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Isolating In-Situ Grip and Push Force Distribution from Hand-Handle Contact Pressure with an Industrial Electric Nutrunner

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Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
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Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: M. Osman Tokhi
Sensors 2021, 21(23), 8120; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21238120
Received: 11 November 2021 / Revised: 30 November 2021 / Accepted: 1 December 2021 / Published: 4 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Industrial Sensors)
Objectives: Grip force during hand tool operation is the primary contributor to tendon strain and related wrist injuries, whereas push force is a contributor to shoulder injuries. However, both cannot be directly measured using a single measurement instrument. The objective of this research was to develop and test an algorithm to isolate the grip and push force distributions from in-situ hand-handle pressure measurements and to quantify their distributions among industrial workers using an electric nutrunner. Methods: Experienced automobile assembly line workers used an industrial nutrunner to tighten fasteners at various locations and postures. The pressure applied by the hand on the tool handle was measured dynamically using pressure sensors mounted on the handle. An algorithm was developed to compute the push force applied to the handle of an electric pistol-grip nutrunner based on recorded pressure measurements. An optimization problem was solved to find the contribution of each measured pressure to the actual pushing force of the tool. Finally, the grip force was determined from the difference between the measured pressure and the calculated pushing pressure. Results: The grip force and push force were successfully isolated and there was no correlation between the two forces. The computed grip force increased from low to high fastener locations, whereas the push force significantly increased during overhead fastening. A significant difference across the participants’ computed grip forces was observed. The grip force distribution showed that its contribution to total hand force was larger than other definitions in the literature. Conclusions: The developed algorithm can aid in better understanding the risk of injury associated with different tasks through the notion of grip and push force distribution. This was shown to be important as even workers with considerable power tool experience applied significantly more grip and push force than other participants, all of whom successfully completed each task. Moreover, the fact that both forces were uncorrelated shows the need for extracting them independently. View Full-Text
Keywords: electric nutrunner; injury prevention; grip force; pistol-grip hand tool; pressure map; push force; optimization electric nutrunner; injury prevention; grip force; pistol-grip hand tool; pressure map; push force; optimization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Landry, C.; Loewen, D.; Rao, H.; Pinto, B.L.; Bahensky, R.; Chandrashekar, N. Isolating In-Situ Grip and Push Force Distribution from Hand-Handle Contact Pressure with an Industrial Electric Nutrunner. Sensors 2021, 21, 8120. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21238120

AMA Style

Landry C, Loewen D, Rao H, Pinto BL, Bahensky R, Chandrashekar N. Isolating In-Situ Grip and Push Force Distribution from Hand-Handle Contact Pressure with an Industrial Electric Nutrunner. Sensors. 2021; 21(23):8120. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21238120

Chicago/Turabian Style

Landry, Cederick, Daniel Loewen, Harish Rao, Brendan L. Pinto, Robert Bahensky, and Naveen Chandrashekar. 2021. "Isolating In-Situ Grip and Push Force Distribution from Hand-Handle Contact Pressure with an Industrial Electric Nutrunner" Sensors 21, no. 23: 8120. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21238120

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