How to increase the safety of slitter machines?

Many soft paper packaging manufacturing companies use slitter machines. At the same time, a priority of these companies, implemented through the maintenance and continuous improvement of the internal OHS Management System, is the protection of workers' lives and health. Despite the use of various safeguards, ensuring a high degree of protection for people working in the vicinity of slitter machines is difficult, but not impossible.

What is a slitter machine?

Slitter machines are machines that cut ribbons of paper or film into narrower ribbons according to the specifications of a particular finished product. The machine has a set of rollers that wind the cut ribbons onto cores, creating what is known as slitters. A characteristic feature of slitter machines is primarily the high speed of the winding and cutting elements.

Job description – hazard identification

Machine placement in the production hall and small maneuvering spaces between machines expose employees to contact with dangerous elements. Unfortunately, this can lead to accidents. Moreover, one of the main hazards identified within the workstations of the production hall is the drawing or entrapment of a person by the rotating elements of the slitting machine. In addition, the need to control the entire production process at workstations requires employees to operate in the vicinity of dangerous zones where the contact with rotating rollers may occur.

It also happens that the rotating rollers may not be properly safeguarded. The lack of a special cover or its improper installation and positioning makes it loose its protective function. As a result, access to the machine’s rotating parts is open, which may lead to accidents. The slitting machine, being a machine that is difficult to safeguard, can be a threat to people working in its vicinity despite the application of good OHS practices.

In direct contact with a slitting machine, an employee may not only be injured, but also die

In order to increase the level of safety, it is extremely important to use appropriate preventive measures. If the covers used on machines are unreliable and their effectiveness depends on human actions and decisions, how can the employees operating these machines be allowed to work safely?

One of the solutions is the installation and use of the Thermosafety safety system

Its most important feature, which also makes it impossible to cheat, is the lack of possibility to interfere with its operation in the designated area (a zone defined as dangerous). As a consequence, the human factor is kept to a minimum.

Thermosafety safety system constantly monitors whether there is a person in the working area of the machine/station. Thanks to modality fusion, it easily classifies objects as human/not human. The system allows defining different workspaces where it can:

  • activate warning systems/alarms,
  • slow down the machine
  • or stop the machine/station completely.

Thermosafety allows defining up to 3 danger zones. Any of the above reactions can be set for each of them to signal that a human entered the zone.

Exemplary application with a slitting machine

When an employee crosses the line of zone 1, the system reduces the rotation speed of the slitting machine’s rollers. When an employee is in zone 2, at a distance of less than 50 cm from the machine, the system completely turns off the machine.

It is worth emphasizing that defining danger zones at a given workstation can reduce the number of unnecessary stops and restarts of machines, and operator interventions. This will contribute to increasing the efficiency of production on a given manufacturing line.

Additional functions of Thermosafety

Thermosafety safety system prevents the machine/workstation from operating if there is a person in the danger zone. This eliminates the risk of an accident when one worker starts a machine while another is in the danger zone. This situation most often occurs during machine service: when one of the employees completes the service work and the other resets the alarm. Fortunately, Thermosafety can prevent accidents even in this case.

In addition, the system offers the possibility of recording events – both in the form of logs and in the form of video material. Thanks to this, in the event of a dangerous situation, the reasons for its occurrence can be easily explained.

If you want to know more, feel free to contact us.

Warning and monitoring of traffic in hazardous areas

THERMOSAFETY LITE is a camera system designed to detect people as well as forklifts. It is a solution whose main application is  monitoring intersections with limited visibility, where pedestrians and forklifts often cross their paths.

The device consists of a stereovision camera and an AI system that analyzes the observed image and 3D space. When a human is detected, the device displays selected warning signals.

The device offers a unique networking capability, improving the range and accuracy of human detection – the functionality of the device can be expanded by connecting it to the THERMOSAFETY HUB.

Examples of TS LITE applications

CROSSINGS AND INTERSECTIONS "AROUND THE BEND"

Carts and other industrial vehicles pose the greatest danger when they appear suddenly. THERMOSAFETY LITE will monitor hidden areas and send warnings when a vehicle and worker are in the path of a collision.

SMALL COMMON AREAS

THERMOSAFETY LITE can monitor areas where forklifts and pedestrians often move in the same area. A warning signal that lights up when pedestrians and forklifts are in the same area can prevent unpleasant situations.

WYJŚCIA NA ŚCIEŻKĘ

Exits from the corridors directly onto the path are troublesome to secure. With THERMOSAFETY LITE, we can inform the approaching cart already in the corridor. Likewise, we will warn the cart driver of an approaching employee before the employee opens the door!

The THERMOSAFETY HUB allows for the construction of a network of THERMOSAFETY LITE devices. The High-Performance Server supports up to 8 stereovision cameras and is equipped with a PLC to control the devices.

High performance allows you to expand functionality! Using the power of the THERMOSAFETY HUB server allows you to combine observed areas, delineate warning zones, and history and analyze events. All with increased precision and detection performance.

Examples of TS HUB applications

LARGE UNLOADING ZONES

Large plazas with increased cart traffic are areas where drivers should be extra careful. Such areas can be monitored using several THERMOSAFETY LITE devices and when people are detected, drivers can be informed of their presence.

COMPLEX INTERSECTIONS

Using THERMOSAFETY HUB with several THERMOSAFETY LITE cameras, we can monitor several, different sections of the same intersection. Recognition of approaching people or oncoming carts will allow effective traffic management at this location.

CLOSED PRODUCTION AREAS

Some production areas are protected from the entry of workers. Their presence is allowed only at certain times. By combining THERMOSAFETS LITE, we can observe large production lines and alert people to entry at specific times.

Online system for event analytics

With selected THERMOSAFETY systems you will analyze the detailed history of events!