June 25, 2014
Whirlwind Tool Co., Barnstable, Mass., has announced it has a pending patent on machine tool data logging for monitoring safety features and machine tool usage history.
Machine owners and management can review "black box" operational data, including the use of various guards provided to protect an operator from hazards posed by cutting blades, stamping forces, and crushing operations that can lead to serious operator injury. For large organizations, the tool assists in optimizing machine usage over a period of time, states the company.
The encrypted data may be read locally or remotely through a network connection. In the event of a safety-related incident, the machine can be disabled remotely pending further investigation.
The operating history summary can be displayed at the machine to warn machine operators if basic safe practices are not being followed, and the stored operating history may be periodically reviewed using external equipment to ensure that safe operating practices are followed. In the event of an injury or incident requiring review, the recorded history of the subject machine may be read externally for further analysis by EH&S managers, employers, and insurance carriers with an interest in a form of settlement or litigation.