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MTM Employees Who Are Part of Mazda Toyota History in North Alabama

Ergo Cup Competition: Grommet Install Tool

27th Annual Applied Ergonomics Conference.

Team members from MTM showcased their innovative thinking at the 27th Annual Applied Ergonomics Conference in March. Our team, comprised of members from the Paint shop and Safety Department, presented a project as part of the Ergo Cup® Competition. This internationally renowned competition celebrates outstanding solutions that address an organization’s ergonomic challenges and improve its ergonomic processes and systems. Participants are judged on several different criteria, including innovation, employee involvement, ergonomic risk reduction, and business impact.

The solution that was exhibited was a tool to install door grommets in the Paint Shop. The original tool caused wrist strain and quality issues. Team members escalated their discomfort after installing the door grommets to their management during the ramp-up phase of the new model launch. With the help of our engineering team, a tool was 3D printed internally and trialed online to alleviate some of the team members’ discomfort. The tool was designed specifically for the angle of the door in this process to provide the team member with a neutral wrist posture and is made from carbon fiber and fiberglass, making it both strong and lightweight.

There were 14 total design iterations of the tool before the final design was agreed upon, and feedback was gathered from all team members who work the process after each new one was trialed.

Although the tool was designed by an engineer, team member involvement and feedback was the driving force that propelled this initial change and all future kaizens of the design. Team members also suggested quality improvement elements, such as a pin to hold the grommet in place so it would not fall out during installation. Because team members escalated early, we were able to put a low cost and effective countermeasure in place to prevent serious injuries from occurring.

Presenting members included Team Leader Deloarch Jones “DJ”, Group Leader David Croft, Assistant Manager KeAundrey Aaron and Safety Specialist Kaleigh Fleming. During their time at the conference, they shared the grommet install tool with conference attendees from all over the globe in a variety of industries. The team was also able to learn from other competition entrants as well as conference presenters on a variety of ergonomics topics. The team returned to MTM with a passion to improve additional ergonomics issues in their area and a renewed commitment to the safety of their team members.