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Team 4

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Danielle Garnelis
Joseph Homan
Nicholas Curley
Nicole Morson
Sam Moran
Kiwon-Paul Dijonjee

Frank Cunha and Craig Calvert

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Improving Furnace Maintenance Procedures and Eliminating Risk of Fall-Related Injury

Holo-Krome is a manufacturer of high strength fasteners whose products are used in a vast variety of industries. A central component in their production process includes the use of four industrial-sized furnaces. Maintaining the operational status of these furnaces through efficient maintenance is a top priority as they are essential to the delivery of Holo-Krome’s high quality products. However, current furnace maintenance procedures at their Wallingford facility are cumbersome to say the least; requiring groups of workers to assemble a complex system of harnesses, anchors, and tie-offs in order to abide by OSHA regulation. Setting up this proper safety equipment often takes more time than it does to complete the actual task at hand. As a result, simple assignments become time consuming and daunting for the maintenance staff. If left unaddressed, this situation could lead to a dangerous work environment and/or cost Holo-Krome both time and labor that they could be devoting to other areas in need.

Our proposed solution delivers a fall protection system for one furnace that is both compliant with OSHA regulations and provides more convenient access to its roof to perform maintenance procedures. This solution outlines the construction of a raised catwalk structure which spans just over half the length of the furnace and is held by 17 main support columns. The platform is constructed from a customly-cut steel angle iron frame with sections of steel grate laid atop to span its entire width. In addition, a catalog-selected staircase is bolted to the frame and this entire structure is placed an inch away from the furnace so as to not interfere with features affixed to its surface. Beyond the platform, square railings with attached toeboards will be installed along edges of both the furnace and catwalk. However, these railings will only be placed along edges that pose a falling risk.

This proposed solution is further outlined in the system plan which acts as our final deliverable for the project. This plan includes all relevant CAD models, drawings, bill of materials, simulations, manuals, and reports related to the construction and use of our end product. Implementation of this plan will not only reduce the need for unwieldy harness equipment, but also help provide a safer workplace environment for employees. This project will be successful if we assist in reducing their annual fall protection-related costs, the safety of the furnace-access system is visibly improved, and the workers agree that the system we produce actually provides them with beneficial utility.