Electrically Interlocked Safety Shields

July 06, 2017
Electrically Interlocked Safety Shields

Drill presses, lathes, grinders and milling machinery are essential metalworking tools, but like all machines, they can be dangerous without adequate safeguarding. Hundreds of injuries occur annually from the improper maintenance and use of these machines, such as amputations, burns and lacerations, according to the OSHA.

Rockford Systems offers a line of electrically interlocked safety shields for cutting and turning machines that protect operators against flying chips, sparks, debris, and coolant. The electrical interlock prevents machines from starting until the shield is positioned safely in front of the hazardous area, also called the point-of-operation. Additionally, if the shield is moved away from the hazardous area while the machine is running, the electrical interlock will send a stop signal to turn the machine off.

Fully embodying the Rockford Systems promise of durability and ease-of-operation, the thermo-formed shields are made from high impact-resistant, 100 percent transparent polycarbonate for minimum interference to the operator's view, and feature electrical interlocks encased in IP67 rated enclosures. The shields exceed the safety requirements of OSHA and the ANSI for maximum operator protection.

For metal fabricators, safety is the key to their livelihood - Rockford Systems interlocked shields ensure these professionals have the advanced safeguarding protection they need to maintain an injury-free workplace.

"It is not enough to simply meet the basic OSHA/ANSI requirements for chip shields as many manufactures do," says Matt Brenner, vice president of sales for Rockford Systems. "Our shields go further to deliver a game-changing combination of safety, versatility and operator visibility to ensure maximum performance, along with heavy-duty durability. Our standards are higher, which is why our shields are better."

Metalworking injuries often occur when an operator places their hands within the machinery's dangerous point-of-operation area. These injuries may happen during an accidental re-start while maintenance or setup tasks are being performed, or when the operator does not adhere to safety regulations and purposefully removes a shield for better access to a workpiece.

To prevent these types of accidents, Rockford System shields are electrically interlocked. This means that when a shield is swung out of position, the positive contacts on the safety microswitch open, sending a stop signal to the machine control. The machine's electrical circuit will stay disconnected until the shield is fully closed, the microswitch contacts are touching, and the start button is activated.

Rockford Systems shields are easily installed on small to large drill presses, milling machines, lathes, bench grinders, and slotting/broaching machines from leading manufacturers. Drill press and lathe chuck shields are supported by a rugged tubular-steel frame clamped to a 180° rotating steel support rod. Models designed for milling machines, crosslide/carriage travel lathes and grinders have an adjustable shield, arm and base to allow precise positioning for maximum protection during operation, yet can be swung out of the way for access to the workpiece and tooling.

Related Glossary Terms

  • chuck


    Workholding device that affixes to a mill, lathe or drill-press spindle. It holds a tool or workpiece by one end, allowing it to be rotated. May also be fitted to the machine table to hold a workpiece. Two or more adjustable jaws actually hold the tool or part. May be actuated manually, pneumatically, hydraulically or electrically. See collet.

  • coolant


    Fluid that reduces temperature buildup at the tool/workpiece interface during machining. Normally takes the form of a liquid such as soluble or chemical mixtures (semisynthetic, synthetic) but can be pressurized air or other gas. Because of water’s ability to absorb great quantities of heat, it is widely used as a coolant and vehicle for various cutting compounds, with the water-to-compound ratio varying with the machining task. See cutting fluid; semisynthetic cutting fluid; soluble-oil cutting fluid; synthetic cutting fluid.

  • drilling machine ( drill press)

    drilling machine ( drill press)

    Machine designed to rotate end-cutting tools. Can also be used for reaming, tapping, countersinking, counterboring, spotfacing and boring.

  • gang cutting ( milling)

    gang cutting ( milling)

    Machining with several cutters mounted on a single arbor, generally for simultaneous cutting.

  • lathe


    Turning machine capable of sawing, milling, grinding, gear-cutting, drilling, reaming, boring, threading, facing, chamfering, grooving, knurling, spinning, parting, necking, taper-cutting, and cam- and eccentric-cutting, as well as step- and straight-turning. Comes in a variety of forms, ranging from manual to semiautomatic to fully automatic, with major types being engine lathes, turning and contouring lathes, turret lathes and numerical-control lathes. The engine lathe consists of a headstock and spindle, tailstock, bed, carriage (complete with apron) and cross slides. Features include gear- (speed) and feed-selector levers, toolpost, compound rest, lead screw and reversing lead screw, threading dial and rapid-traverse lever. Special lathe types include through-the-spindle, camshaft and crankshaft, brake drum and rotor, spinning and gun-barrel machines. Toolroom and bench lathes are used for precision work; the former for tool-and-die work and similar tasks, the latter for small workpieces (instruments, watches), normally without a power feed. Models are typically designated according to their “swing,” or the largest-diameter workpiece that can be rotated; bed length, or the distance between centers; and horsepower generated. See turning machine.

  • metalworking


    Any manufacturing process in which metal is processed or machined such that the workpiece is given a new shape. Broadly defined, the term includes processes such as design and layout, heat-treating, material handling and inspection.

  • milling


    Machining operation in which metal or other material is removed by applying power to a rotating cutter. In vertical milling, the cutting tool is mounted vertically on the spindle. In horizontal milling, the cutting tool is mounted horizontally, either directly on the spindle or on an arbor. Horizontal milling is further broken down into conventional milling, where the cutter rotates opposite the direction of feed, or “up” into the workpiece; and climb milling, where the cutter rotates in the direction of feed, or “down” into the workpiece. Milling operations include plane or surface milling, endmilling, facemilling, angle milling, form milling and profiling.

  • turning


    Workpiece is held in a chuck, mounted on a face plate or secured between centers and rotated while a cutting tool, normally a single-point tool, is fed into it along its periphery or across its end or face. Takes the form of straight turning (cutting along the periphery of the workpiece); taper turning (creating a taper); step turning (turning different-size diameters on the same work); chamfering (beveling an edge or shoulder); facing (cutting on an end); turning threads (usually external but can be internal); roughing (high-volume metal removal); and finishing (final light cuts). Performed on lathes, turning centers, chucking machines, automatic screw machines and similar machines.