Automating Rubber Processing – Cutting Back on Workers’ Comp Claims and Increasing Traceability & Repeatability

More and more rubber companies are looking for turnkey automation solutions, “cradle to grave systems” so to speak, to handle rubber processing from beginning to end. It’s a smart move for their workers, as well as their customers, hence the popularity.

Manufacturing rubber requires the use of volatile raw materials and harsh chemicals. As you can imagine, it’s not the safest environment to work in. But rubber processing requires a large number of labor intensive, manual jobs. Workers are involved in weighing and scooping powders, chemicals, and liquids, often times standing in one place all day to do it. Instead of settling for having workers stand around in dust masks all day, rubber companies are asking “How can I reduce an operator here to eliminate workers comp claims and ergonomic challenges?”

Automation also provides traceability, something that is more often than not a requirement rather than a luxury. Take tire manufacturers for instance. Each and every tire has certain ratings, qualifications and certifications that it absolutely must adhere to. Automated systems incorporate a series of inspection points along the way, scanning the unique barcode on each tire as it passes through each inspection point. If the tire passes inspection, it moves on to the next step in the process. This system provides plant operators with detailed data on each and every tire. If there’s a problem with a tire or with a line of tires, it can be traced back through the production process until the error is found.

Rubber processing makes use of meticulous recipes. Automation ensures repeatability, following these proprietary formulas to the letter, cycle after cycle. In the end, rubber companies who automate provide a more dependable product for their customers and a safer workplace for their employees. They cut costs as well, helping them to stay competitive in a global market.

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