Ok, some of you folks may remember this one:
from a few years ago. Well it happened again last night. I'm running my machine, minding my own business. My only worry was about the "Old Sally" (A Slavagnini P$ panel bender) that was having an annoying overheating problem that made it difficult to get any production out of. I look back from the unload table of the "New Sally" (please be aware that both of the aforementioned machines are over twenty years old and look like they've been worked on by Soviet machinists) and notice a haze hanging just below the roof beams. At this I muse two things: "Gee, I wonder what that is?" and "Wonder if the lasers are burning again?"
Didn't need to wonder too long, Big J, one of our press brake operators comes gliding down the aisle and says with a slight grin and a matter of fact tone, "The laser's on fire." I see both our standalone and tower laser operators looking and pointing in a matter of fact way in the direction the smoke seems to be emanating from.
I walk over and look with them. Sure enough, there is lovely white, acrid smoke merrily pouring forth from the exhaust vent of the Torit dust collector on top of the mezzanine deck for Lasers 1 and 2. I then hear something curious from the guys. Basically they tell me that the machine hasn't been run in a week. They thought it odd that this dust collector should light up as did I.
Seeing that we weren't in immediate dire need to flee in screaming terror, I wandered back to my machine. The supervisor passes me on the way back to my machine and looks at what is going on. I start diligently packing the few items that I normally carry into to work such as my coffee cup, satchel, water bottle and bottle of pop along with my coat, just in case they decided to call for an immediate evacuation. Figured it might be a good idea. I loaded another part or two, put on my zip front hoodie as they had turned on the ventilators to help draw some of the smoke out, and continued working.
Sure enough, about five minutes later the call came to clear the area of trouble. I wander back by the welding area and the loading docks to wait the call to leave the building. We wait there for about fifteen minutes and are told to head outside and wait. Teh fire department shows up and are guided to the source of the trouble.
About this time the Plant Manager and our head of Laser Programming also show up. The Fire Department gets the door open, the fire out and we get to have lunch, Which was good as some of the guys I usually work with order a pizza). The building is aired out and we are back to work by 8:20 PM. Oh yea, before I forget one of the guys tasked with cleaning up the mess accidentally set one of the trash hoppers on fire. No big deal though we got that outside and put out on our own.
Still no clue as to what started that fire. I'm just grateful all we cut is steel. If we worked aluminum that could make for some "interesting" consequences in a dust collector.