What are Machine Guards Made Of?
7th September 2018 | Articles
Steady there fella! Before we answer that we should probably start off with what is a machine guard?
There are four basic types of machine guards:
- Fixed guards
- Interlocked guards
- Adjustable guards
- Self-adjusting guards
Fixed guards are probably the most common and are attached permanently to equipment. On the other hand interlocked guards are designed to be removed or opened to allow access to the hazard zone or to insert / remove material from the point of operation. Once the guard is opened the machine shuts down automatically, effectively eliminating any hazard.
Adjustable guards allow a machine to handle a variety of material sizes whilst still protecting the unused portion of the blade or point of operation. These guards must be adjusted manually and an example of an adjustable guard is one that covers the point of operation on a band saw.
Self-adjusting guards are pushed away from the point of operation when material is fed into the machine but they only open enough to allow the material into the cutting zone, thus keeping the remainder of the blade covered.
As to what machine guards are made of they come in many forms including sheet steel, plastic or wood (yes wood! As in the case of those machine guards used in the chemical or wood manufacturing industries, or in operations that involve chemicals that might corrode metal). Stainless steel, of course, would be the preference for many clients in the food industry.
Here at JC the machine guards we normally produce are the ones that cover the entire machine and are water tight to prevent coolant leakage (enclosures in other words). We also manufacture side access panels which are added to enable swarf removal and maintenance, and sliding doors for the removal of both material and fixtures.
Quite often we powder coat our machine guards too in order to give them a durable hard wearing finish and can add in windows to enable operator viewing whilst machining parts. Our machine guards are supplied either in kit form or as an assembly and we can also manufacture and provide extra parts such as shipping brackets, head covers and tool changers which are all produced in-house and can be machine specific.
… and don’t think that machine guards are always small! We regularly manufacture machine guards for machines 5m wide x 4m deep x 4m tall plus! Gives you an idea of the size of what we can produce, doesn’t it?!
As always if there’s something you have in mind do get in touch! We’re always happy to have a conversation and the kettle is usually on too!