German Bionic Cray X power suit in use at the steel casting plant of Nippon Chuzo K.K.

Deployment of fully connected Cray X exoskeleton supports company’s efforts for utilizing IT technologies and enabling IoT to enhance the working environment and increase productivity.

Cray X application at Nippon Chuzo K.K. factory

Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan, February 22, 2022 – GBS K.K., the Japanese subsidiary of German Bionic, a leading provider of robotic power suits, has introduced the Cray X power suit at Nippon Chuzo K.K., JFE Group company, in its steel casting plant in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan, in January 2022. Already used in the inspection process for public works products, the Cray X will now also provide support in the manufacturing process.

The factory is the main hub of the company’s operations, offering a complete range of products from design to assembly, located in the heart of the Keihin industrial area. The introduction of the Cray X power suit is one part of efforts to improve the working environment and increase productivity.

Background of the introduction of Cray X power suit

While the majority of lifting and handling of the cast products is undertaken by machines, some parts of the process up to shipment are required to be conducted by hand, resulting in heavy manual handling. Besides the strenuous task of handling heavy items by hand, the additional time pressure resulting from seasonal public works products makes it essential to make enhancements to the work processes and environment. The introduction of the Cray X power suit, which provides significant support of up to 30 kg per lifting movement, will help to create a safe and healthy workplace and improve productivity. In addition, the new dust and waterproof characteristics of the new, 5th generation product was also a major argument leading to the procurement of the Cray X by the casting manufacturer.

Leveraging the German Bionic IO connected platform

Besides providing the potential to connect with all ERP systems, the German Bionic IO connected platform is used to support the on-boarding process of the power suits. It is possible to review the data remotely, such as the amount of time the user is on the floor and the total amount of support per hour, via an intuitive dashboard. Excessive working speeds during peak periods can also be identified, thereby enabling fatigue and errors to be avoided and the overall work environment improved for the workers. In the future, the use of the Cray X power suit in the manufacturing process will allow for the further utilization of data, which will also lead to the optimization of workforce allocation.

Expectations of the  German Bionic Cray X deployment

Mr. Furuno Yoshikazu, General Manager, Planning & Coordination Dept., comments: “When we planned to improve the working environment, we came across the Cray X power suit. As a result of the trial, we found that the usability exceeded our expectations and also identified Digital Transformation advantages, which led us to decide to adopt the product immediately.  We are considering expanding the application of Cray X in the future.”  Mr. Akira Kato, Akira Kato continues: “The Cray X can be customized to the worker, and people mentioned that it has a natural fit when wearing it. Once you get accustomed to it, it can be individually optimized for specific work needs. We expect that Cray X will reduce the burden on the body. The Cray X is helping us to work more efficiently and is already starting to improve our productivity.”

Cray X application at Nippon Chuzo K.K. factory.

 

About Nippon Chuzo K.K.

Nippon Chuzo K.K. was founded in 1920 by Soichiro Asano, the founder of the Keihin Industrial area. In the latter half of the 1960’s, the company started to manufacture casting parts for the construction industry and has been used for many bridges and buildings. Our products have been used in major projects in Japan such as the Tokyo Sky Tree, Haneda Airport and the Tokyo Monorail. In recent years, we have also been putting a great deal of effort into the field of high-functional metal materials, such as our original low thermal expansion materials and high-strength materials.

About German Bionic

German Bionic is a leading developer and manufacturer of smart power suits. Exoskeletons are human-machine systems that combine human intelligence with machine power by supporting or amplifying the wearer’s movements. The Cray X from German Bionic is the world’s first connected exoskeleton. Linked to the Smart Factory, it self-learns to reinforce lifting movements and prevent incorrect posture, thus becoming an intelligent link between humans and machines. In doing so, it delivers data that underscores its ability to protect the health of workers, measurably reduce the risk of accidents, and thereby make quantifiable improvements to work processes. In recognition of this innovative technology, which puts people back in the focus of Industry 4.0, German Bionic and the Cray X have received numerous awards, including the Bavarian and German Entrepreneur Awards, the Land of Ideas and Automatica Award, as well as a nomination for the prestigious Hermes Award at the Hannover Messe. German Bionic offices are located in Augsburg, Berlin, Boston, and Tokyo.