The correct handling and application of cutting and grinding machinery is not only critical for operator safety but also helps to extend the life of machinery, ensures effective and efficient use of consumables and improves the overall quality of work.
Manufacturer and distributor of abrasive tool solutions, PFERD South Africa, offers operator and distributor training at its Gauteng-based academy, aimed at ensuring the correct use of abrasive consumables and machinery.
“There are many factors that come into play during grinding and cutting applications that impact upon production and safety,” says PFERD South Africa training manager Marius Steyn. “Operator fatigue, incorrect tool handling and operation, cross-contamination of materials, incorrect product selection, limited knowledge of the machinery being used, frequency of applications and non-adherence to labelled guidelines on the machinery and consumables itself all play an important performance role.”
“The PFERDAcademy training modules are specifically designed to address these issues. The aim is to correct operator behaviours in an effort to reduce the risk of injury, tool damage and loss of production time and enable operators to give a higher standard and improved attention to the project on hand,” adds Steyn.
With a combination of application-based training, online learning and practical workshops using a range of equipment, operators are trained in the correct use of specialised machine tools and the selection of the best tool solutions for specific tasks. The course includes an assessment of an individual’s specific requirements and experience and dedicated training is offered for distributor and retail staff, to help improve frontline employees’ product and application knowledge. On-site training is available if required and PFERD also offers ‘train-the-trainer’ programmes, allowing for ongoing transfer of skills and enhancement of technical and operational knowledge.
Steyn comments: “We aim to impart technical know-how and offer solutions to operators of grinding and cutting tools so that the consequences of using incorrect machinery for an application are fully understood. Incorrect handling of machinery and consumables can lead to injuries for the operator and others, so we believe it is of utmost importance to address such issues,” comments Steyn.
Selecting the correct tool drive, such as air grinder, electric grinder, high frequency machines or flexible shaft drives, may have a significant impact on the cost-effectiveness of the machining process. Selecting the ideal combination of tool drive and consumables will also help to ensure optimum performance and cost-effective processing. “It is important for operators to know and understand the importance of correct product selection and usage,” adds Steyn.
The company also offers a speed calculator available on its website, that can be used to calculate and ensure that the correct operating speed and consumable diameter are combined.
“Knowledge of the interactions of tool, material and tool drive forms the foundation for the optimisation of machining processes. The PFERDAcademy provides this highly specialised and practical knowledge of the world of grinding and cutting in training blocks that follow on from each other, so that step-by-step, the operator will become well versed in the correct safety protocols and usage of consumables which will result in less downtime and tool damage.”
“The PFERDAcademy’s training ensures that the combination of correct tool solution dovetails with a safe and accurate grinding or cutting performance by the operator. It is a win-win situation, the operator benefits from training and guidance at the PFERDAcademy, and the company benefits from a superior production process whilst keeping the working environment safe and incident-free,” concludes Steyn.