Ingersoll Rand Improves Ergonomics

Manufacturing facilities in today’s competitive market strive to reduce the ergonomic impact of their operators. In this case study, we will discuss the importance of recognizing every company’s desire to improve ergonomics and reduce injuries.

Customer

A global manufacturer, producing products for the heavy truck and bus industry.

Challenge

Operators were manually lifting 40-150lb truck hubs and rotors to palletize for their shipment to their end-users. The operators were refusing to use their current lifting method as it was slow and delayed their production during the days shift resulting in reduced throughput per operator per shift.

Air Power’s Solution

We proposed they moved to a single large floor supported structure with multiple bridges, air balancers, and welded end effectors. This allowed multiple operators to use a single structure with each having their own ”bay” containing a bridge, balancer, end effector combo. This gave everyone the room they needed to load pallets as well as the lifting method that allowed the ergonomic impact to be reduced while still allowing the productivity of the manual lifting application. The air balancers’ speed and the pendant control allowed the operators to move at the speed they deemed fit for each application and individual operator preference.

Result

Currently, we have installed 5 large lifts in this facility with more now being planned at their sister facilities, leading to many overall ergonomic improvements.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics - Ingersoll Rand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn More about Ingersoll Rand 

Levitate in the News

Levitate Technologies is a small tech start-up that began with the goal of building human augmentation to help surgeons and medical professionals. Today, Levitate has successfully designed the AIRFRAME. It is a wearable, lightweight technology engineered to improve upper extremity musculoskeletal health in professionals and skilled trade workers who engage in repetitive arm motion and/or static elevation of the arms. This one-of-a-kind technology has been creating a buzz in the manufacturing industry since it hit the market. Check out these articles about the Levitate AIRFRAME technology!

The AIRFRAME exoskeleton makes light of hard work

 

The Levitate AIRFRAME transfers the weight of the arms from the shoulders, neck and upper back to the outside of the hips, evenly distributing energy to reduce stress. It slips easily on and off and moves seamlessly with the wearer without intruding into the workspace or limiting motion or dexterity. The AIRFRAME’s mechanical support system progressively activates as the arm is lowered, resulting in just the right level of support – at just the right time. It’s personalized to fit each wearer, so they can use their arms as normal while enjoying reduced fatigue and comfort they never thought possible.

 


Levitate - Wall Street Journal


Levitate - The Fabricator


Levitate - Exoskeleton Report


Levitate - Forbes


Levitate - ASME


Levitate - Industry Week


Levitate - Material Handling Network


Levitate - Digital Trends


Levitate - San Diego Business Journal


 


Levitate - Workplace


Levitate - Engineered News-Record

 

Learn more about Levitate Technologies at Air Power. We offer on-site, live demonstrations to show you the difference with the Levitate AIRFRAME!

See Also: Levitate Anti-Fatigue Exoskeleton

Levitate Technologies

Presto Lifts P3 All-Around Level Loader

The P3 All-Around Pneumatic Level Loader improves the efficiency of manual pallet loading and unloading jobs by eliminating bending, stretching, and walking around the pallet while carrying heavy loads.

 

 

Presto Lifts P3 All Around Load Levelers

 

Load and unload pallets without stooping, stretching, or walking. The P3-All Around Pneumatic Load Leveler automatically maintains pallets at a constant level and comfortable working height as layers of boxes are added or removed.

Leveling is accomplished by a heavy-duty, reinforced rubber airbag that can handle loads up to 4500 lbs. After airbag charging with shop air is complete, the P3 All Around can be disconnected and moved to any location in the plant. Because the P3 is pneumatic, it can accommodate loads that vary substantially in weight (from 400 – 4500 lbs.) so one unit is versatile enough to work in several areas.

A turntable top with easy turning anti-friction bearings allow users to spin loads so they are always working from the near side without having to walk around the unit.

 

Source: prestolifts.com

Ingersoll Rand In-Line Handle Air Balancer Control Kit

 

Ingersoll Rand In-Line Handle Air Balancer Control Kit

 

Designed for precise pick & place applications, the Ingersoll Rand In-Line Air Balancer Control Kit can integrate with all of Ingersoll Rand’s existing single rope basic unit air balancers.

– Compatible with 150, 200, 350, & 500 lb. capacity air balancers.
– Adjustable lifting and lowering speed based on pressure applied to up and down movements.
– Ideal for repetitive pick and place lifting applications.
– “Float” range allows for precise placement.

 

Contact Air Power today to get a live demonstration!

 

Ergonomics and Quality Control to New Heights

 
Manufacturers of passenger transportation systems make every effort to exceed in safety intelligence within the industry. This case study demonstrates safety improvements, as well as, operator ergonomic advantages, in an effort to decrease facility liability.

Customer

 
Manufacturer of vertical transportation systems.

Challenge

 
Operators manually load and unload valves utilizing an older pneumatic torque tool. The current tool utilized within production was non-shut off and provided no verification of installation. The operator was responsible for assuming the proper socket and torque combination capable for a successful installation. The inability to measure torque accurately resulted in an inconsistent quality of final product with no verification that it was done properly. In addition, this application proved labor intensive and was the cause of concern for operator safety and ergonomics.

Solution

 
Air Power implemented a custom Ingersoll Rand DC Electric Assemble tool, integrated into a GCI torque reaction arm, with a pneumatic clamping fixture omitting operator strain and removal before completion. Custom sockets were provided to insure precise fit.  The custom fixtured Ingersoll Rand DC Electric tool was coupled with a front end Norbar Multiplier producing actual real time torque verification and discreet I/O output, which was coupled with an Air Power provided PLC to monitor torque and track data usage.

 

 

Results

 

The solution realized by Air Power created a torque verified product that allowed for a safer work environment and smoother process for the operator. All build requirements can now be monitored, tracked and viewed through a transparent build as a result of system implementation.

 

 

 

Levitate Anti-Fatigue Exoskeleton

Introducing the AIRFRAME®, a practical new device that reduces muscle stress and fatigue – making the end of the day feel like the beginning.

 

The Levitate AIRFRAME is a wearable, lightweight technology engineered to improve upper extremity musculoskeletal health in professionals and skilled trade workers who engage in repetitive arm motion and/or static elevation of the arms. The AIRFRAME lowers exertion levels by up to 80% – keeping workers healthier and more productive, while mitigating healthcare and disability costs.

 

 

 

HOW IT WORKS

 

The AIRFRAME transfers the weight of the arms from the shoulders, neck and upper back to the outside of the hips, evenly distributing energy to reduce stress. It slips easily on and off, and moves seamlessly with the wearer without intruding into the workspace or limiting motion or dexterity. The AIRFRAME’s mechanical support system progressively activates as the arm is raised, and gradually releases as the arm is lowered, resulting in just the right level of support – at just the right time. It’s personalized to fit each wearer, so they can use their arms as normal while enjoying reduced fatigue and comfort they never thought possible.
/su_column]

 

 

FEATURES

Light and Comfortable
Personalize Fit
Full Range of Motion
No Power Required
The AIRFRAME’s sleek, aerodynamic design and lightweight material construction make wearing the device feel nearly unnoticeable. Each AIRFRAME is custom-fitted to the individual user, allowing the device to fit comfortably on any body type or size. The AIRFRAME offers full range of motion, allowing the user to easily perform any task without limitation or stiffness. The AIRFRAME requires no electrical power – it is mechanically engineered to rely on a patented system of pulleys.

BENEFITS

 

Lowers Injury Risk
Boosts Productivity
Improves Quality and Precision
Lowers Healthcare and Disability Costs
On-Site Training
There are more than 650,000 cases of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WSMD) annually. The AIRFRAME lowers exertion levels by up to 80%, significantly lowering injury risk. WMSDs are responsible for $50 billion in lost productivity annually. The AIRFRAME keeps workers healthy, and production humming. Muscle stress and fatigue are the enemy of productivity. The AIRFRAME allows workers to maintain quality and precision for longer periods of time. Musculoskeletal disorders represent $1 of every $3 spent on workers compensation. The AIRFRAME limits exposure to these injuries, reducing costs and boosting profits. We offer full, on-site training for both workers and safety engineers on how to custom fit and operate The AIRFRAME for all users.

Tire Lifting Solution Case Study

Material Handling Need

Aircraft Tire/Wheel shop activities require significant handling of large aircraft tires and rims weighing up to several hundred pounds.  Handling these assets by manual means/methods had resulted in several serious injuries, culminating in lost workdays and long-term medical impact on shop personnel and worker well-being.

Original Process:  Two to Three operators required to lift C5 aircraft tire from pallet position, stacked up to four(4) levels high and onto rim assembly.  Assembly was then lifted from horizontal position to vertical in order to be rolled into rack staging area.

Tire Lift weight: 400 pounds+

Tire Size:  44”-56” outside diameter(OD), 17”-20” width

Air Power Solution

Upon review of operations,  AirPower solution consisting of aluminum overhead rail, bridge crane to suspend one (1) manipulator for the tire lift process, and one (1) bridge to suspend a pneumatic hoist for the F15 Rim process for the original C5 aircraft application. C5 Solution installed in 2013.

Due to increase in the C130 aircraft process requirements, Air Power was contacted to offer another solution for the C130 unit in September 2015.

An additional bridge was added to allow processing for the larger C130 tire application (tires in excess of 400lbs) to allow pickup, positioning, and processing of these components.

Air Power Inc provided a TurnKey solution for both C5, and C130 tire applications.

 

Results

Implementation will reduce injuries, enhance efficiency, improve quality and ergonomics in the support of the warfighter mission.

“An effective and user-friendly solution that was way overdue” –Bobby Munda, WRAFB 402MXE

“Awesome, absolutely awesome!” –Candace Lauderdale, Safety Specialists, WRAFB

Original Pick Up Method Pick Up Solution Original Set Down Method Tire Set Down Solution

Low Headroom-Low Pickup Solution

Customer Need

Customer installed new winders in a low headroom area which presented final product at a low pickup position. Rolls weighing 100lbs were required to be lifted from horizontal position, and placed into vertical stacked position onto pallet. Existing process required manual handling.

Area of equipment installation presented a restricted, low headroom area requiring the need to reach under, and around additional OEM equipment required for the winding process.

Air Power Solution

Upon evaluation of process, and area requirements, a dual extruded aluminum runway, with low profile carriage and custom adjustable stops were specified, and installed to provide coverage for the pickup and placement of rolls across a bank of six(6) winding machines. A custom steel frame was fabricated and installed in order to properly mount/position both runways for roll handler, and aspirator lines for the winding equipment. Due to area restrictions, an articulating arm with integrated air balancer was mounted to allow for reach under, and around process equipment, to allow for pickup and placement of the finished product.
A Dotec RH90Z45 Roll Handler (for low pickup) was provided which allows ergonomic pickup/placement of rolls to eliminate bending and manual handling by the operators of the finished product.

Roll Handling Solution for Flexible Packaging

Customer Need

An Arkansas based, Flexible packaging converters palletizing process required manual lifting and tilting of rolls being presented in the horizontal core position, onto a pallet- stacking to vertical orientation. The rolls being processed have weights up to 200 pounds, with roll widths up to 40 inches.

An existing overhead steel track was to remain in the process zone, which had to be considered for the process area location due to heights/clearance obstruction.

Air Power Solution

Upon initial discussion with manufacturer, end user contacted Air Power Inc, the Southeastern US Full service provider of Dotec Roll Handling Solutions, to discuss the project needs.Sample rolls were provided by the end user for evaluation.

A video demonstration by Air Power personnel was provided to end user, of the equipment proposed and in process.

A TurnKey solution was purchased, which included: One(1) Dotec RH90 Roll Handler – with auto roll engagement, ergo-handle controls, powered tilt function , One(1) Dotec 700LH Low headroom jib (to allow for coverage and clearance under the existing structure), Installation and Start Up training.

Results

Plant Manager Rod A. noted: “this is a welcomed tool for our operations, we have already identified additional areas which can benefit from this solution. Thanks to all for a job well done!”

 

DOTEC Roll Handling Virtual Demo

 

 

A Demonstration of the DOTEC Friendly Lift Assist Roll Handler

 

Dotec presents the widest range of Roll Handling equipment in the market. This equipment is used for a number os processes including Flexible Packaging, Label + Narrow Web, Hygiene Non-Woven and Yarn or Fabric. In this video, Application Specialist Gary Lee demonstrates how the Dotec LiftAssist can handle a roll of flexible packaging from a customer.

Every Dotec LiftAssist possesses specific characteristics that are based on ease of operating, speed, and good posture of the operator. The intuitive design of this device makes the operator’s training time amazingly short.