Guidelines for Proper Care of Your Grinding Wheel
Proper care and maintenance of your grinding wheel will extend its working life and could even save a life. When handling a grinding wheel, whether it is portable or immobile, the user needs to understand that the wheel is moving extremely fast. Anything that ricochets off of the wheel can potentially move at 300 MPH. Remembering the following tips can help reduce the incidence of injuries, as well as keep your grinding wheel operating longer and more efficiently:
- When receiving a grinding wheel, inspect the packaging and the wheel itself. If you notice any damage to either, do not accept the delivery. Contrary to popular belief, grinding wheels are not indestructible. A crack, chip, or other defect can cause the grinding wheel to break apart during operation. The shrapnel flying at upwards of 300 MPH could cause serious injury or death.
- Store the grinding wheel is a warm, dry area. Condensation, ice, moisture, or extreme cold can cause damage to the wheel causing it to break while in use.
- When thinking about buying a grinding wheel, make sure to select a model that fits your application. The wrong size, design, or wheel thickness can have severe consequences.
- Grinding wheels should be used within the first two years of their manufacturing. Two years is enough time for the wheel to develop enough cosmetic wear to become dangerous.
- When not using the grinding wheel, make sure that it is in an environment where it won’t be knocked to the ground, nicked, or otherwise damaged. If your grinding wheel is portable, hang hooks in a protected area that is specifically used for hanging the wheel. If the grinding wheel is too large to move or otherwise immobile, create an environment around the wheel that reduces the chance of collision with the wheel.
Following these steps when using a grinding wheel manually will increase the lifespan of your grinding wheel and significantly reduce the chance of an injury or death.
One safe way to use a grinding wheel is to automate the process. Attaching the wheel to the wrist of an industrial robot arm or using the robot arm to move the workpiece to the grinding wheel greatly increases safety and improves productivity. Depending on the size of the workpiece or grinding wheel, a variety of FANUC and Motoman robot arms could be used.
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