Ford to Buy Robotic Exo-Suits to Reduce Workers Injuries After Successful Trial

August 14, 2018

 

Ford the company commonly credited with thinking up the revolutionary idea of the “moving assembly line” around 105 years ago has taken another bold step by introducing powered exo-suits which workers wear on the assembly line. Ford has been testing the suits called EksoVests made by Californian company Ekso Bionics suits for a year. The aim of them is not to help employees lift more (the suits provide just 15 lbs of lift assistance to each arm), but to help them get injured less. The suits which fit workers between 5’2’’ and 6’4’’ and sell for around $6,500, reduce shoulder strain for workers continually working overhead. According to Ford, the firm's assembly line workforce lift their arms during overhead tasks roughly one million times per year, a rate which results in substantial risk for fatigue and upper-body injuries. In Ford’s yearlong trial, they discovered that the EksoVests helped reduce workplace injuries by 83%. Ford plans to buy around 75 suits and deploy them at 15 manufacturing sites around the world.

 

 

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