Over 100 years ago, the moving assembly line, invented by Ford Motor Company under the leadership of Henry Ford, revolutionized automotive production. Today, Ford is still committed to utilizing groundbreaking technologies to further revolutionize mass production.
The physical demands of repetitive overhead work takes its toll on workers. Some workers on the assembly line lift their arms an average of 4,600 times per day, or about 1 million times per year, increasing the possibility of fatigue or injury.
That’s where the EksoVest comes in. Ford and Ekso Bionics partnered to explore how this upper body exoskeleton that elevates and supports a worker’s arms can help.
By reducing the strain on a worker’s body, he/she not only feels better at the end of every day, it also reduces the likelihood that the worker will sustain injury. Jobs get completed to a higher level of quality, in a shorter amount of time, increasing both productivity and morale.
The Ford Partnership
Ford initially partnered with EksoWorks to pilot the EksoVest in two U.S. plants. As a result, use of the EksoVest will be expanded to plants in other regions, including Europe and South America.
Coincidentally, Ekso Bionics is headquartered in the former Richmond, California Ford factory, which opened in 1931 and was the largest auto assembly plant on the West Coast. The plant manufactured Model A and AA vehicles before it was retooled during WWII to process tanks and jeeps at the direction of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Now, over 80 years later, it is home to cutting-edge exoskeleton technology that is changing the automotive industry.
To learn more about how EksoVest can be used on assembly lines, request a demo today.
Primary tools used with the vest vary by application including applications that use no tools at all — just manipulating parts with their hands while overhead. It’s optimized to support the weight of the worker’s arms so that any overhead work puts less of a strain on the worker’s shoulders and arms. The vest provides 5-15lbs of lift assistance per arm when the springs are activated. As a result, the worker will get a noticeable level of support for overhead tasks that require either no tools at all or tasks requiring tools that weigh up to approximately 8 pounds.