Sometimes accidents in the workplace can occur, damaging machinery, infrastructure, products or even people. However, the majority of accidents are caused by a failure in the execution of safety protocols, either by lack of maintenance of lifting devices, by making those devices work beyond their capacities or because there is a bad calculation of external variables that affect the working capacity of the machinery.
The lifting electromagnets are one of the most versatile and useful devices in any environment and company that works with metallic elements or subproducts and therefore it is a device in which we have a lot of experience in adapting it to different environments.
In Airpes we work under the most advanced controls and methods of calculation of efforts in the design of all our lifting electromagnets. In this article we are going to describe some guidelines so that a lifting magnet always works at maximum performance without being a risk for anyone.
Active and passive safety in lifting magnets
As in the case of vehicles, there are two types of safety measures for electromagnets, lifting magnets and any type of lifting device:
- Active safety
- Passive safety.
To avoid accidents and damage in Airpes we pay attention to these two types of safety levels that must be taken into account when designing each and every one of our electromagnets and lifting magnets.
But what is the difference between active safety and passive safety?
Active safety in lifting magnets
The rules and elements of active safety are all those devices, sensors and standards of use of the lifting magnet that avoid an accident to occur. In another words: what must be done to avoid an accident with a lifting electromagnet. Some examples of active safety regulations are the following ones.
The operator of the electromagnet must always be an authorized and qualified worker for operating this type of machinery. Never authorize anyone without the necessary knowledge to operate a lifting electromagnet.
Never use the lifting electromagnet without first inspecting it visually and making sure that all elements of the device are in good condition.
Respect load limits
The loads to be lifted must be within the ratio limits marked by the rule of theoretical maximum load/actual load. Normally this limit is quite conservative and although we can change it from one electromagnet to another the most common ratio we mark for most electromagnets is 3:1. For example, if the theoretical limit of the electromagnet is 6 tons, never attempt to lift more than 2 tons of material.
Pay attention to the temperature under the lifting magnet is operated. The most common safety limit is 70ºC or 150ºF. This is due to the fact that when the temperature increases the ferric materials lose electromagnetic capacities. If you are going to work at high temperatures Airpes will incorporate these data in the calculation of stress efforts during the design or will look for other lifting systems that do not work with magnetization.
Avoid vibrations during operations.
The load must be balanced before it can be lifted.
The lifting magnet will incorporate sound to warn that it is operating and in some cases (plants with an intense noise) also lights.
All our electromagnets incorporate batteries to prevent the load from being released in the event of a power loss or power failure.
Make sure that the surfaces of the elements to be lifted are clean and have no coatings (paint, varnish…) thicker than what is recommended by Airpes.
Airpes electromagnets can be fitted with support sensors, i.e. they can detect if the load is already on the ground before allowing it to be released.
The movements of the crane must be smooth. The crane holding the electromagnet should not be accelerated or decelerated abruptly.
Make sure the equipment is serviced according to the Airpes inspection schedule.
Passive safety in lifting magnets
Passive safety standards and elements are all those devices, sensors and rules that prevent serious personal injury or material damage to workers or the company in the event of an accident. Some examples of passive safety rules that minimize damage in the event of an accident are the following ones.
The electromagnet should not travel above areas where there are elements or goods of the company susceptible to be damaged such as other machinery, vehicles, etc.
Under any circumstance should anyone be in the operating area when the electromagnet is working.
People with metal body implants and/or heart pacemarker should not get close to the electromagnet and its working area at any time and under any circumstance.
- In this video you can see a electromagnet working in a real environment
This electromagnet is controlled but an operator inside the crane’s cabin
There are two types of electromagnets in this video. One is on a fixed beam and the other on an extensible beam