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Visual Alignment Lasers and Safety in Industrial Sawmills

According to OSHA, sawmills are classified as Special Industries that require proactive safety and awareness. This type of sector includes activities related to lumber handling, sawing, trimming, finishing and more (1910.265[a]). To boost safety during operations, businesses may deploy powerful visual alignment lasers. These units are compact and designed to streamline accuracy and prevent the excess removal of wood.

Green and Red Alignment Lasers

The main types of lasers used during sawmill operations are green and red. Optical power may range between 5 mW to 50 mW. Furthermore, low voltage is preferred for additional safety when handling heavy machinery. In order to create a highly accurate line, cutting-edge optics are applied to the laser light. For instance, cylindrical-shaped optics coupled with a fan-like lens can be utilized to generate an intense beam that is faded at the tips.

From a safety perspective, sawmill lasers prevent over handling of parts during cutting. Operators can move components through the saw with confidence in movement from one end of the machine to the other. To promote visibility, the intensity of the laser should be high, so that the beam can be seen during the day and over existing lamps inside the building.

Mounting Matters

Like forklift safety lights, mounting for visual alignment lasers should be prioritized in order to maximize space around the work area. A bar-clamp mount is a common component used to secure lasers on rails and frames of cutting machines. For multiple laser arrays, this setup is also applicable. Padding around the mounts may be utilized to reduce the effects of vibration, which could decrease accuracy of beam placement (if unaddressed).

Another mounting option is the use of a back plate to secure the laser on flat surfaces. This option allows individuals to setup the unit close to the target. For industrial lasers and machine vision lights visit Larson Electronics lighting.

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Non-sparking vs Anti-static Equipment For Industrial Work Sites

For hazardous locations, mitigating sparks and static is a critical part of reducing unwanted ignitions of flammable compounds. To address such issues, industrial equipment manufacturers utilize non-sparking materials, such as plastic, aluminum and wood. While anti-static equipment mostly relies on specific practices to reduce the buildup of charged elements.

What’s the difference between non-sparking and anti-static tools? Find out below!

Non-sparking Materials

Non-sparking materials are commonly applied to explosion proof equipment, such as lights, power distribution stations, fans and etc. Furthermore, facilities that handle flammable substances on a regular basis, such as oil and gas, refineries and chemical processing plants, are known to rely on non-sparking tools for safety.

This type of material may also be used to decrease hazards related to combustible dust, mostly found in Class II, Division 1 & 2 work sites. Powdered milk, flour and cornstarch are examples of volatile dust.

The term “non-sparking” simply refers to materials that do not contain ferrous metals, such as steel and iron. Generally speaking, manufacturers may select non-sparking materials for their products based on strength (in addition to the ability to reduce sparks), as the range between extremely durable, non-sparking materials, such as copper-aluminum alloys, and weak options, such as leather, is very wide.

Anti-static Surfaces and Practices

Anti-static materials are effective against electrostatic-related elements around sensitive electronics. However, in classified work sites, static can ignite flammable compounds in the atmosphere.

In some cases, reducing the risk of static is achieved through the observation of safety guidelines in the workplace. For example, to avoid the creation of static, workers and affected materials should be grounded.

A facility may also use tools made out of specially-engineered plastics to address static build up. Such materials must have low surface resistivity rates, in order to decrease hazardous interactions with nearby surfaces. Additionally, temperature and humidity levels should be managed to support anti-static equipment.

This content is sponsored by Larson Electronics TX manufacturer of non-sparking and anti static lighting.

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Light for Commercial Work Sites- Natural vs Artificial

Light for Commercial Work Sites

Light is vital to sustaining business operations and employee productivity rates in commercial sites. However, not all light sources are equal. At a very basic level, illumination can be implemented over the work area using natural sunlight or artificial lighting systems. OSHA has also set standard for work site lighting.

Improving Moods and Energy Consumption

Natural lighting comes from the sun. This form of illumination can be maximized by installing large windows and sky-lighting systems at the ceiling. For daytime operations, natural sunlight is directly connected to an increase in productivity, mood and motivation. It also contributes to vitamin D, for individuals who are lacking the vitamin.

Drawbacks related to natural lighting includes the generation of heat. Sitting next to a big window with the sun beaming directly at the computer or one’s face can be frustrating, due to heat generated by the beams. Additionally, natural light could also cause unsightly glare and may be difficult to control without the right equipment. It is only possible to direct sunlight to general locations of the facility. For task lighting, it is almost impossible to efficiently “funnel” sunlight beams to a dark part of the office. Furthermore, natural sunlight isn’t always available, as cloudy and nighttime conditions could affect the amount of natural light entering the building.

Task Lighting and Accurate Illumination

Artificial light sources include lamps, permanent lighting systems, handheld lights and more. They are incredibly useful for illumination in rooms without access to natural sunlight, such as laboratories, classified facilities, underground storage centers and projector rooms. In some cases, even with natural sunlight available, artificial lighting is preferred because it can easily be controlled to suit the needs of the facility.

Artificial lighting is also very reliable. As long as power is available and the lighting system is operational, illumination can remain constant. From a cost perspective, natural sunlight is free and artificial lighting comes at a price. This doesn’t usually affect the adoption of artificial lights, as such equipment is considered to be essential to maintaining commercial operations.

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