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Old 7th September 2015, 15:21   #1
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Default The 'Noonee' Chairless Chair - Ergonomics at Automotive Factories

Ergonomics [ur-guh-nom-iks] noun: The study of the relationship between workers and their environment, esp the equipment they use.

This is a very important topic in cars and many a times it is a deal breaker when we are buying a car.
It can be the power window switches' positions or the Instrumentation cluster position to the steering adjustment.

Have you ever wondered that ergonomics also plays an important role for people not just using a car, but for the people who built it?
Factory workers who build cars stand the whole day and do their work. This obviously induces fatigue and the productivity reduces.
This may also be one of the reasons for human errors during assembly.
If some errors lead to problems in the vehicle after some time, it may lead to user dissatisfaction, warranty replacements and recalls.

Companies are becoming increasingly sensitive to these issues and try to improve ergonomics in their factories.
In this direction, Audi has taken an initiative and tested a product-“Chairless chair” in their factories.

The 'Noonee' Chairless Chair - Ergonomics at Automotive Factories-au150057_medium.jpg

At its plant in Neckarsulm, Audi is testing this product developed by a Swiss startup by name Noonee (www.noonee.com)

This high-tech carbon-fiber construction allows employees to sit without a chair. At the same time, it improves their posture and reduces the strain on their legs.

The 'Noonee' Chairless Chair - Ergonomics at Automotive Factories-tbhp2.jpg

Until now, the employees who worked only while standing have significantly less physical stress due to the supportive carbon-fiber device, which allows them to alternate between sitting and standing while working.

It is basically an exoskeleton that is worn on the back of the legs. It is fastened with belts to the hips, knees and ankles. Two leather-covered surfaces support the buttocks and thighs while two struts made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) adapt to the contours of the leg. They are jointed behind the knee and can be hydraulically adjusted to the wearer’s body size and the desired sitting position.

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A person uses the exoskeleton like an extra pair of legs to give him- or herself support when necessary, to sit without a chair, or to adopt a more ergonomic position for different tasks in production process.
Workers can walk about as normal, and when they want to sit or lean or simply take the weight off their feet, they only have to press a button to fix the supporting structure in the position required.
Body weight is transferred into the floor through these adjustable elements. The chairless chair itself weighs just 2.4 kilograms.

The 'Noonee' Chairless Chair - Ergonomics at Automotive Factories-tbhp3.jpg

Chairs and stools, which are currently used in some assembly operations as temporary aids, become unnecessary.
It may also reduce employee absenteeism for physical reasons IMO.

A marketing video on youtube by the manufacturer gives more details of the chairless chair


Recently in Bangalore, many workplaces are providing desks which enable employees to work while standing. In such places, this might be useful too IMO.
Also in many public events people bring their walking stick cum chair.
This can be replaced because it is wearable and you need not 'carry it around'
There are many other places where it can be used but talking about Ergonomics, this is good step my the parties involved.
Hope more and more companies start using this.

Pictures and information source/credits:
www.noonee.com
www.audi-mediacenter.com

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 7th September 2015 at 15:27.
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Old 8th September 2015, 16:17   #2
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Default re: The 'Noonee' Chairless Chair - Ergonomics at Automotive Factories

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th September 2015, 20:02   #3
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Default re: The 'Noonee' Chairless Chair - Ergonomics at Automotive Factories

This product can be a great success in Mumbai where you do not get to sit in crowded local trains and buses and the people are not courteous enough to stand up for the aged people to sit.
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Old 9th September 2015, 15:03   #4
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Default Re: The 'Noonee' Chairless Chair - Ergonomics at Automotive Factories

Thanks for sharing hemanth.anand

This is a brilliant concept. For factory labourers who work do the same work, in the same position, every single day, this is a superb solution which reduces fatigue, thus increases productivity. The coolest thing is that it weighs merely 2.4 kgs and you can move around while wearing it. Offers super flexibility, must say. I tried looking up for the cost (after reading this thread), but I guess the official retail prices aren't available just yet.

Now the question remains, in a majority of Indian factories, where even safety is given a blind eye, will the factory owners invest a bit more for the comfort and convenience of their workers. Theoretically, they must but logically, will they?
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Old 9th September 2015, 16:19   #5
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Default Re: The 'Noonee' Chairless Chair - Ergonomics at Automotive Factories

Just by looking at the pics, I have a question regarding the claimed ergonomics. Any body building guide will tell you that when you squat or any other movement for that matter, the knee should not go beyond the toes. Now in all the pics, the knee is much further than the toe. Won't that cause any issue in the long run?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Recently in Bangalore, many workplaces are providing desks which enable employees to work while standing. In such places, this might be useful too IMO.
Those are called standing desks. The idea is that prolonged sitting is bad for your health and hence people stand and work for sometime. Providing a chair for standing negates that very purpose.

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Now the question remains, in a majority of Indian factories, where even safety is given a blind eye, will the factory owners invest a bit more for the comfort and convenience of their workers. Theoretically, they must but logically, will they?
You are forgetting that we are still a third world country. First let them provide proper toilets. Ergonimic chairs can wait.
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Old 9th September 2015, 16:56   #6
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Default Re: The 'Noonee' Chairless Chair - Ergonomics at Automotive Factories

This would be quite helpful for people who work at the Photocopy shops near colleges & schools. For that matter, anyone how has to stand a lot as part of his job.

I know a person who had to employ a new helper in his store as the person manning the photocopy machine quit complaining knee pain due to long hours of standing and photocopying. Exam times are the best business months.

Coming to think about it, most of the security guards would benefit too. How alert they would be, how fast they can run, with this on, is another question.
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Old 10th September 2015, 09:35   #7
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Default Re: The 'Noonee' Chairless Chair - Ergonomics at Automotive Factories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
Just by looking at the pics, I have a question regarding the claimed ergonomics. Any body building guide will tell you that when you squat or any other movement for that matter, the knee should not go beyond the toes. Now in all the pics, the knee is much further than the toe. Won't that cause any issue in the long run?
That would be true if the weight was on the knees. here the weight is at the base of the contraption,at the end, behind the heel, not on the legs/knees. Try and imagine a chair, when you have your legs tucked in under. Now remove the seat. I saw this on discovery, there was a shot clip(filler) some time back. Pretty cool, it is. But yeah, I agree, not a full time thing/replacement. I dont think I'll see my CEO walk around with this around his Saville row thingummies.
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