Your posting implies that the former management of Prototype (Plynetics) Express Schaumburg operated an unclean, and thus unsafe, SLA operation. You are wrong. During its operation (and prior to its untimely death), ProtoPly Schaumburg was not an unsafe work environment. Spills were cleaned off floors quickly, floors were cleaned on a weekly basis, resin cleaning and curing areas were properly ventilated to the outside, and employees were trained and always required to wear protective equipment when working on, in, or around uncured resin.
Granted, the inner chambers of the SLAs were far from spotless--as would be expected from a 24-hour 7-day operation with too many folks responsible for pulling trays and maintaining cleanliness. Lord knows we all have room to improve in the housekeeping department. But I never went home with uncured resin on my shoes (!?) or stuck my elbow in a glob of resin on a countertop. C'mon! Do you really think what you saw Friday was the standard operating mode of ProtoPly when it was alive? Get a grip.
Maybe some former employees sacked the place on the last day they were there, out of anger at losing their jobs. Maybe chemical compounds are in solution with water vapor, and over the five months, condense onto the floors and counters. Have you ever left your SLA lab untouched for five months and observed what happens? Neither have I.
I can't comment on the condition of the facility after early September 1998, when I left the company. Neither can I comment on its condition on March 19, 1999, but it sounds to me that the financial group that has owned these assets since November 1998 should be the addressee of your little safety scolding. They should have cleaned the floors and counters before the auction. And if the auction company employee was uneducated and was becoming sensitized to resin, whose fault is that? Certainly not the former employees who were locked out and haven't been near the place in 5 months! To imply that the blame for this individual's lack of knowledge can be traced back to inadequate safety practices at ProtoPly is very irresponsible on your part.
Finally, I fully agree with Karl that Safety around resin and all hazardous chemicals is of paramount importance. Steve Deak's work is a great model and point of departure for a Safety Plan. In the spring of 1998, after seven years of near-daily SLA machine operation, I had my first resin sensitization event. It can happen to anyone, and it can happen all of the sudden, and it can happen after many years of non-events. Do be careful.
--a former employee and RP Manager of Prototype (Plynetics) Express Schaumburg--
Pratt & Whitney
275 E. Robinson
Springdale AR 72764
From: Karl Denton [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, March 20, 1999 9:05 AM
Subject: Thoughts and comments on the Plynetics Auction (Schaumburg
It's been a while since I sent a lengthy note to this list and after
attending the Plynetics Express auction on Friday I figured that I would use
that as a jumping off point. I'll the get the obvious out of the way
first...Some may see this as an effort to advertise but read the complete
note prior to making that observation! I realize that I will be opening my
self up for a blast of non-sense emails and I guess all I can say is so be
First the melodramatic part, I arrived at the auction site late Thursday and
had about an hour to view the items that were up for auction. I must say
that when I walked in to the shop I was astounded as to how sad it made me
feel. Knowing the two RP pioneers that started the business and the success
that they had achieved. As I walked through the shop and office area I had
a very vivid playback of the past 8 years of at least my involvement in this
industry and as others poked and prodded at various items I thought about
the history that was about to vanish. To my amazement both Tom Mueller and
Dave Flynn were at the Schaumburg location on the day of the auction and I
must say my hats off to both of them! Auction day was like some form of
mini user group meeting, several service bureaus had representatives there a
couple of folks from DTM and many others known to this dynamic industry.
I'll not give specifics as to who or who brought what.
The RP equipment that was up for auction included: Two SLA 500's, one SLA
350, four SLA 250's and a DTM Sinter Station 2000. Of course lots and lots
and lots of extras! The equipment went as follows:
The SLA 250's went for on average of about $30,000
The DTM Sinter Station----$30,000 (It was rumored that DTM was going to
charge $30,000 for re-licensing the software!)
The extras went for (those that someone actually purchased) a seemingly
All in all I think that the bank will be happy with the outcome of at least
the auction from the Schaumburg location!
Now to the part that may cause a minimal amount of frustration!
As I said above I was very saddened while I walked through the facility and
then the very second thought that I had was "my God these guys were absolute
slobs" I could not find a spot in the place that I was comfortable
touching. I realize that this was a production shop and I realize that when
things started to go bad that some folks may have lost their zest for caring
about being clean. All of the SLA machines were covered in cured resin and
most of us though that that would be the most trouble the new owners would
have to over come! Liquid resin was every where! When I got back to my
hotel Thursday night my shoes stuck to the rest room floor! Can I interject
at this point that RESIN (ANY RP MATERIAL) SAFETY SHOUD NOT BE IGNORED!
While talking with one of the auction company employees I inquired about
some SLA platforms and he asked what this stuff was because he said he had
been leaning on counter tops and his arms started to get red. After telling
him to wash very thoroughly we found a box of gloves for him to use. I will
not spend any more time on this except to say (and here is the part that
will get me into trouble, I think) if you need help in establishing a safety
procedure or help in training your shop staff in the proper handling and
disposal of ANY of the RP materials please call me at the number below. We
have constructed several training sessions that deal with the safety issues
and using Steve Deak's (Hasbro) safety procedure as a model can tailor it to
fit your company. We will come in and evaluate your company and make
suggestions based on your business habits and needs. I would NOT normally
send such a blatant sales blurb but when I saw the condition of the
Pylnetics Express facility I felt a need to at least offer our expertise.
Sorry if this offends anyone, safety is important!
Karl R. Denton
Advanced Technology Consultants LLC
4778 Greenview Ct.
Commerce Twp., MI 48382
Helping you excel through the use of Advanced Technologies
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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