Bandsaws are one of the most dangerous pieces of cutting equipment used in protein and industrial applications, where operator injuries and amputations are common.
The R&D challenge was to develop a system for the meat industry that improves safety and reduces the risk of serious injury and amputation by mechanically stopping the blade when the unit senses that the operator has come in contact.
Along with touch sensing capability, BladeStop™ is also supplied with the GloveCheck™ sensing system. GloveCheck™ detects the operator’s gloves moving at high speeds in a zone directly upstream from the blade and is ideal for high-speed and hand-flick cutting tasks.
Following long-term R&D by the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Donor Company (MDC) and Australian Meat Processor Corporation, in collaboration with technology partner Scott Technology, and successful commercialisation of the R&D, processors and butchers are now installing BladeStop™ technology.
BladeStop™ technology is now a global leader in bandsaw safety, with over 1150 units installed in the Australian and overseas market. This Australian developed technology has been exported to over 25 countries.
One local customer is Woolworths Meat Company’s meat processing facility, located in Victoria’s ‘food belt’, that is one of the largest case-ready (retail ready) facilities in Australia.
On average, the plant processes 25 tonnes of product a day, equating to around 125,000 cuts across the 10 BladeStop™ systems. Given the high volumes of meat processing, safety has been inbuilt into the culture at Woolworth’s Meat Co and BladeStop™ has proven invaluable to the plant and bandsaw operator safety in several key instances.
BladeStop™ has alleviated the high risk of bandsaw operation-related injuries at Meat Co and, with multiple injury saves, it has quickly established a high sense of morale around bandsaw operators within the plant.