Preventing slip and fall incidents is an important concern in all types of facility settings, and finding a preventive solution is key. This article about creating safer floors with the use of floor mats at manufacturer Meyer Tool in Cincinnati, OH is contributed by New Pig, the world’s authority on leaks, drips and spills and the creator of the Pig® Grippy® Floor Mat.
Gas turbine engines may not be something we think about, but they touch our lives everyday powering aircraft, trains, ships and electrical generators. These engines — built by industrial giants including General Electric and Pratt & Whitney — require hundreds of components from high-tech suppliers like Meyer Tool, headquartered in Cincinnati, OH.
From humble beginnings…
The company began as Meyer Tool & Die in 1951 in a garage that was a motorcycle chop shop.
“In 1973, Bud Meyer gave my father, Arlyn Easton some space for his single EDM machine, and that got us into the turbine engine business,” said Beau Easton, owner of Meyer Tool Inc. “Our name is Meyer Tool, but we don’t actually make tools — it’s to honor Bud Meyer and how it all got started.”
…to industry leader.
68 years later, Meyer Tool is a leader in turbine technologies, fabricating hot section parts including blades, nozzles, shrouds, liners, and heat shields for the aerospace and gas turbine engine industries.
The company employs 1,500 team members throughout 11 facilities worldwide and operates over 1,400 conventional machining centers along with more than 860 EDM machines, making it the largest EDM shop in the country.
“Our main focus is small cooling hole drilling for turbine blades and nozzles. We’re the world’s largest manufacturer of cooling holes — we do over 1.2 million a day,” Easton explained.
As an early adopter of the Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Factory, and Industry 4.0 applications, Meyer Tool is a role model and benchmark for advanced manufacturing. Meyer builds their own equipment including multi-axis EDMs and CNC-controlled grinders, as well as waterjets, lasers and airflow stands.
“We are very vertically integrated,” said Easton. “Our Advanced Technology Department builds, maintains, and programs the machines, so it’s easy to integrate them with our ERP system. We write software that communicates with every piece of equipment, so we know what’s running, what state it’s in, who’s running it and what’s running on it. This information gives us the real time capacity analysis we need to make more informed decisions.”
Employees provide the edge.
“I think what sets us apart is our employee base. We’ve got wonderful, talented, committed employees,” said Easton. “We’re a mid-sized company now, but we try to keep as much of the small family side that we can.”“A lot of people have worked here most of their lives,” added Margo Watroba, public relations. “And we realize if someone comes in every day and they spend eight to 10 hours here, they need to be happy. So, we want our floors to be clean and we try to make sure that our shop floor is as pleasant as it can be for a manufacturing facility.”
Opting for the next-gen safe floor solution.
Even though the plant floors are epoxy with slip-resistant grit, some areas around the machines and in the grinding cells become slippery from oil and coolant. So, when this high-tech company looked for a way to deal with the problem, they chose the next-generation solution: Grippy Floor Mat.
Project Manager Roy Ottino placed Grippy Mat in slippery work areas to absorb the overspray and provide safe footing for employees. “They’ve been very effective,” he said. “Once the floor is clean we can put them down and they hold up for several weeks.”But because oily residue rarely stays within the confines of the plant floor, Ottino installed Grippy Mat in the hallways leading to the office area, including one that spans 105 feet in length.
“If employees have any oil residue on their feet and they hit the tile floor, then it becomes a slip-fall,” he explained. “We were using rental rugs and those weren’t very effective because they were moving around. And they just didn’t stay clean. Now if someone comes into the hallway, the Grippy Mat takes the oil off their feet before they go into the carpeted areas.”
When asked how they maintain their mats, Ottino said they use a vacuum and a small floor scrubber to clean them.
Ottino has been quick to adopt other PIG adhesive-backed mats including the new Safety Floor Runner. “I did a trial with that and I just put a second set down about a month ago.”
Grippy Logo Mats have also been a hit among Meyer team members. “We have lots of good feedback,” Ottino said. “People like the logo mats. We have them in our Cincinnati and Greenville, South Carolina plants. When one of our Greenville members was in Cincinnati, he saw one in our lobby by the elevators and said, ‘I want that.’”“We heard from employees and customers that they thought it was a nice way to put out the Meyer logo,” added Easton.
Deploying a high-tech solution to protect their team members from slips, trips, and falls is what you would expect from an innovation leader, so it’s no surprise that Meyer Tool has Grippy Mat on their floors. Roy Ottino summed it up this way: “Grippy Mat works for us two ways — it takes the residue off our employees’ feet and keeps the floor clean. Overall, the product is really exceptional.”
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