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

Mazda Toyota Partners with SUITX for Team Member Well-Being

One of Mazda Toyota’s core values from the beginning has been innovation.

In the past, MTM has demonstrated a strong commitment to innovation through the implementation of best practices from our parent companies, as well as the adoption of new ideas and technologies. This core value has been exemplified across departments and subject areas to advance both manufacturing and team member development.

In terms of well-being, MTM is committed to advancing team member safety at our facility through the introduction of innovative safety technologies.

It is in this spirit of innovation that MTM has partnered with SUITX by Ottobock to implement the IX SHOULDER AIR in several of our production areas.

This exoskeleton suit alleviates shoulder burden on the team member and is especially useful in processes where team members spend significant portions of their workday in an overhead posture. Over time, this prolonged posture can strain the shoulders, forearms, and elbows. The IX SHOULDER AIR aims to balance the weight of the arm to reduce strain and improve team member comfort.

Although MTM aims to design the workplace to reduce or eliminate at-risk postures, certain processes must be performed in an extended overhead position. In our paint shop, exoskeletons have been used in underbody processes where team members remove excess sealer from the underside of both the Corolla Cross and CX-50. In our assembly shops, the suits are used in underbody Chassis work to reduce the burden of overhead parts installation.

MTM also plans to use SUITX exoskeleton technology to reduce lower back strain in certain areas for team members who work in extended bending postures.

The partnership with SUITX comes after many trials with various exoskeleton manufacturers.

MTM continues to lead the way in innovation to help our team members go home in the same condition they left, every day.

“It has been great to work with the various MTM team members and their staff of engineers and safety professionals,” says Marvyn Rieger, SUITX’s key account manager for automotive customers in North America. “Throughout the testing and implementation of SUITX exoskeletons, team members have been very open-minded and provided the necessary feedback to practically integrate the exoskeletons into their everyday routines.”

MTM sees this device as especially useful for the diverse needs of our team member population.

“I see exoskeleton technologies being especially useful for team members that may need a little additional help adjusting to new work,” says Kaleigh Fleming, Ergonomics Specialist at MTM. “For our members who have never worked in manufacturing before, or those coming back from an injury, exoskeletons have the ability to make the transition easier. The great thing about the IX SHOULDER AIR in particular is the unique technology that allows a full range of support. The team member has the ability to choose more or less tension and even have different levels of tension between their two arms.”

MTM understands the importance of keeping our “Industrial Athletes” safe at work, as our team members are our most essential asset. Utilizing innovative technology in the manufacturing environment demonstrates our commitment to implementing proactive measures to keep team members safe at work. Ultimately, partnerships like this demonstrate mendomi, or treating team members like family, to both our front-line team members and our business partners.