We have been writing about Audi innovative solutions to its manufacturing processes for quite some time. Earlier we wrote about chairless chair, hybrid locomotive, robot co-workers and many other things that are supposed to make working in Audi factory pleasant and manufacturing process effective. Now company introduces medical gloves that reduce strain on the hands by more than half.
Ergonomics of employees is really an important object for Audi, because each assembly line worker has to install approximately 300 trim strips per shift. This is not an easy task for hands, joints suffer from the stress. This is why Audi is testing so called production orthoses at its the plants in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm, Brussels and Győr. These gloves are said to reduce strain on hands by as much as 50%, but still allows for tactile sense and maximum mobility.
Audi is proud to say that this just goes to show that ergonomics, well-being and health of its workers is top priority of the company. In the development of the gloves, assembly line workers were consulted many times, while the development team itself consisted of plant doctors and occupational safety specialists. Members of the team had to constantly change the design, according to the feedback of the workers.
The resulting glove is breathable and made from Teflon. They have special shock-absorbent lining that reduces the forces acting on the hand in places that usually experience the biggest amount of strain. Production orthoses also feature a highly elastic fastener, which stabilizes the wrist.
At this moment only about thousand employees are testing these gloves, but they are planned to be put into series application this year already. This is part of Audi’s “Workplace of the Future” program, which is seeking to improve ergonomics of workers as much as possible. This means that we may expect to hear about other innovations soon and can only imagine what other problems they may solve.