Vibration monitoring: New seats mean greater operator comfort

25 March 2008

The European Union's PhysicalAgents Vibration Directive (PAD), which comes into force on 6 July, requires contractors to keep records of a machine operators cumulative exposure to vibration.

Sears' VMS (Vibration Monitoring System), nominated for an Innovation Award at last year's Intermat Exhibition, and on show at Bauma fi tted to a Bell ADT, will do just that, according to the company.

In essence a conventional looking seat with the ability to monitor and measure vibration built in, sensors just below the surface measure vibration and display them in real time. The data is also stored on a daily basis, as required by the PAD. VMS can also display an instant ‘reading’ of vibration levels via a warning light.

In addition to the monitoring of Whole Body Vibration (WBV), the PAD also sets maximum levels of Hand Arm Vibration (HAV), which Sears' VMS can also be confi gured to record and store, via a hand or wrist sensor.

The system can be configured to work with a portable data storage device (like a USB drive) personalised for an individual operator. This can be ‘pluggedin’ to any machine an operator might use on any given day, thereby recording their cumulative vibration exposure.

In theory when an operator has received the maximum daily vibration allowance, their workday must fi nish (in terms of harmful vibrations received). Using VMS, said a Sears spokesman, allows the contractor and operator to monitor harmful vibrations and plan the working day or week accordingly.

The complete system can be supplied to an OEM for factory fi tting or retro-fi tted in a ‘simpil ed’ version.

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