Jan 19 2010

Equipois Lends Gravity-Defying Hand to Manufacturers, with Boost from SolidWorks

Zero-Gravity Arm Reduces Injuries, Saves Money, and Improves Product Quality

CONCORD, Mass., USA, Jan. 19, 2010 – Prolonged and repetitive use of heavy power tools costs workers their health and companies their profitability. Equipois Inc. of Los Angeles is using SolidWorks® CAD software to provide an ingenious remedy by literally defying gravity.

Equipois’s zeroG® human-assist arms help workers maneuver payloads of up to 36 pounds as if weightless, but with complete freedom of motion. zeroG arms are reducing manufacturing-related injuries and bottlenecks, and improving quality, for some of the world’s top manufacturing companies, as well as the U.S. military. 

“Equipois uses SolidWorks to design all of our products, produce production-ready drawings, and close sales by providing dramatic renderings of zeroG products in prospect settings,” said Eric Golden, CEO of Equipois. “Design simulations that would otherwise be outsourced for up to $6,000 and take four weeks each can now be completed in house in less than a day. With SolidWorks, we’ve compressed our design cycle to nine months and can communicate seamlessly with our East Coast office. “

zeroG boosts productivity by letting workers use more powerful tools longer with less fatigue. It reduces injuries and related costs by letting workers guide rather than lift tools, virtually eliminating overexertion and repetitive stress. It improves quality by allowing workers to exercise their fine motor skills even on the most demanding tasks.

Equipois customers have seen significant reductions of injury risk; task time reductions of up to 75 percent; better utilization of the workforce (e.g., older or smaller workers safely maneuvering heavy tools); and tangible product quality improvements. 

One of the top automotive companies in the world, for example, uses zeroG to eliminate injuries on an assembly line with perennial injury issues. And Mercury Marine, the world leader in recreational boat engines, deployed zeroG for a propeller grinding operation, solving a 30-year ergonomic problem.

 
SolidWorks was pivotal in supporting zeroG development and pilot projects, as well as Equipois’s launch of two new arm products, a family of gimbals to hold tools, and a universal mounting system to adapt the technology to a wide range of manufacturing environments.

“SolidWorks is an indispensible tool in our company’s success,” said Golden. “The software is the backbone of our engineering effort, enabling R&D, manufacturing, and applications engineering to work intuitively, efficiently, and to the highest standards. Innovation is a core value of our company, and SolidWorks software is our tool of choice to facilitate it.”

Equipois relies on authorized SolidWorks resellers GoEngineer and Prism Engineering for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.