Recently, Manufacturing Engineer, Dan Richards, and Operations Manager, Joe Redmond, brainstormed a solution to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the Madison Heights, Michigan, plant. To keep manufacturing workers safe, they created a suspended plastic barrier panel using the Ingersoll Rand rail system fabricated at their plant.
Their efforts were in response to OSHA’s suggestion to innovate solutions in workplaces where social distancing is a challenge. For example, some companies have installed polycarbonate partitions to help reduce exposure to potential viruses when employees cough or sneeze. But, most of the applications being explored, which are either mounted on desks or floors, can be cumbersome. They are also costly and time-consuming to install.
The barriers developed in the Madison Heights plant, on the other hand, can be installed on existing Ingersoll Rand rails, which many plants already have in place.
“Our goal was to suspend material from above, using trolleys compatible with all Ingersoll Rand rail systems and that could even be universally adapted to all rail systems,” said Joe.
The team rapidly prototyped and developed several different trolley configurations. Based on its flexible rotating design and the ease with which it can be set up and disinfected, a suspended polycarbonate protective barrier with a single rotating trolley was clearly the best option. And since the barriers are made for existing rail trolleys, this innovative design can create value for plants that include the current Ingersoll Rand rail system.
“We are proud of the Madison Heights team for their inventive thinking. The team quickly developed a solution to protect our team members in the plant while identifying an opportunity to support our customers in these challenging times,” said Phillip Delnick, Vice President of Global Sales and Service for Material Handling.
If you are interested in learning more about this innovative safety product, please contact your Ingersoll Rand sales representative.