Select Country

Ford Plant Workers Using Exoskeletons To Reduce Fatigue & Prevent Injury

Ford plant workers are taking advantage of exoskeletons to take some of the stress and potential for injury out of performing overhead tasks. (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.)

Ford has been working closely with Ekso Bionics to offer EksoVest exoskeletons to employees at 15 plants throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia Pacific. These upper-body wearable devices are designed to prevent fatigue and repetitive strain injuries from performing the same tasks over and over again. This is another step in Ford’s goal to minimise the risk of employee injury, an initiative that has led to the company achieving 75 percent fewer incidents that “resulted in lost time” since 2005.

“Building vehicles is physically a tough job,” said Bruce Hettle, group vice president of Ford’s Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, in a press release. “We care about our employees and are trying to help them do their jobs with the least amount of wear and tear on their bodies possible.”

Light Lifting

The EksoVest is perfectly suited for overhead work when assembling vehicles and is designed to offer between 2.25 to 6.8 kilograms (5 to 15 pounds) of lifting aid for each arm. The vest is available in sizes ranging from 157 centimetres (5 feet 2 inches) up to 193 centimetres (6 feet 4 inches) and is built for comfort. Ford tested the EksoVest at two different plants, one located in Wayne, Michigan, and the other in Flat Rock, Michigan, before sending them out to other facilities. “I don’t want the EksoVest to ever leave,” said Nick Gotts, one of the first EksoVest operators at Flat Rock Assembly. “Any job that’s overhead, I wouldn’t work without it.”

The EksoVest can take anywhere between 2.25 to 6.8 kilograms (5 to 15 pounds) of pressure off of each arm, and it’s available in sizes ranging from 157 centimetres (5 feet 2 inches) up to 193 centimetres (6 feet 4 inches). (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.)
Complementary Technology

Jack Peurach, president and chief executive officer of Ekso Bionics, is happy that the company was able to work with Ford and calls the partnership “a major step forward in achieving our mission as our EskoVest is deployed around the world to enhance the well-being of its work force.” He adds that the company’s goal is to complement the abilities of humans “with wearable technology and robotics that help people rethink current physical limitations and achieve the remarkable.”

If you want to own a vehicle that may have been assembled by someone wearing an exoskeleton, you’ll find thousands of new and used Ford trucks for sale at TruckLocator.

Posted On 15 August 2018
Category: Truck and Trailer News
Tags : ford manufacturing technology
  Blog Archive
MAN Truck & Bus At Work On The ANITA Project’s Self-Driving Vehicles For Hub-To-Hub Logistics Routes
After the development and implementation phase, the software and an autonomous MAN truck—with a safety driver on board—will begin testing in real-world operations in Ulm. ...
Read More
Scania Partnering To Test Feasibility Of Long-Haul Electrified Trucks Powered By Overhead Wires
The electric road system is seen as one of the most technically viable and economically attractive options for the electrification of heavy-duty trucks because it uses known and available technologies in new ways. ...
Read More
Waste Management Specialist Receives Two High-Spec Mercedes-Benz Trucks
Select Environmental Services has purchased trucks from other manufacturers in the past, but chose dealer City West Commercials because they “tick every box” on every order, the firm says. ...
Read More
Isuzu 3.5-Tonne Grafter Wins 9th Consecutive Best Builders’ Truck Award
Trade Van Driver’s annual awards are judged by the magazine’s expert panel of journalists and readers who use light commercial vehicles. ...
Read More
Low Cab Entry Drives Highway Maintenance Specialist’s Acquisition Of Volvo FE Tippers
Ringway of West Sussex has added three 26-tonne Volvo FE 6x2 rigid tipper trucks to its UK-wide fleet. ...
Read More
IVECO Launches Projects To Promote The Benefits Of Natural Gas & Its Key Role In Decarbonizing Transport
?The “IVECO Ambassador” programme aims to raise awareness of the brand’s values on different themes. ...
Read More
IVECO’s Brescia, Italy, Production Plant Manufactures 600,000th Eurocargo
The milestone-setting Eurocargo is powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), which Plant Director Marco Colonna says reaffirms IVECO’s commitment to sustainable transportation. ...
Read More
PRM Green Technologies Sticks With Mercedes-Benz Actros For Equipment Recycling Transport
The firm has acquired a second Mercedes-Benz Actros 2540 LnR, this one a member of the fifth-generation Actros range introduced to the UK in 2019. ...
Read More
Brunel Of Cornwall Purchases Rare Mercedes-Benz Actros Edition 1 Tractor & Arocs Tipper
“We’re very proud to be running a fabulous Actros Edition 1 as our first tractor unit,” says Brunel Managing Director Brian Venables. ...
Read More
Volta Trucks Partners With CPC Group On Composite Exterior Body Panels For Volta Zero Electric Truck
The companies plan to start full-scale production on customer-specified vehicles by 2022’s end, leveraging composite materials in the body and trim. ...
Read More