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Marcus Schneck, CEO of norelem, explains how incorporating standard anti-vibration components into manufacturing and engineering machinery can drastically reduce the vibration output of a machine, creating a safer, more productive and cost-effective workplace.

When working in the manufacturing and engineering industry, the production and maintenance of machinery is vital when ensuring all employees are working in a safe environment. Exposure to vibrations and loud noises within the workplace, which is commonly caused by imbalance, misalignment, loose parts or wear and tear of a machine, can lead to major health problems such as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), hard of hearing and even deafness. The Health and Safety Executive receive 3,000 new claims in relation to HAVS every year.

In the UK, the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 came into force on the 6th July 2005, to protect workers from risks to health from vibration. Nearly 2 million people in the UK are at risk of developing HAVS whilst at their place of work. Vibration within machinery can also affect productivity, as well as lead to costly maintenance and factory downtime. Making improvements to all vibrating machines will reduce the chances of employees developing HAVS and improve overall performance.

A healthy worker is a happy worker

As the old cliché goes, your most important asset is your workforce. In the case of reducing vibration around the workplace, this couldn’t be more true.

Depending on the frequency range and interference frequency (the frequency to be absorbed) of machine vibrations, problems with health and concentration can occur during prolonged exposure, as well as reduce staff productivity. If employees are working with machines generating vibration, they have the risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders, stress-related health effects, noise-related hearing loss and even changes to neurosensory function.

Damage from HAVS is more commonly known to affect the hands and arms, and can cause the inability to carry out complex tasks, as well as triggering painful finger blanching attacks in cold weather. HAVS develops slowly and can also affect the whole body, but once a worker develops the disease it becomes a permanent condition.

Accidents and injuries caused by vibration can be extremely debilitating and permanent, but most importantly – they are preventable. Ensuring anti-vibration components are installed in all machines will help reduce any health or production issues for all workers in this environment.

Keep on top of machine maintenance

Machine vibrations affect more than the people who operate them and can also have a significant impact on the performance of a machine. Small vibrations can adjust the movements inside the machine, which may cause the machine to produce a defected product or output. Continuous vibration will cause machinery to become increasingly difficult to maintain, leaving parts that need to be configured or readjusted.

Of course, some machines need to vibrate in order to operate effectively. However, using anti-vibration components can help dampen vibrations in certain areas of the machine, reducing the chance of impacting other machines/components in the vicinity.

Machines will also begin to wear down over time with exposure to any level of vibration. As vibration waves travel through the machine it will adjust the position of the components inside and outside, causing friction and thus the wearing down of the machine’s parts.

With friction also comes heat, which may result in parts of a machine overheating gradually over time. This means a potentially shorter service life of the components within the machine, higher frequencies of needing to maintain or replace components, and a higher price tag on the lifecycle of the machine. Reducing vibration waves produced by a machine can be simple however, such as the addition of swivel feet, machine feet and rubber buffers which are designed to absorb vibrations, cushion shocks, reduce acceleration and structure borne noise from manufacturers and suppliers such as norelem.

Unnoticed vibration can cause unscheduled downtime as well as excessive power consumption which may damage the product’s quality. If anti-vibration components are used correctly, they are excellent at reducing the transfer of vibration and noise. For example, when using norelem’s swivel feet with an interference frequency of 44Hz, it has an absorption effect of 69%.

Extend the life of your machine

Ensuring machinery is working efficiently is essential when operating a manufacturing or engineering plant. When vibrations are present it’s always good to consider different ways in which you can reduce the effects of wear and tear on the machines. Machinery and tools can last longer when designed with anti-vibration components, increasing its service life significantly.

Rubber buffers can isolate and dampen the vibrations in a variety of applications, including aggregates, motors, compressors, pumps, inspection machines and mechanical components.

These properties allow them to be used to absorb vibrations when machines, mechanical components and worktables are mounted and anchored to them. Swivel feet are also another standard component that can be used to reduce the strength of a machine’s vibration. Effective vibration absorption is dependent on the interference frequency and the natural frequency of the absorption unit.

For design engineers, considering vibration does not mean having to create and design bespoke parts for each machine – universally applicable elements for the support of all types of machine are now readily available. Machine feet are another standard component available in a variety of sizes and ideal to use in situations where tensile forces are to be expected.

Happy to help

Providing a safe anti-vibration environment for workers will result in happier workers, increased productivity and reduced chance of accidents. norelem can provide simple measures to reduce exposure to vibration with years of industry experience.

norelem’s experts are happy to help when it comes to providing workplace solutions within the manufacturing and engineering sector, offering advice and recommendations to anyone who needs it.

For more about norelem and its anti-vibration components, please visit

norelem UK

norelem view themselves as part of a dynamic culture of innovation. We are continually expanding our product portfolio of standard and specialist elements. That is why we have invested in modern logistical structures which enable us to react flexibly and promptly to our customers’ needs delivering the highest quality products and service.

About norelem

norelem is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of flexible standard parts and components for mechanical engineering. The company supplies 60,000 standard products relating to standard machinery and operating elements, as well as automation components.

All these components are detailed in THE BIG GREEN BOOK, norelem’s ideas catalogue and a reference book, ninety-eight per cent of these parts are available from stock, and the business delivers on-site technical support for products. This high level of inventory enables norelem to provide fast and reliable delivery.


THE BIG GREEN BOOK is both norelem’s ideas catalogue and a reference book, and has become the norelem trademark. More than just a standard product catalogue, THE BIG GREEN BOOK represents everything norelem stands for, combining product information, specifications, and technical information, with best practice references, advice, and guidance.

The 2020 version of THE BIG GREEN BOOK is in fact now so big and so comprehensive that it is split into two volumes. You can request the bumper, two-volume print or USB version including 3D CAD data by emailing

About norelem ACADEMY

As the global standard component specialist, norelem helps students, universities and companies with free, specialised lectures in the fields of toolmaking and drive technology through norelem’s training arm, norelem ACADEMY.

Coordinated to your requirements, norelem can offer 90-minute specialist lectures providing insight into the different areas of engineering, and how to bring these insights directly into your practice.

norelem ACADEMY also supports engineering student teams across the globe. By donating components and encouraging knowledge transfer, our experts help close skills gaps and launch the careers of tomorrow’s engineering talent. Global initiatives that norelem supports include Formula Student and The World Solar Challenge, while norelem also holds its own yearly engineering competition, Engineering Newcomer.

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