As a manufacturer, you’re always looking for ways to increase productivity and reduce turnaround time while keeping working conditions safe and comfortable for your workforce.
Just because a tool might feel lightweight, it doesn’t mean that constantly lifting it and making repeated motions each day won’t impact you or your operators’ health over time. Repeated movements have negative impacts on your ligaments, blood vessels, muscles and more. No matter how strong you or your operators are.
The solution to this problem doesn’t need to involve limiting hours or providing lighter tools. The answer could be as simple as providing your operators with something to assist them with lifting the device. That’s where a tool balancer comes in. Utilizing a tool balancer at your workstations will help your operators carry the tool’s weight, so they don’t have to.
1. Tool balancers improve safety
Tool balancers improve the safety on your assembly line by eliminating exposure to your operators’ awkward postures, heavy lifting and repetitive motions. That will reduce any potential injury, fatigue, and compensation claims for your company in the long run.
2. Improving ergonomics is an essential science in the workplace
Tool balancers allow you to provide your workers with accommodations that help them do their jobs better, more comfortable, and without the fear of lifelong chronic injury. Ergonomics is one of the top concerns for those working in a manufacturing assembly line because their jobs usually include performing repetitive motions every single day. Without help or added support, your employees will increase their likelihood of injury over time. These injuries are entirely preventable with the use of a tool balancer.
3. The use of a tool balancer prolongs the life of all your tools
Because your tools will be attached to the tool balancer, this means they will not be dropped accidentally or suffer impact in any other way. In addition to the longevity of the tool, the tool cables will also be protected from damage. And since your equipment will be attached to the tool balancer, there is less risk of misplacing them.
4. Greater productivity
Tool balancers will help your operators reduce fatigue, which allows them to be increasingly productive without hindrances. Without the risk of suffering from muscle fatigue, they can work without worry. When your workers are at the top of their health, they work quicker, smarter, and harder than tired workers. Healthy workers mean that you will have a happy work environment and efficiency in all areas.
Which type of tool balancer is right for your operation?
There are two categories of tool balancers available. Not all tools are the same, so if you want to improve ergonomics on your assembly line effectively, it’s a good idea to know which type of tool balancer you need for different kinds of tools.
Retractor Style Tool Balancers
Retractor style tool balancers are the most basic type of tool balancers available and are often the most common option that many assembly productions choose. With this type of balancer, your tool will hang below the head of the balancer at rest.
When your operator wants to use the tool, they will need to pull it down to unwind the cable inside. The cable attached to the device is under constant tension from the internal coil spring located within the retractor. Once the operator lets go of the tool, it will then spring back on its own lifting the device back to its resting position.
These types of tool balancers are widely used because they can be the most cost-effective option. But keep in mind that they only hold a limited amount of weight; most can only hold about 10 pounds.
Another factor to consider is that the tension built up in retractors will apply side load to the tool if it is not hanging directly above the workpiece. on The upward tension puts a small strain on arms and shoulders and can affect dexterity.
True balancers are similar to retractor style tool balancers in that they still use the same principle to hold up your tool, using an internal spring. The difference is that the cable that holds your tool is on a tapered drum, which allows your tool to maintain constant tension when in use.
When you are undergoing the process of choosing a tool balancer, you will need to indicate the load or weight capacity that it can bear and how much reach you need it to have.
Whatever tool you are looking to support, you will need to select a tool balancer with the appropriate weight range. If you connect a heavier tool than the specified support weight than the tool balancer can handle, you will risk the tool balance failing and causing injury or damage.
For more information about tool balancers, call Delta Regis Tools at 1-888-500-2755 or contact us here.