Kevlar® Dare Bigger™ Moments: Novelis South America
Novelis, world leader in laminates and aluminum recycling, strongly invests in the development of solutions to the most demanding applications. Novelis has been the world market leader for 37 years in the production of aluminum sheets for can manufacturing markets in general, providing exclusive solutions to the most demanding applications such as soda cans, automobiles and transportation, food packing, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, architecture, consumables and electronic parts. The customer-oriented innovation and sustainability commitment are parts of its mission and values, as well as the improvement of employees’ lives through the reduction of injuries resulting from sharp-edge sheets and the improvement of productive process to reduce the costs of their operations in Brazil.
In 2009, as a result from its internal audits and in compliance with the continuous improvement policy in all segments of its plant located in Pindamonhangaba (SP), the company realized it was necessary to design cut resistant gloves to provide greater safety during the handling of aluminum sheets. As a result, its EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) team, jointly with all the employees of the lamination area, management and technical department, were challenged to design gloves to meet their safety requirements concerning the following agents: heat, cuts, moisture and ergonomy, in order to eliminate work injuries.
Market surveys identified a wide availability of gloves for hand protection that, at first, would be able to comply with the protection level expected by the company.
In the studies conducted to select the material to be used, DuPont™ Kevlar® stood out as it exceeded other fabrics’ performance. Its exclusive properties and chemical composition surpassed all other fibers available on the market and, according to the team in charge of the challenge, the fiber is incredibly strong, flexible and resistant to flames and cuts, and the combination of such properties makes it qualified for many high-performance applications.
The use of DuPont™ Kevlar® resulted in a success history, with amazing levels of protection and users’ total satisfaction, in addition to the elimination of work injuries resulting from hand cuts and significant improvement in the cost/benefit ratio. From the start of the testing in 2010 until mid-2013, no protection-related injuries occurred in such tasks. Accordingly the company acknowledges DuPont™ Kevlar® gloves provide excellent and effective level of protection to its employees.
“In 2010, we deployed the gloves designed by Novelis workgroup in partnership with DuPont and since then our prevention has been efficient and effective: we’ve eliminated hand cuts and provided more comfort to our employees” Ederaldo Galvão – Novelis.
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