Thursday, September 23, 2010
Talk in the office this week has largely been about technology and at what point the investment begins to pay for itself. If my recent visit to Robland’s factory in Belgium is anything to go by then the benefits are instant if you include the entertainment factor of some of the features on their larger machines. And all this for just one Euro
Automation is something of a dark art, things happen without you knowing how. I don’t know about you but my instinct is to be suspicious of this at first and then doubtful of its accuracy. Not that either of these concerns prevent me from using it in the workshop when it’s available. Far from it, a new piece of equipment can radically alter the way we work and it’s not long before we ask ourselves ‘how did I manage without this in the past?’
Something else that cropped up last week was the subject of routers in tables. When does this marriage constitute legislation that would otherwise be restricted to spindle moulders in particular and other static machines? The issue that raised the most eyebrows was one of braking. There are very clear guidelines relating to static machines that some portables are exempt from but in the case of routers in tables, should a brake be fitted?
The implications for manufacturers of these separate components are immense. As things stand at the moment a portable machine attached temporarily to a base is covered by legislation pertaining to that particular power tool. For the time being things will stay as they are but watching how blade-stop technology is being discussed elsewhere I can hear myself muttering ‘they won’t make ‘em like the used to for much longer’.