Fermi National Laboratory

Machine Shop Improves Safety, Efficiency with Better, Stronger Tool

As a result of a recent injury to a Machine Shop employee, and the ensuing investigation, the Technical Division recently banned the use of the "Set B - Standard Deburring Kit" in all Technical Division machine shops at Fermilab. Business Services and the Technical Division also placed a moratorium on the Fermilab Stockroom de-burring tool (Set B - kit), stock #1246-096000.

During the accident investigation, the Technical Division learned from several employees that the standard deburring tool kit blades often broke while removing sizable burrs from large holes or from harder materials. "We in the Technical Division not only wanted to understand the root-cause of these injuries, but we also want to find ways to help prevent such an injury in the future," said Romesh Sood of the Technical Division.

Although the Technical Division considered designing its own deburring tool, the Machine Shop Department management located a better design, "Set E - Heavy Duty Deburring Kit FN50-E," which has a longer blade shaft and a larger diameter blade, in a Desta supplies catalogue. The Technical Division confirmed from the manufacturer in Tel Aviv, Israel that "type E" blades are 80% stronger in tensile strength than the "type B," and cost only $2.65 more. Since then, the Technical Division Machine Shop has replaced all old (Set - B) kits with the new (Set - E) kits, and the Fermilab Stockroom will only issue Set-E kits from now on.

About seven years ago, the Technical Division also designed a better ergonomic crimping tool that required ~ 1/10 of gripping and squeezing strength to insert thousands of wires (connectors) for the CDF End Plugs upgrade. In this case, the Technical Division staff found an ordinary tool (pliers) in a catalogue and modified it to very efficient and a successful ergonomic tool to do a repetitious job with ease.

"We have not only found better tools, but also pertinent information on correct use of deburring tools, and related Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommended to use such a tool. We are educating people in the Machine Shop, and the Technical Division will do a Lab-wide Lessons Learned story," said Rich Ruthe of the Technical Division.

last modified 03/10/2005   email Fermilab