Exo-skeleton supports overhead work

February 1st, 2018 / By: / Projects

Work jacket and exo-skeleton reduce the health effects for employees who perform overhead work, cutting sick time. Photo: ©Hohenstein Group.

Workers who must raise their arms over their heads for long periods of time know how strenuous it can be. Even though many companies have eliminated long-term overhead work, in some industries it can’t be avoided.

To aid workers who deal with this type of manual labor long term, the Hohenstein Institute, Bonnigheim, Germany, has developed a jacket that can be used with an exo-skeleton for support specifically during overhead work. The jacket supports movement in the shoulder girdle and makes it easier to wear an exo-skeleton developed by project partners.

To create the ideal jacket, Hohenstein used approximately 17,000 3-D body scans from its data pool to create a cluster for a target group the team named “overhead worker.” The jacket design was then developed, which included technical spacer fabrics for the reduction of pressure and regulation of the exo-skeleton braces in the upper and lower arm area, and in the entire shoulder area to improve comfort.

An elastic insert was included in the design to promote freedom of movement in the shoulder/armhole area. This stretch zone permanently reduces the effort required to carry out the movements. In addition, a two-way zip was integrated into the design for flexible regulation of hip width as a way to accommodate all body sizes. The sleeves are fastened with a cutting technology sleeve hem variant with a thumbhole.

The jacket’s materials were selected with consideration of thermo-physiological and skin sensory characteristics, so that an entire ergonomic work jacket exo-skeleton system could be created. For more information, visit www.hohenstein.com.

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