Glove Intelligent Assistant
Next week, SW Sustainability Solutions will be attending the SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center from November 1st to the 4th. The SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show is an opportunity for attendees and booth exhibitors to discover or showcase the newest product and vehicle trends in the industry. There will be over 1,800 exhibitors and an expected attendance of over 70,000 attendees across the four days.
Now, you may be wondering, what motivates SW Safety in attending the SEMA trade show?
In order to explain this relation, we must discuss gloves and their important role in the automotive industry. Our Research and Development team has been compiling various statistics and data within the automotive industry. They have found that OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) does not provide strict guidelines specifying on hand protection. Rather than according to industry standards, it is on the employer to provide or specify the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) necessary for their employees. In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that around 25% of all injuries and illnesses in the automotive industry are linked to injuries of the hands and wrists. ISHN (Industrial Health & Safety News) quotes that 70% of the hand injuries were due to not wearing gloves and the remaining 30% of injuries were due to improper glove usage. A large part of this is a result of uncomfortability when wearing gloves for extended periods of time. Another aspect is inadequate or improper usage in the working environment.
To give a scope of these injuries and how they occur, the usual injuries fall under three main categories. These being, mechanical, thermal, and chemical hazards. Mechanical hazards include cuts, punctures, lacerations, or snags that happen when handling sharp tools, raw materials and components. For example when handling metal debris from lathe machines. Abrasions occur too while inspecting the components and surfaces, like when sanding surfaces for sharpening tools. Crush injuries may occur as well when handling and lifting heavy components and tools. Thermal hazards would be handling high temperature materials or even handling tools that reach high temperatures. Some examples would be, such as, handling welding machines or heat generated from casting molds with exothermic materials. Chemical hazards usually consist of exposure to chemicals in the modes of immersion, intermittent transfer or accidental splashes. Furthermore, chemical permeation charts and ratings of tested raw materials do not always reflect the actual chemical exposure risks in automotive component manufacturing. These three major issues can be reduced by gloves that provide comfortability and protection against the working environment of the automotive industry. Reflecting on SW’s role in the automotive industry, while it is well known that SW gloves are widely used in the medical industry, we also have multipurpose products that cater to these specific needs of the automotive industry as well. Such products, which we will be showcasing at the exhibit, include: SW’s GraphEx, KarbonHex, MegaMan, and PowerForm series.
GraphEx (G66200 and C55104) offers thick cut protection required for glass and sheet metal handling without compromising the flexibility, dexterity and grip of the glove. The proprietary AxiFybr yarn used to manufacture the GraphEx series is engineered at the molecular level to be 45% stronger and 21% more cut-resistant without sacrificing fit or comfort.
KarbonHex (KX41, KX42 and KX10) is the preferred choice for most of the lightweight jobs requiring sensitivity and dexterity in handling small, lubricated parts. The series is specifically designed for ergonomic hand protection with its nitrile palm coating.
MegaMan is a more durable and multi-layer nitrile flock-lined glove that lasts three times longer than a regular nitrile glove. This is a perfect solution for most of the routine manual labor tasks involved in automotive parts and components manufacturing. The glove is designed for long term usage without compromising in comfortability, containing SW’s DriTek technology lining inside. DriTek technology curbs sweat accumulation, meaning less irritability throughout long periods of wear. MegaMan also provides good abrasion resistance combined with adequate puncture resistance and protection against liquids, making it a competitive general-purpose glove for automotive parts and components manufacturing.
PowerForm offers adequate chemical resistance required for most of the painting, adhesion, lubrication and cleaning tasks in automotive parts and components manufacturing. The glove series is tested against the American Society of Testing and Materials’ (ASTM) D6978 Standard Practice for Assessment of Resistance of Medical Gloves to Permeation by Chemotherapy Drugs. The tests have determined the gloves to be resistant up to 4 hours against permeable chemicals such as fentanyl and were also tested against simulated gastric acid. Thus, they are suited for light chemical mixing, or other chemical handling and assembly.
SW is focused on continuing its research on the current needs of the automotive industry, and creating new innovative products – another reason we will be attending the show. For those who are attending, we hope to see you on the convention floor!