stop (E-Stop) conditions or when an air supply might be accidentally disconnected from a system," he wrote. "In an E-Stop condition, all outputs go dead, and the spring-activated rod lock becomes one of the few functioning components on the machine."
Clamping functions, he said, are used in machine fixture and conveyor pallet applications. Rod lock cylinders serve as a toggle clamp mechanism in automated assembly lines. In one case, a conveyed pallet is automatically shuttled to each station along an assembly line. Once in position at each station, the cylinder actuates a toggle mechanism to clamp the pallet. Then, air pressure is removed from the cylinder and the rod lock. The pallet fixture is held in place by the rod lock for the machining operation.
"Comprehensive safety equipment components must be integrated into overall systems across the board in manufacturing processes to maintain uninterrupted equipment functionality, avoid failure and resulting downtime, and to ensure continued productivity, quality and safety of the workforce," he wrote." Rod lock cylinders can be a cost-effective solution where pneumatics are concerned."
More on the machinist safety on American Machinist.
American Machinist is an NED companion site within Penton’s Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.