3 Critical Production Assets You Can Protect with 3arm Ergonomic Solutions

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If you’re an assembly production manager at a high-volume operation, what must you protect most to ensure steady production throughput? Answer: your three most valuable assets.

  • Employees
  • Production equipment
  • Parts

For production lines that require precision driving of fasteners, bolts and screws, this means skilled employees, expensive tools and, quite possibly, irreplaceable parts. But employees driving fasteners on an assembly line often hold heavy tools for hours. It’s hard to ensure they’re doing their job consistently and reliably without some type of support.

Ergonomic tool holders by 3arm help assemblers by removing the weight of the tool, enabling them to do the job safely while meeting required torque specifications. With a properly balanced and stable 3arm lift assist device, the ability for the operator to lock the tool in place alleviates muscle strain and improves precision. Operators can easily maneuver a heavy tool over a large area or within tight spaces with a highly variable field of view and working distance.

Protect your employees with an ergonomic lift assist solution

Many industries require the use of impact wrenches and nut runners, including product assembly maintenance of heavy equipment and other situations that require high torque output. Handling this type of equipment leaves operators prone to injuries and accidents and could lead to a decline in quality.

An aging workforce and a shortage of skilled help makes finding a solution to keep valuable employees and attract quality hires imperative. Any tool over 25 pounds should have a lift assist device for ergonomic and safety benefits for the operator to prevent injury and accidents. However, even what seem to be lighter tasks, such as sitting at a workbench to affix fasteners to electronic assemblies, can result in shoulder, neck and back pain as well as repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel. This is  especially true if the tool builds up torque and the torque reaction is transferred to the operator. An ergonomic lift assist solution that can assist an operator with safety, load capacity, reach and range of movement is key.

3arm impact tool for tightening truck wheel

A 3arm ergonomic lift assist solution removes the weight of the tool from your employee. With the flexibility of the 3arm, the tool can be pre-positioned to drive the fasteners in the same spot on the assembly line, so lifting and positioning the tool is removed from the operation.

For example, in automotive and heavy transportation equipment manufacturing, many tasks require underbody shot work to drive screws or tighten bolts on the undercarriage. Holding any tool above shoulder level or at awkward angles wears on operators, resulting in repetitive motion injuries or accidents. And the heavier the tool, the higher probability of injury and accidents.

>> Read more on the advantages of 3arm ergonomic lift assist devices in automotive manufacturing

The negative ramifications of assembly work without an ergonomic solution

Performing fastening assembly work without the aid of an ergonomic tool holder has negative ramifications on employee safety:

Reduced safety. Operator discomfort and fatigue may result in accidents and injuries to employees. OSHA estimates that one carpal tunnel claim can cost a company almost $31,000 in direct expenses and another $34,000 in indirect expenses.

Long-term injuries. Due to the repetitive motions and the associated torque from driving fasteners into assemblies, assemblers can develop physical damage over time.

Increased costs. Employee injuries, damaged tools and inefficient processes result in additional workers’ compensation claims.

Employee Turnover. Employees exposed to injury and safety issues will leave to find better employment, taking industry knowledge with them. Skilled production positions in manufacturing can take an average of 70 days to fill and filling them is estimated to cost between 6-9 months of their salary.

>>Read more about the high cost of injuries in manufacturing

Worker with arm injury

3arm tool holders can hold tools up to 132 pounds and allow for increased quality and precision with full range of motion in lockable joints. They can be equipped with tool trigger-activated brakes to lock down the arm in any position during use, further ensuring safety to the operator and others in the area. Also important is their ability to safely absorb substantial torque and reaction forces during operation.

Investing in a 3arm tool holder to protect employees is a cost-effective way to improve your company safety, reputation and bottom line. Plus, your company will be more attractive to potential employees looking at similar positions in your area, making it easier to find the help needed to maintain or increase production.

>> Learn how 3arm industrial lift assist arms improve quality and-reliability of precision work

Protect your valuable tools with a 3arm ergonomic lift assist solution

Bearded male worker using impact wrench in garage

Tools commonly used on production lines for precision driving of fasteners, bolts and screws can be very expensive and include:

  • Nut runners
  • Torque limiting screw drivers
  • Impact wrenches and drills

Assembly production managers want to ensure that their $12,000 nut runner remains undamaged and operating on the assembly line. Inattention to tool placement or mishaps by an operator can result in damage to expensive tools and the products they are working on.

Lift assist devices can help eliminate error and operator fatigue, and they improve work quality in challenging industrial environments. And since 3arm tool holders come in a variety of configurations and can be mounted onto rails or mobile carts, they can be optimally designed for your specific needs.

>> Read more on the benefits of 3arm lift assist solutions for assembly lines

Protect your valuable parts with a 3arm ergonomic lift assist solution

Since the 3arm holds the tool, assemblers and their peripheral surroundings are not at risk of tools getting dropped or knocked over or into someone between use, which would otherwise hurt people or damage equipment or expensive products.

While 3arm ergonomic arms are excellent for facilitating employee safety, they also reduce expenses which could be incurred from damage to expensive tools and equipment. On an assembly line, 3arm can tap into the computer that controls the tools, so once the power goes to the tool, it goes to the 3arm lift assist device as well and locks everything up.

Using a lift assist arm, operators can do multiple shots at the same time, which speeds up the process while increasing safety, quality and productivity. With all these benefits, the 3arm can quickly produce far more value than its initial cost. Watch our overview video to learn more:

How can a 3arm ergonomic lift assist solution benefit your organization?

3arm lift assist arms can meet a multitude of manufacturing needs. 3arm has a wide variety of tool-holding arms that can be designed with assorted head members and accessories to improve ergonomics, reach and mobility.

3arm lift assist arms can be placed in mounting solutions such as floor rails, overhead beams, tables, radial extensions, columns, elevators, and trolley carts to extend mobility and reach and reduce load. 

>> Learn more on how to improve assembly line efficiency and safety with ergonomic reach and mobility solutions

Engineers who may be looking for a way to move a component that is physically impossible for an operator to move alone, or who are starting up a new line and need a solution to lift a heavy or unwieldy part, should look at 3arm’s part positioning and placing Manipulator arms.

Learn the top factors in selecting a 3arm lift assist solution then contact us to get started on a solution to improve safety, quality and productivity on your high-volume assembly lines.

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