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Putting a stop to unsafe woodworking

01 March, 2002

Putting a stop to unsafe woodworking

By the end of next year, thousands of woodworking machines across the UK will have to be fitted with automatic brakes to meet the strict requirements laid down in PUWER - the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. The Regulations say that machines must be fitted with brakes which will stop them in less than ten seconds if there is a risk of someone touching the tool while it is slowing down.

Two neighbouring companies, based in Brighton, have collaborated to develop an electrical braking system that will meet this requirement. The woodworking specialist AA Taylor has joined forces with Allenwest Electrical to produce the DC injection system which they call Easy Brake.

The system has been designed to fit almost any woodworking machine, including circular saws, without modification. As well as providing rapid braking, the system offers extra protection including a standstill detection system.

The collaboration between AA Taylor and Allenwest builds on an association dating back to the 1920s when Taylor`s machinery was fitted with AllenWest direct on-line and star-delta starters. In the original machines, the operator had to assess the run-up speed and move a handle rapidly to the delta run position at the right time. Now, all it takes is a press of the star button and the whole process is automatic.

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