Ford employees in 15 plants performing repetitive overhead tasks now have assistance from a new upper body exoskeletal technology. This is one example of technology used to reduce the physical toll on employees during the vehicle assembly process, lessening the chance of worker fatigue, injury or discomfort.
Since 2005, Ford says incidents in global facilities that resulted in lost time fell 75%. The 2018 incident rate was one of the lowest on record. Ford is introducing wearable technology globally after a successful trial in two U.S. plants.
Employees in 15 plants and seven countries can use an “EksoVest” developed with Ekso Bionics to enhance this wearable technology that elevates and supports a worker’s arms while performing overhead tasks such as reaching up with a power tool to screw bolts to secure the car’s brace – all while standing underneath the vehicle.
Ford piloted the vest at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. and Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich., during the past year. The feedback from plant operators helped refine the technology before the company rolled it out globally.
“At Ekso, our mission is to augment human capability with wearable technology and robotics that help people rethink current physical limitations and achieve the remarkable,” said Jack Peurach, president and chief executive officer of Ekso Bionics.
About Ekso Bionics
Ekso Bionics is a developer of exoskeleton solutions that supporti or enhance strength, endurance and mobility in medical and industrial applications. Founded in 2005, Ekso Bionics claims to be the only exoskeleton company to offer technologies that range from helping those with paralysis to stand up and walk, to enhancing human capabilities on job sites across the globe. The company is headquartered in the Bay Area and is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol EKSO. For more information, visit: www.eksobionics.com.