Have you seen how some car engine parts are made? They usually undergo several processes, worked on by machines and humans, until the seemingly useless block of raw aluminum or metal turns into something useful.
Car parts manufacturing is a multi-step process where blocks of aluminum or other metal, are slowly transformed into functional engine parts. The initial manufacturing processes these materials go through are usually handled by industrial robots at the outset. However, when they near the end of the production line, humans take over, mostly to perform the grinding and buffing of the nearly-finished car part.
Grinding or cutting off edges
After raw materials are shaped, forged, and worked on by precision machines, it travels along the assembly line to a waiting human hand. The worker will check whether the part has sharp edges or bits of metal sticking out from joint areas. According to mfg.mtu.edu, the presence of these flaws will necessitate the need to grind or cut the area until there are no more imperfections.
Another factory worker works on it by buffing and polishing it to a gleaming shine. Apart from aesthetic value, the polishing process also reveals if there are any other imperfections. If there are none, the parts travel to a quality control officer where the parts undergo a final check.
Industrial dust everywhere
During the grinding process, and even during the buffing stage, lots of industrial dust can fly out into the working area. This is why car parts workers wear safety goggles and masks to protect against industrial dust. In fact, in some cases, workers work near fire extinguishers because the aluminum powder is a known flammable substance.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, exposure to industrial dust, such as fine aluminum powder, is dangerous to your health. Apart from a skin and eye irritant, it can also cause what is referred to as “metal fume fever,” which is a flu-like sickness characterized by a metallic taste in your mouth. This fine dust can also cause pulmonary fibrosis.
An effective solution
Due to the hazards presented by the grinding and buffing process, many car parts manufacturing plants now use dust collection booths where workers can safely perform their task. These ingenious work booths have a built-in suction system that continuously draws air and fine particles out from the work area. As a result, workers are able to enjoy an environment where devoid of any dangerous industrial dust floating within the area.
Workers in car parts manufacturing plants, particularly those who perform grinding and buffing tasks are often exposed to dangerous industrial dust. With the arrival of downdraft work booths, however, this risk is greatly minimized.