Exoskeletons for the aviation industry

Economic challenges constantly challenge the aviation industry. When it comes to their employees, it is highly impacted by an aging workforce, a lack of skilled workers, and increasing labor costs. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) are a major cause of lost workdays and one of the greatest burdens for the global economy when measured by compensation costs, lost wages, and lost productivity. In the MRO sector, musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are responsible for 40% of personal injury incidents, according to the Health and Safety Executive. Since over half of the jobs are in a high-risk category, maintenance workers especially are exposed to high injury rates, according to a study published in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics.

Our portfolio of exoskeletons offers various innovative devices to face this challenge in the airplane manufacturing process and airline MRO. Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons develops state-of-the-art wearable technology that helps people protect their health over the long term as they carry out their demanding everyday working routines.

  • Aviation exoskeletons

Ottobock Shoulder for overhead and above-shoulder work

The focus in this industry is on the Ottobock Shoulder, an exoskeleton for overhead work and work on or above-shoulder height. The innovative exoskeleton, worn on the body, supports employees globally on the final assembly line and during maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities. In addition to the Ottobock Shoulder, the Paexo Neck can provide relief to the cervical spine during overhead work, e.g., installations or inspections. It can be worn in combination with the Paexo Shoulder and Ottobock Shoulder. Using exoskeletons reduces physical strain and protects the musculoskeletal system. This is also confirmed in several studies and analyses.

Exoskeleton use cases in aviation: airline manufacturing & MRO

Our exoskeleton can support during airplane manufacturing on the final assembly line (FAL) but also in every stage of light and heavy maintenance and has been used during various A, B, C, and D-Checks. Some examples of use cases in the aviation industry within the different stages are:

  • Structural assembly of mechanical parts to fuselage and interior
  • Riveting activities
    • on the fuselage (body of airplane)
    • inside and outside wings
    • riveting wings (FAL)
  • Electronic installations overhead inside fuselage and cockpit (ceiling and walls)
  • Sealing of full airplane (FAL)
  • Maintenance of airplane engines
  • Pretreating, sanding, and paint coating wings or full airplane
  • Cleaning of the airplane body
  • Fuel tank refill
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Our innovative solutions, based on orthopedic expertise, are suitable for almost any industry.

Selected use cases from 1000+ successful customer projects:

Logistics

Load handling

Automotive

Assembly and maintenance

Transportation

Rail, rolling stock, trams, metros

Shipbuilding

Welding, surface treatment, maintenance

Doctors

Surgical interventions

Aviation

Riveting, fastening and maintenance