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Minimising disturbances caused by noisy machine tools

Tests carried out on tools and the best way to cut materials point to the way forward in minimising the disruptive noise caused by industrial activities. This could also help to shift the way policy on the issue is defined.

Industrial Technologies

Noise caused by industrial machinery near office spaces or homes is an infuriating nuisance, but in some cases it is more than an annoyance, making it impossible to work and seriously affecting well-being. Currently, this represents a problem and has been addressed by a number of EU directives aimed at the end-user of the machinery. This evaluation, under the auspices of the NOISELESS project, shifts the focus and responsibility onto the manufacturer of the tools. Furthermore, it considers what could be done in terms of design and the way tools are operated to lessen the noise pollution caused. Tests had been conducted previously on three types of tool to find out which was the noisiest; the only difference of operation being the type of sharpening of the blade. The phonometric results showed that the noise produced during a cutting session decreases depending on the sharpness of the tools and the angles of inclination on the cutting surface. Previous tests found that a double concave sharpening tool was virtually 'noise free' and didn't cause any deformation of the metal sheet. It was also indicated that adapting the design of the tool would add 20 per cent to the tool life. These findings have the potential to increase competitiveness in the market, as the specifications for tools become more sophisticated. In the long run, it could mean an improvement for the end-user as the tools would last longer and crucially, the reduction in noise would minimise the externalities caused by industrial manufacture.

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