E Technologies Case Study: Consumer Products
A large-scale electrical and mechanical safety audit and mitigation project
A global battery supplier reached out to E Technologies Group with their initiative to bring 99 machines into compliance with the most recent electrical and mechanical safety guidelines. At the start of the project, 79 of the 99 machines had already been assessed and had design bases defining the mitigation scope of work. The remaining 20 machines still required this work to be completed. E Technologies was responsible for risk assessments for 20 machines, and implementing the safety mitigation work on all 99 machines.
There were several challenges associated with the successful completion of this project, ranging from working around unpredictable downtime, to the sale of the brand mid-project. E Technologies’ engineers remained flexible throughout this multi-year project to accommodate the customer’s needs.
The challenges included:
- After E Technologies’ engineers began the risk assessments, it became apparent that the previously-completed risk assessments were not comprehensive, nor were they accurate. E Technologies held meetings with the client to create and approve new design documents, which all machines were assessed against.
- Because there were many initiatives occurring within the plant simultaneously, the decision makers were rarely focused on the risk assessment logistics. Flexibility and patience were key in getting customer personnel in place to support the efforts.
- The brand was sold to another corporation, which required some refocusing of priorities, and realignment with the new owner’s practices and procedures.
- The biggest challenge was the project schedule, which required working around production needs that fluctuated based on weather events around the world. Getting windows of downtime for installation was hit-or-miss.
After writing and approval of the new design documents, E Technologies conducted risk assessments on the machines. The mitigation plan included installing new mechanical guarding, electrical panels, and E-stop circuits, after which the machines were validated against E Technologies’ written protocols. Safety maps, Lock-Out-Tag-Out procedures, “One Point Lessons,” and safety training were completed for the customer. Some of the 99 machines were removed from scope due to changes in priorities and capital decisions to replace machines instead of upgrading, and the rest are safe and compliant to OSHA and plant standards.
During this project, E Technologies developed a close working relationship with the customer thanks in part to our excellent communication, flexibility, and work ethic. Since the completion of this project, E Technologies has completed multiple additional projects for safety guarding both at the original plant, and in other locations.