Nissan has been testing new ergonomic-assistance devices to be worn by assembly workers performing overhead tasks  

At its production trial facility in Spain, Nissan has been testing a number of exoskeleton devices designed to offer better support to the legs, shoulders and backs of assembly workers. The next phase of the project is due to begin early next year and will integrate use of the devices into a production process setting at the Zona Franca plant near Barcelona.

Examining feedback from 14 participating employees, Nissan has identified two particular models that offered the optimum combination of lowest weight and best performance. The devices are made of light alloy materials and weigh between 1.5kg and 3kg.

Nissan says the exoskeletons can help to reduce physical stress placed on muscles by up to 60% and improve overall wellbeing for line workers dealing with awkward to reach assembly processes.

Lluís Sellarès, production engineering manager at Nissan’s assembly plant in the Zona Franca, said: “We are very pleased to be part of a landmark project for the industry which serves as a launchpad for upscaling ergonomic support of manufacturing roles across our plants.”

Nissan in European employs more than 17,000 staff across locally-based design, R&D, manufacturing, logistics and sales operations. Last year its plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 660,000 vehicles.