The strong alloys that form the frame of a mobile crane are tough, which is a statement that applies to the majority of hydraulic systems, the equipment that handles more than its fair share of mechanical stress. Ironically, this toughened design is a potential source of strain, for the solid metalwork amplifies certain mechanically-induced byproducts. There’s heat, of course, but we’re referring to noise pollution, the vibrations that loosen fasteners and propagate through the air as a deafening, cacophonous roar of noise.
Battling Worksite Noise
We reduce noise at home because it frazzles the mind and inconveniences us while we’re watching television. A little double glazing does the trick, but we can hardly use this tactic on a construction site. The noise generated by our hydraulic systems can actually put employees in danger. Imagine a hard-working machine operator, one who’s momentarily distracted by the start cycle of the displacement pump. A moment is all it takes for a tool to be dropped or for someone to topple a heavy pile of bricks. But we’re not done yet. Communications skills represent an oft-underestimated worksite tool. If loud mechanical and fluid-generated noise is polluting the work area, then employee interaction is effectively short-circuited, which, again, equals a potential hazard.
Turn Down The Fluid-based Noise
As mentioned earlier, displacement pumps produce vibrations. The oil-filled chambers in the pump cycle continuously, with the pistons compressing the fluid and the fluid transmitting more noise. We need to deaden the sound, but then we realize that mobile hydraulics and stationary hydraulics are two different beasts. Industrial workshops, for example, use special enclosures and baffles to quieten the noise, but this option isn’t really a viable solution for every hydraulic application, certainly not for mobile cranes.
Isolating Mobile Hydraulic Systems
A ratcheting sound issues from the frame of a mobile lifter and is amplified by its metal chassis. Workers turn around, and there’s a momentary drop in productivity. A site-mandated safety margin wavers, even if just for a second. We stop the vibrations from spreading through the frame by incorporating a mechanically isolated design. Large sections are fitted with rubber-backed fasteners. They’re segregated from the next section by rubber hoses and noise-insulating baffles, components that intelligently attenuate vibratory events.
Governmental guidelines and worksite executives both require these machines to stay within set noise levels, so special sound measuring devices keep a wary ear on their decibel level. Lastly, from an engineering point of view, strong vibrations also work against the machinery, which causes fasteners to loosen, so always employ self-locking fasteners.
Factory 89, 38-40 Popes Road
Keysborough, Victoria, 3173
Phone: (03) 9798-6511
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