Photo: Lotta Hammar, Swerea IVF​

He wants to stop dangerous vibrations

Industrial PhD student Hans Lindell from Swerea IVF has worked to reduce and investigate how vibrations affect humans for almost 30 years. Recently, he was elected chairman of an international standardization committee working with vibrations. In the committee, he wants to try to influence the standard so that dangerous vibrations can be stopped.
Vibration damage is the most common occupational disease in Sweden. Every day, 400,000 people work for more than two hours a day with vibrating machines. This causes a large number of chronic damage to the nerves, vessels, muscles and skeletal system. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

 - Machines don't need to vibrate and hurt people! There is no physical law that confirms that” says Hans Lindell, who has shown that machines with significantly lower vibrations can be developed.

With help from research results, it has been possible to rebuild existing machines, such as chisel hammers and nutrunners, to show that it is possible to greatly reduce vibration levels. Two types of vibrations that are attempted to counteract are rotating and translating that goes back and forth. One of the techniques used is called ATVA (Auto Tuning Vibration Absorber) and is based on vibration reductions by counteracting the forces that cause the vibrations. Prototypes are currently being tested in the field with satisfactory results. Recently, the project was also awarded additional funds from Vinnova to scale up the project and introduce prototypes in vibration-free, industrial demonstration environments in full production.

Hans Lindell thinks that his extensive experience in the field was the reason for him being elected as chairman of the International Standardization Committee named ISO/TC108/SC4/WG3. One of the standards under the group's responsibility is ISO 5349, which states how to measure and assess the risks of vibrations on handheld tools. Hans Lindell thinks that it feels both nervous and at the same time very fun to get the presidency.

- There is a great need for an adjustment of the current standard so that it also takes into account machines with impacts and shocks that give high frequency vibration which we suspect cause a large part of the damage. As a chairman, you will be able to drive a change" says Hans Lindell.

A lot of things are already about to happen thanks to Hans Lindell's research. Machines, where the high-frequency vibration is remedied, will be released on the market within one year. As far as ATVA technology is concerned, it probably takes a few years, but future users will get fewer injuries, machine manufacturers get an opportunity to increase their competitiveness and society earns on reduced costs for a disease. However, there is much more to be found in the vibration area. The ATVA technology is applicable to considerably more uses than handheld machines. There is a lot of applications where vibrations need to be reduced.

 - What's so funny is that the deeper you get into a problem, the more unanswered questions are found" says Hans Lindell

Published: Thu 23 Nov 2017.