In today’s tech savvy world we hear alot of talk about AI and Robotics. Everything is done faster, more efficiently for maximum output and cost savings, but to what end? What price is put on safety, job security, integrity, and happiness? When dealing with material handling, machine safety is and always should be the top concern. Yes, fast efficient applications are the priority, with safety always in mind. It’s easy to be lured by the shiny new toy that is the hot item. 3D printers, water jets, lasers, and pre-programed conveyor lines are all exciting, but don’t forget the KISS method when developing new processes and applications. Keep It Simple and Safe!
Many times I have suggested to clients that want robotic articulating arms to handle products, to take a look at the simple LOW COST solution first. A simple Gantry Crane with a spreader bar attachment on the hoist will handle many different size products. Lift and Tilt tables save many hours of bending over, which in turn saves lost time and medical bills for your worker. Recently a client was in need of a spark resistant, explosion proof barrel dumper. They received numerous high-priced quotes for machines with enclosed motor casings or air powered solutions and graphite-built machines. I suggested an epoxy painted, manually operated barrel dumper with a bronze hand crank. This would attach right to their forklift that is already rated for this environment and the cost was a quarter of the alternatives.
New gadgets are fun, but please don’t try to reinvent the wheel, when a wheel is all you need. KISS!