Audi tests the use of exoskeletons in production

16 December 2019

Audi is currently conducting a comparative study of two exoskeletons in its production facilities - the Paexo from Ottobock and the Skelex 360 from Skelex.

These external support structures are designed to help employees when they are performing overhead tasks by protecting their joints and tiring their muscles less quickly. Around 60 employees are currently using the tools over a period of several weeks at selected workstations in assembly, the paint shop, and tool construction at the Audi Ingolstadt site.
 
“Our employees are our most important asset. By constantly reducing the burden at the workstations, we can enhance their health and wellbeing. New technologies such as exoskeletons, with which we are making production more and more progressive, also contribute to this,” said Peter Kössler, AUDI AG Board of Management Member for Production and Logistics.

The comprehensive practical tests are designed to help adapt the exoskeletons to the needs of the operators. They are being tested in both static and dynamic activities - installing brake lines, screwing the underbody panelling into place and applying corrosion and sealing protection.
Both the Paexo and the Skelex 360 are worn like a backpack on the shoulders and secured in place with a belt around the hips. Arm shells support the arms when the wearer is performing overhead work. These absorb part of the arm’s weight and re direct it to the hips via support structures. This reduces the burden on the shoulders. This is done purely mechanically, without any motorized drive.


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