There are several laws and safety certificates to be considered both in Europe and outside, because press brakes are a type of machine that involve many laws according to the safety disposal used on the machine itself. Let’s try to understand the importance and the application fields of such laws, but also legislative decrees of who is subjected to suc obligations and how this can help to choose the best in the field of press brakes.
The importance of certifications
Products manufacturer are the first to be involved in the field of laws and certifications: once identified the press brake, it is important trying to understand if it respects the standards required by rules or laws. In this regard, we consulted the Inail manual (ex Ispesl) for the safe use of press brakes (Caratteristiche di funzionalità e sicurezza dei dispositivi a protezione del fronte lavorativo delle presse piegatrici idrauliche, Features of functionality and safety of devices to protect the working front of hydraulic press brakes). Legislation is made of already operating State laws (in this case we refer to "Presidential Decree of April 27th 1955 n. 547 "Norme per la prevenzione degli infortuni sul lavoro", Rules for the prevention of accidents at work), as well as European directives that became laws and apply to machines where there is a significant number of cold working of metals machines.
Regulations, laws and decrees in Italy
The contents of the said Decree are applied to residential Decree 547/55 to press brakes, more in general to Title IV "Norme particolari di protezione per determinate macchine" (Special protection rules for specific machines) in chapter VI "Presse e Cesoie" (Presses and shears):
- 115 says that presses, shears and similar machines must be equipped with shelters or disposals in order to avoid that hands or other parts of the body are hurt by the stamp or by other mobile working organs;
- according to 117 a slow movement or other similar disposals or expedients to avoid possible dangers must exist;
- 78 involves the presence of a foot control;
- 77 involves set in motion controls;
- according to 76 every machine must have easy-to-recognize and clearly to access start and stop controls.
Therefore, the manufacturer must produce machines that respond to essential safety requirements, but we highlight that the document of a technical rule is mandatory only if it is required by a law, otherwise the manufacturer can insert such rule only on a voluntary basis. Later we will see what are the systems and technologies for which Italy and the European Union get busy.
Systems: pros and cons
Different systems, different pros and cons. What we have just said about rules and decrees actually reverses on technology: as regards the photo-electric barrier, the limitations of use are those of pieces and boxed of small dimensions, the reflection possibility of infrared rays while using mirroring metal sheets or the danger for the operator if s/he fails to set the muting point; while the pros are the high performances, the possibility to operate with barrier both vertically and horizontally and with every type of tool. The advantage of laser systems that moves with the crossbeam is the possibility to work with little pieces and boxed, and the limitation of use regards a higher muting point and the respect of the safety distance only in particular working condition; the danger is in case of stamp replacement.
Old inadequate technologies
For the monitoring systems fixed to the press brake board there is laser monitoring that, like inconsistent light monitoring (we will see it later), is no longer representative of the state-of-the-art of these machines. The first one doesn’t ensure a complete protection of the dangerous area, it is obliged to frequent adjustments of the laser beam and, in case of uneven metal sheets, the adjustment is difficult to achieve. Instead, the infrared ray of the inconsistent light monitoring can be reflected by the metal sheet in progress and the ray divergence doesn’t ensure the proper Tx-Rx operation.