CLEVELAND - Congratulations to Rick Genther, whose innovative solution to an ergonomic concern was presented by John Cosentino and Ed Eisbrenner at the 2013 Applied Ergonomics Conference in Dallas, Texas recently, bringing home the conference's Ergonomic Excellence Award for Innovation. The team also received an Appreciation Award in the category of “Team-Driven Workplace Solutions with Internal Competitions.”
In the fall of 2012, Eisbrenner and Cosentino presented on behalf of Genther and other Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 (CEP1) employees at Ford Motor Company’s annual NJCHS Ergo Cup competition in Detroit. From the 24 vehicle assembly, transmission and engine assembly plants, CEP1 was chosen by their counterparts to represent UAW-Ford Ergonomics at the 2013 Applied Ergonomics Conference in Dallas.
Members of the CEP1 team who traveled to the conference in Texas included; Craig Heidinger, Roberto Torres, Jerry Humphries, Genther, Cosentino and Eisbrenner.
The internationally recognized Ergo Cup competition provides an exciting opportunity for companies to highlight their successful ergonomic solutions. The general theme across all Ergo Cup categories is innovation.
CEP1 was presented with a build complexity as an operator attempted to match then hand start six to eight studs for eight different exhaust manifold patterns across four stations within a 30 second cycle time over 10 hour shifts. Four “stud fixtures” matching the exhaust manifold patterns were developed for the operator to load the suds. A “Lazy Susan” was developed to present the proper stud pattern fixture to the operator. The operator is able to simply position the fixture to the manifold and secure all the studs at once with the touch of an electric nut runner hand tool. When the fixture is replaced, a flashing light indicates the correct fixture to load for the next engine. An incredibly simple yet innovative solution to a potentially serious ergonomic injury from the hand starting the studs 21,000 times per shift has been avoided.
This important development saves the operator time and reduces error as well as maintains quality levels important to the product’s reputation. Efforts like these are important in the company’s never ending continuous improvement journey to eliminate waste in manufacturing processes.
Congratulations to the entire team for this outstanding effort.