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Reducing operator injuries using the STwrench and Industrial Location SpotPoint

At Atlas Copco, we stay vigilant. We are constantly listening for ways we can make the workplace and your operators even safer when using our product platforms.

Here, we’ll take a look at a specific situation in which two very different Atlas Copco products, Industrial Location SpotPoint and the STwrench, were used together in production to substantially boost operator ergonomics and prevent a specific type of injury. Read on for more details!

Worker with STwrench at Deutsche Bahn, ?Germany, maintaining running gears of ICE trains,?application,?people

The Situation

A U.S. customer of Atlas Copco was previously using an STwrench to tighten high pressure fuel rail tubes during assembly. This customer was experiencing an issue, though: Shoulder injuries. After a comprehensive review of the situation at hand, the customer’s SHE Department found that the shoulder injuries were caused by starting the STwrench at a 12 o’clock position. The upper arm and shoulder motion of pulling the STwrench down with one arm (180 degrees) to 6 o’clock, created a tightening process that was ergonomically incorrect. 

The Solution

Atlas Copco jumped right into action. We quickly realized what this plant needed was a positioning system that could sense the location of the fuel rail operation and the orientation position of the tool. The ideal solution would prevent the STwrench from operating until the operator placed the tool in the window of operation, which would limit the pull arch to the 2 to 4 o’clock position. The answer ended up being quite obvious: Industrial Location SpotPoint.

STB-wireless solution, ILT

SpotPoint is Atlas Copco’s wireless, line of sight error-proofing positioning system that enables or disables a tool depending on its location and position. In other words, it was the perfect solution. Using a receiver and transmitter, SpotPoint can pick up the beginning position of the operator working with the connected STwrench and disable the tool if its location is ergonomically incorrect. 

This combination positioning system and STwrench was installed in our customer’s plant in early 2019. The effect on the plant was immediate, and there has not been an injury or complaint since. 

Are you interested in learning more about what our versatile Industrial Location SpotPoint can do for your plant? Contact us today and schedule a demo!