20 years of progress for handling in industrial workshops

At the end of the 20th century, the industry accelerated its search for solutions in workshops. Concerned by the high accident rate linked to handling operations, it is trying to reduce security risks. The work of ergonomists and regulatory developments have greatly contributed to changing practices. Areas of improvement identified in terms of safety and arduous work have made it possible to improve working conditions. In particular concerning the reduction in the maximum loads that an operator can carry.

Some equipments have gradually been removed from production areas, such as the forklift. The risks of accidents associated with its use are high, especially when the user has not completed prior training (CACES).

Control security risks in workshops

New equipment, such as mini stackers and motorized drawbars, have appeared in the workshops. Facilitating safe lifting and handling of loads. Philippe Grégoire, project service manager at Actiwork, describes the virtuous circle that links safety, ergonomics and productivity. He cites as an example the evolution at that time of 4-wheel trolleys. They were equipped with a fifth suspended wheel or central brake. Providing more safety, better handling and saving time. Since then, the development of an ever more extensive, ergonomic and accessorized range of handling equipment has intensified. Responding to the growing desire of manufacturers to secure and optimize their workshops.

Significant technical developments

Taking into account the safety and comfort of operators has accelerated the arrival of new ergonomic solutions in workshops. Among these solutions are stackers for drums and coils. They are equipped with gripping, turning or tilting accessories which considerably limit handling efforts and time. Philippe Grégoire explains that some stackers integrate single-hand vacuum handling functions (which can be operated with one hand). A solution particularly suitable for small loads. The drawbars are also very successful. They perfectly meet the need to pull and push loads safely in workshops. More generally, design has evolved a lot. Thanks to lighter materials, better handling, increased modularity and mobility.

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The experience accumulated in different industrial sectors and the wide range of handling equipment offer stimulates a dynamic to create ever more ergonomic equipment. ACTIWORK cultivates this technical and practical discernment. These are necessary for the development of “cross technologies”. Putting a Customer problem into perspective. An existing solution in another field of application for another manufacturer often allows significant gains for the user. For example, industrial services at constant level. They were strongly inspired by the tray recovery trolleys exiting in collective restorations. Torque reaction arms (for screwdrivers) used as a self-balancing support for threading stations in fine leather goods.

The user at the heart

Today, operators are highly aware of the risks associated with handling loads and repetitive tasks. They are the subject of numerous recommendations: postures, use of equipment, PPE (personal protective equipment), etc. Concerned about their well-being, they are consulted and involved in improving the quality of life in the workshops. The positions and movements are now analyzed. By making the solutions correspond to concrete needs. Thus improving working conditions and productivity.

And Philippe Grégoire, to recall that this is where ACTIWORK’s primary concern lies. The acronym name stands for Improving Working Conditions in Industry.