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 When does a Vacuum Furnace require to comply with the CDM regs?

Created 26 Sep 2004, 16:45 by Ai Solutions in the CDM forum.

Consarc is a manufacturer of capital equipment for the metallurgical Industry (Vacuum Furnaces) with clients such as Rolls-Royce, Corus, Ford, General Motors etc.

The equipment we manufacture is normally constructed in our factory at Bellshill and fully tested. It is then stripped down to allow shipment.

Total shipment may involve anything up to 10 x 40 foot lorries with the shipment consisting of Vacuum Chambers, Vacuum Pumps, Power Supplies, Water Pumps and literally miles of electrical cable.

When the furnace arrives on site, the system is reassembled as it was on our shop floor. Following mechanical assembly of the chambers and platforms, the furnace electrical cables are installed. These may be anything from very light signal cables carrying no more that a few millivolts from a thermocouple to a water cooled power cable carrying 40,000 amps.

The word Furnace may give the wrong impression. The furnace may have 16 tons of molten metal inside it at 1500oC but from the outside all that would be apparent is the hum of a power supply and the noise from the vacuum pumps. The actual melting and pouring of the alloy is all carried out under the protective atmosphere (or lack of it)

Installation may involve some or all of the following, however some of our smaller furnaces may only involve working at heights greater than 2 m.

  • e.g. Chamber may be 3 m above ground.
  • Installation involves working at heights greater than 2 m
  • Installation may involve pits lower than 2 m
  • Installation may taken more than 30 days
  • Installation may have more than 5 people on site although not at the same time
  • Installation may have more than 5 people on site although at the same time
#69 Ai Solutions posted on 26 September 2004, 16:45

The question above was originally posed via our Ask A Guru feature and this response from 2004 was by either Dave Carr or Michael Stokes.

The manufacture and trial assembly of the furnace in the factory, does not fall within the remit of CDM.

Once the kit arrives at site however, and assembly begins, because there is a risk of a person falling more than 2m, the full force of CDM applies (Regulation 2(1) and ACoP clause 26 refers).

The question of who carries out the roles of Planning Supervisor and Principal Contractor will no doubt be determined by the Client but the important point is that these roles must be fulfilled.

The questioner makes reference to 'pits lower than 2m'; there is obviously a need for foundations etc and these too will almost certainly fall within the remit of CDM.

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