As the drive for productivity continues to increases in the engineering workshops of Australia, the pressure builds on managers and supervisors to minimise set-up times in order to optimise production. The other side of the same coin is that workshop managers need to deliver a safe working environment for machine operators and ensure compliance with regulations concerning occupational health & safety (OH&S).

In workshops with turning machines such as lathes and machine centres, one of the most dangerous risks is that the workpiece may not be firmly held by the chuck. Worldwide, there have been a number of horrendous accidents because the grip of the chuck was not checked before machining commenced.

“We are glad – and relieved – to see that this century-old problem has now been overcome,” says Cliff Purser, Asia-Pacific Managing Director of Sydney-based 600 Machine Tools. “Our parent company in the UK, the 600 Group, has launched yet another innovative product that underscores its global reputation for safety.”

Suitable for use on all makes of chuck, the Gripsafe gripmeter has been developed to help customers comply with health and safety legislation, enabling them to ensure that their chucks remain fit for purpose. The device attracted crowds at the recent MACH 2016 exhibition in Birmingham, UK, where visitors saw how it accurately measures and records chuck gripping-forces within seconds, under either static or rotating conditions. Gripsafe is compatible with all types of lathe, from manual models through to full CNC lathes and turning centres – in industrial, educational or military applications.

It is foolhardy to ignore the loss of grip that chucks succumb to over time, a factor that can rapidly become a lethal hazard if not frequently monitored and corrected. The Gripsafe accurately measures static and dynamic chuck gripping-forces up to 100kN per jaw, at rotational speeds up to 6,000rpm, and is compatible with all three- and two-jaw chucks. The product is supplied with extension rings to enable use with increased diameter chucks, and is able to connect via WiFi to any compatible device. The Gripsafe’s in-built software provides real-time data capture incorporating all essential functions needed to conclude analysis. A short video about Gripsafe products can be viewed at

“In August, 600 Machine Tools announced that a new service will enable even ‘one-man band’ workshops to take advantage of this important breakthrough in workshop safety,” adds Purser. “Paul Fowler of Dimac Tooling in Dandenong, Victoria, is to offer the Gripsafe gripmeter for hire.”