So this broke at work today...

So this broke at work today...

weber
weber

August 23rd, 2012, 6:26 pm #1

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weber
weber

August 23rd, 2012, 6:40 pm #2

Had to screw around with permissions etc

https://picasaweb.google.com/1144422400 ... directlink
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Shargo
Shargo

August 23rd, 2012, 9:15 pm #3

On the more serious side, no injuries I hope. There's some major forces at hand when stuff like that break.
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Stu Friedberg
Stu Friedberg

August 23rd, 2012, 9:20 pm #4

Nice photos, and a truly classic fracture.

Also nice to see the safety hand puller. Too bad no amount of guarding will protect against the flywheel end of the main shaft snapping off...
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sniper1rfa
sniper1rfa

August 23rd, 2012, 9:55 pm #5

I bet that was surprising.

I've never even given a second though to the flywheel presses at work. Suddenly the servo press seems so much less terrifying.
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Maker of Toys
Maker of Toys

August 24th, 2012, 12:46 am #6

. . . and a change of shorts.

Yikes! Glad I wasn't anywhere nearby.



. . . Couldn't ask for a more textbook example of progressive crack growth. I wonder how long that shaft had the crack before it worked through and let go?
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weber
weber

August 24th, 2012, 3:30 am #7

He was rightly skittish after it happened. Amazingly it didn't fail "quickly". By that I mean once it snapped, the housing for it held it all in and kept the wheel from flying about. Thankfully the housing did its job and everyone is safe.

Not a bad life, considering the machine was (as far as we can remember) about 75 years old. Sadly, this break is more than likely fatal unless we can find a donor shaft to replace it.
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weber
weber

August 24th, 2012, 3:36 am #8

I bet that was surprising.

I've never even given a second though to the flywheel presses at work. Suddenly the servo press seems so much less terrifying.
But apparently no one in the plant knows what cracking metal sounds like. Apparently it had been making tinkling sounds all day as they ran it. Oh well, not like it was something really fixable one way or the other.
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Urban Werebear
Urban Werebear

August 24th, 2012, 6:11 am #9

Even an untrained schlub like me knows that if an unusual sound shows up while running a machine, there's probably something wrong. Anytime I'm dealing with anthing mechanical, a change in sound or vibration means I at least take load off it and start trying to trace the potential problem. In this case, it may not have saved the machine, but it might have rescued the operator's underwear.

Either way, a lack of injuries is a good thing, though it's still kinda sad to see a good machine go all to pieces like that. I hope it can be saved, and I hope the operator remembers the lesson he learned today.

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 24th, 2012, 9:45 am #10

Wow, glad nobody was hurt!

Be interesting to hear what happens now. Those old flywheel presses are kind of persona non grata with OSHA, among others. Factories across the US used to use literally millions of those things, ranging from little tabletop 1 to 3-tonners, up to the big monsters like that one, and larger.

They've slowly been phased out, and as I understand it, OSHA has piles of regulations covering flywheel presses specifically. You may well find out that it'll be impossible- legally- to replace that machine with a like model, and you might even find that a major repair like you're facing, takes away some of the "grandfather" allowances it had. Meaning in order to be allowed to return it to service, you might be required to bring it up to modern safety standards. Which might be prohibitively expensive, if even possible.

But hey, who says you have to tell OSHA? Just find you a bar of 10" chrome-moly, chuck it up in a really big lathe, and turn a new shaft. The eccentric will make for a fun week's worth of interrupted cuts, but hey, as long as you're being paid by the hour...

Doc.
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