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Tanglefree System Reinforces Ergonomic, Productivity Goals

HawkeyePedershaab's Ergonomic TangleFree Spacer System is designed to improve worker safety, while increasing productivity and achieving leaner operations

HawkeyePedershaab's Ergonomic TangleFree Spacer System is designed to improve worker safety, while increasing productivity and achieving leaner operations for greater profitability. Reinforcement spacers offered in tangle-free packaging, adapted to a Spacer Handling Cart for convenient transport and handling, provide an ergonomic solution that minimizes risk of sprain, strain, backache, and reptitive motion injury, system developers affirm.

Sound ergonomics can deliver a measurable return on investment: studies have shown that redesigning a work station can increase worker productivity by as much as 25 percent. To maximize efficiency while reducing the incidence of injuries that exact a physical and financial toll on both workers and employers, however, ergonomic programs must help establish a working environment that addresses the physical needs of individuals performing specific tasks. Thus, designing an ergonomic work station requires inventory of all parts and tools necessary to successfully complete a particular job.

Moreover, an effective system must target that area in relation to the worker's body where task functions should be performed, i.e., the comfort zone, specifically between the shoulders and knees, extending no further than 18 inches from the torso. Accordingly, HawkeyePedershaab's TangleFree System is designed to bring into the comfort zone the motions involved in spacer installation.

The TangleFree System begins with the manufacturer's packaging of spacers in special cardboard tubes to maintain an orderly arrangement. Upon arrival at the plant, the tube-mounted spacers are removed from the box and placed on a specially designed cart that positions them at a comfortable height for retrieval by workers installing spacers on reinforcement cages. At the center of the cart is a vertical collector with height-adjustable limbs that facilitate sliding on the tube-mounted spacers for convenient access. The central collector rotates 360 degrees, enabling workers to obtain spacers without reaching or walking around the cart. Minimal bending, twisting, and walking motion saves time and increases safety.

Additionally, the TangleFree cart transports the spacers to a particular installation site. Eliminating the need for workers to carry heavy boxes or use forklifts, the cart holds up to four boxes of spacers.

Overall, the TangleFree Cart helps employees organize spacers and tools required for proper reinforcement installation, i.e., the cart carries needed spacers, the central collector positions and sorts them, and a holder keeps tools within easy reach. Besides a high degree of organization improving safety and worker efficiency, the system's TangleFree packaging provides spacers in 40 percent smaller boxes compared to prior containers, freeing production area for other uses.

Advantages of the TangleFree Spacer System are starkly evident, the manufacturer emphasizes, in view of common packaging and practices related to steel concrete reinforcement spacers: typically, after arriving in a tangled mess Û referred to as Îwrithing monkeys in a barrelÌ Û spacers are retrieved as 500-plus pieces in a single bunch. Now, the company adds, its solution offers practical means to avoid the unpleasant chore of untangling spacers and the added cost of such routines. Û www.hawkeye-pipe.com