Dectron Kaizen Arms mounted to extruded aluminum profile supporting a computer and hand held scanner.
Extruded Aluminum Profiles commonly known as T Slot or 80/20 is routinely used in industrial facilities all over the world. Modular by design, extruded aluminum is excellent at providing a robust, and extremely versatile solution for building customized fixtures and structures critical to furthering 5S and lean manufacturing objectives. Often times though, we’ve seen manufacturers struggle with accessorizing structures in an efficient manner. Hours can be spent trying to mock up or cobble together accessory arms to hold and position critical components, computer equipment, or tote bins. Even worse is when they’re avoided all together, which results in lost opportunity to really improve ergonomics, point of use access and space utilization. Dectron Kaizen Arms, however, are designed to easily integrate with extruded aluminum profiles and ergonomically position everything from custom applications to tool boards and computer systems.
Kaizen Arm mounted to extruded aluminum structure and ergonomically positioning tote bin
In addition to the ergonomic benefits, Kaizen Arms also provide a space saving feature by eliminating the need for additional fixtures to support periphery tools and applications. Instead of building an additional structure or cart, simply mount Kaizen Arms to your existing fixture to support applications that require additional space.
With some simple ergonomic thinking and a basket of modular Kaizen Arm components, you can reduce your modular framing build time, save valuable floor space, and take your flexible assembly structures to the next level of lean.
One of the more common continuous improvement applications we’ve seen Kaizen Arms deployed for is the support
Dectron Articulating Kaizen Arm mounted to an extruded aluminum upright and supporting an industrial printer.
and positioning of industrial printers. These devices are often bulky and heavy, take up quite a bit of space, and are generally not easy to access. Using Kaizen Arms to support these devices can often alleviate and drastically improve the above downsides substantially. Using an arm to support the printer can free up valuable desk space or even get printers into tight areas that might not have enough floor space for a desk or bench to begin with. Because Kaizen Arms can be mounted to a wide variety of surfaces, there’s almost always some sort of an available surface to mount an arm to. In addition, articulating Kaizen Arms can enhance ergonomics and point of use access by allowing the printer to be positioned at arms reach when in use, or conveniently folded out of the way when not needed. Optional cable covers route all cabling safely along the exterior of the arm while a heavy duty 100 pound capacity for folding 2 axis systems ensure plenty of strength to handle just about any industrial printer you need to accommodate.
Today’s spotlight showcases a defense contractor’s continuous improvement project in which a 2 axis Kaizen Arm
Dectron Kaizen Arm configuration mounted to a steel column and supporting a tool peg board on an industrial assembly line
configuration provides the support for a large 5S tool peg board on an assembly line. For this lean manufacturing challenge, the objective was to easily access and position at point of use the critical tools needed to build their vehicles as they moved down the assembly line. A 2 axis Kaizen Arm configuration provided quick installation, and a more flexible solution than a cart at a more competitive cost. Using their steel columns as a base, the business end of the arm was configured to interface with their large 5S tool peg board and provide a whopping 100 pounds of support at a 48″ projection. With this configuration, the tool board could now be ergonomically positioned and easily accessed at point of use when need, but fold out of the way to clear the aisle when not needed. For this build out, the following Kaizen Arm components we’re used:
- Qty. 2 HD Wall Mount, used as a base and at the business end of the arm
- Qty. 2 Rigid Sections, 24″ Length
- Qty. 1 Connector Pin, 5.0 Length to connect HD Wall Mount to business end of the Kaizen Arm
- Large Tool Peg Board (customer’s own)
- Ergonomic Positioning at Point of Use
- Space Savings, eliminated need for rolling cart
- Cost Savings, more cost effective than rolling cart
- Quick Installation
- Supports 5S and Lean objectives
We’re a company obsessed with ergonomics and space savings in industrial and assembly environments, seriously, we’re ergonuts. We have an ergonomic bone to pick with industry and assembly, and it’s not just because we make bad ass ergonomic arms built for industry, no, we’re just concerned that their ergonomic deficiency is leaving them less competitive and efficient.
In most modern day medical environments many of the critical applications and tools are mounted to ergonomic articulating arms.
Many modern day environments (think Medical, Dental and Office) have rigorously applied ergonomic arms and reaped the tremendous rewards for doing so. Improved worker productivity due to reduced motion and strain, tools, monitors and applications at point of use reducing costly excessive motion, right sized work surfaces improving organization and saving valuable space. All of these value added benefits are attributable to ergonomic articulating arms. Without the flexibility offered by articulating arms we’d all be working in static environments, everything required to get the job done would always be just out of reach or in an uncomfortable position to access. Think about that next time you visit your dentist or doctor and take note of all the items on articulating arms.
Modern machine shops often lack ergonomic arms, making applications and tools inconvenient to access.
While Industrial and Assembly environments have made efforts over the years to apply ergonomics they’ve really yet to deploy them to the extent that the above mentioned environments have. And why not we say!? Why shouldn’t a machining cell look just like an operatory room or an assembly station set up as ergonomic as a dental office? Because honestly, at the end of the day, a doctor or a dentist has the same objectives in mind that a precision machinist or skilled assembler has, and that’s to complete a task with speed, precision and accuracy without wrecking their health in the process. Ergonomic Articulating Arms provide one of the primary gateways for accomplishing that. If employees can complete the job more accurately and efficiently and leave the job at the end of the day feeling healthy and less fatigued, I’d say that’s a win for all parties involved as those factors are the cornerstones of your bottom line.
We manufacture ergonomic arms (did I mention they’re industry tough) which undoubtedly makes us biased to using them. But because I’ve seen the ergonomic benefits and witnessed the space saving capabilities our equipment has provided such industry giants as Honeywell, Nike, and GE, I can honestly say it’s easy to see why Medical, Dental and Office applied them long ago. So challenge yourself moving forward to rethink how your manufacturing or assembly environment is laid out, look for objects that could be mounted to articulating arms to improve ergonomic accessibility and free up valuable space. Instead of adding more benches or rolling carts (carts and benches promote clutter by the way) look at the items that populate your existing space. 9 times out of 10 I’m willing to bet an articulating arm could help you improve ergonomics, free up space and become more organized and efficient. Over the coming weeks I intend to post some of the improvements we’re making at our own facility using our equipment, I encourage you to send us your applications and improvements as well. In no time at all we’ll all be Ergobelievers, which thankfully, shares no relationship with Beliebers. Stay ergo my friends!