Exoskeletal arm support system aims to assist industrial motion
Equipois’ x-Ar is an exoskeletal arm support system to aid in manual tasks that require workers to outstretch arms by mirroring human motion rather than replace it.
Equipois Inc., designer and manufacturer of the zeroG mechanical arm technology, designed the x-Ar, an exoskeletal arm support system for manual tasks. Designed to assist with a wide range of activities in industries where people work with their arms outstretched for long periods of time, the x-Ar simply attaches to a human’s arm and becomes, in essence, a formidable mechanical arm, reportedly providing dynamic support throughout the user’s range of motion, while significantly minimizing fatigue and discomfort.
Eric Golden, president and CEO of Equipois said, “We believe that the human hand guided by the human brain is the most powerful and versatile tool ever created. The x-Ar enhances that tool, rather than trying to mimic or replace it, and should significantly impact the workplace across diverse industries.”
Brian Hernandez, Environmental Health & Safety Manager for Ceradyne Corporation said, “We tested x-Ar as part of the pilot program… The x-Ar is a great tool to reduce stress and fatigue associated with work-related repetitive motion tasks involving the arms, wrists, shoulders, and neck. The use of x-Ar in these high exposure ergonomic areas could greatly improve and contribute to a reduction in work related sprains, strains, and other musculoskeletal disorders associated with work related repetitive motion injuries.”
The x-Ar is a descendent of Equipois’s zeroG mechanical arm technology, which holds tools and parts enabling operators to manipulate them as if weightless, but with practically unlimited freedom of motion. zeroG has been adopted as a best practice by some of the world’s top manufacturing companies and has earned Equipois numerous honors, including being named “Most Innovative Company in North America” by 2010 International “Stevie” Awards. zeroG eliminates workplace injuries and boosts productivity, with an annual ROI up to 500%.
The technology driving both the zeroG and x-Ar product lines was invented by Garrett Brown, inventor of the Steadicam camera stabilization system. The Steadicam revolutionized the movie and television industries by allowing camera operators to achieve shots never thought possible. Equipois believes that the x-Ar will change the way people work in a broad range of industries, from manufacturing to health care to bioresearch. The company also has versions under development to help disabled persons control their arms and legs, enabling them to perform basic life tasks.
- Edited by Gust Gianos, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com
Case Study Database
Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.
These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.
Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.
Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.