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  • 1.
    Lundin, Gunnar
    et al.
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioscience and Materials, Agrifood and Bioscience.
    Zetterström, Bengt
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Safety and Transport, SMP Swedish Machinery Testing Institute.
    Småskaliga plockmaskiner för humle: Bedömning av maskinsäkerhet och åtgärdsförslag2017Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Small-scale beer production in Sweden has increased significantly in recent years and at the same time interest in using Swedish hops to produce the beer has grown.

    Expanding the growing of hops in Sweden would be significantly facilitated by mechanization of harvesting. Several growers are therefore considering to invest in some form of picking machines, i.e. equipment that can separate the hop cones from the bines and then clean them. ­­

    In recent years, harvesting machines have been under development in North America that would enable hobby hops growers to move towards commercialization. These small-scale picking machines, due to their size and cost, could be suitable for many Swedish hops growers. However, the absence of CE marking implies these machines may not be sold or used commercially in Sweden and the risk of personal injury when using such equipment is unclear.

    The aim of this survey was to map machine safety when using small-scale picking machines for harvesting hops, and to make suggestions for improvements. The survey was based on legal requirements for CE marking. In this way, the work method was applied using a checklist based on current health and safety requirements in the EU that SMP (Swedish Machinery Testing Institute) uses.

    The survey examined three types of small-scale picking machines for hops. In this context, it should be emphasized that this was an orientation review based mostly on web-based information. This is because these small-scale picking machines are not yet commercially available in Sweden. On the other hand, the timing of the investigation may provide results useful as a decision basis for initial investments in the first picking machines in Sweden. In this context, it should be emphasized that the manufacturers of the picking machines have not been given the opportunity to comment on the results of the survey.

    The investigation showed that for all of the machines examined, safety enhancement measures were needed.  There were significant differences between the concepts, and among other things, the extent to which working personnel risk coming into direct contact with moving machine parts. This risk was considered greatest for the machine where the hop bines were manually fed directly to the stripping rotor.

    A comprehensive action proposal from the review was the need for an installation of an emergency stop. Furthermore, the need for contact protection for accessible movable machine parts as well as splash protection for ejected plant material. Considering the ejection of plant material from the machines, the need to wear goggles or a visor was emphasized.

    An alternative to EU-adapt imported picking machines is to manufacture such equipment here in Sweden. The experiences gained from the present investigation are expected to be useful in the development of domestic picking machines with a high level of safety.

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