Quieter by design - paring machine

The problem

Operative using new paring machine

Shoe manufacture is a labour intensive process, involving operators in semi-automatic tasks during most production stages. Much of the machinery is based on well-established, efficient technology. However, it is often likely to generate high noise levels.

The solution

A major shoe manufacturer has designed a new paring machine, incorporating the following features:

  • lining the outer casing of the machine with 50 mm thick, absorbent foam to increase sound reduction across the panels and to dampen mechanical vibration of the outer skin;
  • installing the cutting head system on anti-vibration mounts to prevent vibration transmission from the blade and shoe to the outer casing;
  • placing the dust extraction system on the outside of the machine. This can be positioned away from the operator.

The cost

About £150 per machine. (1995)

The result

An early prototype provided a reduction of up to 5 dB. It is hoped that subsequent design changes will further reduce noise levels.


Photographs courtesy of Clarks International.

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Updated 2010-04-02