Exoskeletons shape the future of industrial and logistic jobs

March 06, 2023 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Ottobock presents innovations for ergonomic workplaces at Chicago ProMat trade show

Making workplaces healthier, safer, more productive, and more attractive that is how Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons shapes the future of work. The company, a leading manufacturer of exoskeletons, will present its product portfolio at the ProMat 2023 trade show in Chicago from March 20th 23rd at booth N6354. Exoskeletons augment the human body and reduce strain during manual load-handling tasks, which reduces work-related injuries while increasing well-being and productivity.

Today labor shortage is an unprecedented challenge to many industries in the U.S. such as the logistics, retail, automotive, rail and aviation sectors and the pressure is compunded by the ongoing demographic change and increasing sick leave. Ottobock exoskeletons provide an innovative approach for reducing work-related injuries, especially in the logistics sector where employees miss up to 32 days of work per year on average due to back pain and other occupational injuries.

Samuel Reimer, Vice President Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons North America, said: "In the U.S. alone, there are 14 million employees in production and logistics. The average associate lifts and moves more than 100 tons of material every week. That is equivalent to the weight of a Boeing 747 which puts extreme stress on the human body. Our exoskeletons reduce this risk substantially to the extent that associates become healthier and more productive. That's how we shape the future of work and contribute to healthier and more sustainable workplaces across the U.S."

Biomechanics: the key to lightweight, flexible systems

At this year's ProMat trade show, Ottobock will introduce its growing range of exoskeleton products including:
The BackX model is specifically aimed at logistics associates who need to move loads manually while retaining their speed and flexibility. The exoskeleton reduces the load on the lower back by an average of 60 percent during lifting tasks. However, it also allows for a high degree of freedom of movement, so that employees can perform activities such as operating forklift trucks and climbing stairs. The BackX model is in use at multiple logistics centers of DB Schenker, a leading global logistics provider. Learn more here: https://ottobockexoskeletons.com/back-portfolio/?lang=en

The Ottobock Shoulder model supports employees in performing strenuous activities at or above shoulder height and is used in areas such as automotive manufacturing, train maintenance, and aircraft construction. This model is in use at numerous major companies, including Boeing, Mazda, and Toyota North America. The SNCF, the French national railway company, has also adopted the exoskeleton to increase efficiency in the maintenance of its TGV trains. Learn more here: https://ottobockexoskeletons.com/obs/?lang=en

Sensor-based bionic analytics prove the effectiveness

More than 200 studies have demonstrated the positive impact that exoskeletons can have. To allow companies to replicate these findings objectively in their setting, Ottobock has developed a 'bionic analytics' offering. It combines sensors that precisely analyze employees' work processes before and after exoskeleton use, with AI-driven algorythms, and provides clear data points on improved ergonomics and productivity.

DB Schenker, a leading global contract logistics company, is among the first to adopt this technology during unloading of containers and palletization. The overall strain on employees during manual load handling was significantly reduced, while time spent working increased by around 20 percent, i.e., increased productivity. Survey results also showed that participants noticed a definite improvement in their work situation.

Researching the future of work

Bionic Exoskeletons has been a division of the global German health-tech company Ottobock since 2018. At the end of 2021, the division was expanded with the acquisition of the California-based tech-company SuitX. Now the Hub in Emeryville has become a research location where the company continuously develops products that will shape the future of work.

For more information, visit https://ottobockexoskeletons.com, or contact Ashley.staack@ottobock.com and +1 (512) 815-8554

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