Composite Guarding System for Fan Belt

The fan provides necessary cooling and ventilation for the new shop floor of Machine Guard & Cover Company.

Unfortunately, the exposed fan blades and belt and pulley system create an unsafe work environment. Proper guarding will be required to maintain the guard functionality without impeding shop floor safety.

At any shop, floor space is at a premium. This creates the challenge of fabricating a guard that not only meets all safety standards and insurance qualifications but one that is also simple and compact.

The first part of this installation utilizes a guard, fabricated from extruded aluminum framework and thermo-plastic coated wire mesh. This will keep clothing, limbs and tooling safe from the spinning fan blades without impeding airflow.

Unfortunately, the motor, belt and pulley system is too close to the surface of the wire mesh. This means that the guard will not pass safety inspections. This will be remedied using a simple point guard.

Using a marker, the location of the belt and pulley are traced onto the wire mesh. (The location of the fan motor power cord is also noted, so an appropriate passage can be made.) A rotary tool is then used to cut the wire mesh along the marked lines. As you can see, the removal of the extra material allows the aluminum frame to sit closer to the wall, saving more floor space.

The belt and any pulleys still require proper guarding. For this, one of Machine Guard & Cover’s off-the-shelf, thermoformed plastic machine guards will be used. Following the ANSI B11.19, 2010 standards for guarding power transmission systems, the point guard is attached using physical fasteners. This prevents accidental removal of the guard and exposure of the moving parts.

With the point guard installed, the completed framework can now be mounted to the entire fan system. The guard itself will be mounted in place using “L” brackets.

Although uncommon, this two-part guard system’s fabrication and installation is well within the possibility for Machine Guard & Cover Company.