Manufacturers such as Honda, General Electric and Boeing use heavy power tools and equipment for their design and engineering needs. However, lifting these loads can cause worker fatigue and injury while decreasing productivity. To alleviate worker payload-associated stress and reduce workplace-related injuries, Equipois, Inc. designed the zeroG human-assist mechanical arm thus establishing “equipoise” (balance) between manufacturing employee health and output. The technology’s simple yet revolutionary design earned Equipois the Wall Street Journal 2011 Technology Innovation Award.
The zeroG, designed in SolidWorks, saves times and eliminates manufacturer overexertion and repetitive stress by allowing workers to guide tools rather than lift them as if they were weightless. Though the technology behind the zeroG was initially used for Steadicam stabilized camera and a Skycam “flying camera”, Equipois adapted the designs to address manufacturing challenges.
After choosing SolidWorks Professional and SolidWorks Premium solutions for its user-friendly simulation and design capabilities, Equipois, Inc. doubled its revenue annually and cut costs by decreasing the number of prototypes by 66 percent. The company was able to conduct simulations and design performance evaluations during the product design stage through SolidWorks virtual prototyping tools.
Moreover, Equipois also improved its employee onboarding process through the use of SolidWorks – it takes 70 percent less time to train an engineer on the software. SolidWorks not only helped Equipois optimize its product design process but it also helped the company improve manufacturing
To get more information on the sleek zeroG mechanical arm and how Equipois designed it, read the case study.