As we evolve beyond subtractive-only machining and into the world of additive, there are new safety considerations and procedures that must be learned and implemented in shops. Okuma’s new LASER EX machines combine subtractive and additive functionalities all within a single machine. The LASER EX machines are a combination of a standard Okuma 5-axis machining center (MU series) or 5-axis multitasking machine (MULTUS series) and incorporates a Trumpf laser for laser metal deposition. In addition to standard laser safety considerations provided by Trumpf, Okuma has created this checklist to ensure that our customers have the proper safety programs in place as they upgrade to the latest technology.
Work Area Evaluation
- Training: Operators are trained on the safe use of machinery or tools, including labels and manuals.
- Lockout/Tagout: Maintenance personnel need to power off the machine and put a lock with a tag on it when adjusting and maintaining the machine.
- Fire Suppression: Connected to Alarm system; understanding of inspection requirements.
- Floor Markings: Proper markings for safety awareness (based on OSHA requirements).
- HVAC/ Humidity: Room is controlled within powder requirements. Make sure filters are changed regularly.
- SOP: Written procedures must be in place.
- Jewelry: Not worn while operating machinery.
PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)
- Clothing: Anti-static, with the ability to keep metal powder off personnel.
- Eye Protection: Face shield, goggles, or safety glasses.
- Hearing Protection: Ear plugs or earmuffs.
- Respirator: Ability to filter out metal powder – only required when loading powder into the canisters.
- Flammable Storage Cabinet: When required, based on metal type.
- Gas cylinders & gauges: Properly secured to avoid any leaks.
- Safety Equipment: Eyewash station or safety shower per OSHA/ANSI code.
- Floor mats: Anti-static mat.
- Wet/Dry Vacuum: “Explosion-Proof” with the ability to handle combustible powder.
- Network Connectivity: Machine and laser allow for transfer of files and updates to system.
If you’re curious about our new LASER EX series of machine tools, contact us, or your local distributor. We’ll be happy to show you the possibilities for your shop.
Michael Lail is QA Compliance Manager, Okuma America Corporation.