Ever gotten to take a tour of a factory? It’s like watching Made in America or How It’s Made, just about a hundred times better because you can get up close and actually ask questions. You even get to put on safety goggles – it’s the complete experience. Since I’ve been writing about cable management, tech, and workplace safety, I’ve been lucky enough to visit 3 different manufacturing facilities on the East Coast, and see firsthand how they operate and crank out their respective products. It’s really cool.
One thing that I noticed in each of these places is how there are rows and rows of machinery, with each piece of equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars (at least). Between these rows of lasers cutters, press brakes and robotic lifters are aisles, down which forklifts often roam, delivering raw materials, carting away finished components, and traveling to and from the storage mezzanines. Here’s the thing: what if one of these zoomy little forklifts goes off-course and accidentally “bumps” into one of those machines? A big, fat repair happens, that’s what. And so, there are a couple of useful products known as bollard posts and machine guards.
Even if you haven’t been to a plant, you’ve probably seen them somewhere before. They’re all the rage in parking lots and near loading docks, where they keep vehicles out of certain areas, and away from certain things. They’re those stalwart metal posts that mean business, and will leave a nasty dent in anything on wheels that decides to challenge them (that’s a good thing). Ever wondered how bollards and machine guards get so tough?
Well, for starters, if they’re made by Eagle Manufacturing, they’re made of 1/4 inch thick steel, covered in a baked-on yellow powder coat finish that says “look out!” but still manages to survive in the event of a vehicle run-in. Next, you can bolt them right into the ground or a concrete floor, so they aren’t going anywhere. And last – they’re hollow, so you can fill them with cement for extra staying power (ohhhh, so that’s what those caps are for). No one’s getting past these babies. Take that, renegade forklifts.