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Ergonomic Power Tools

In a joint collaboration between KTH Department of Ergonomics and the industrial company Atlas Copco Industrial Technique, we are investigating force exposures from handheld powered tightening tools, such as nutrunners.

These tools are used to tightening screws, nuts and bolts during e.g. motor vehicle assembly. While these tools enable high torque levels, increased product accuracy and process productivity, they expose the operators, i.e. the assembly workers, to reaction forces. This, in combination with the repetitive nature of assembly work, paves the way for the development of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Power tool manufacturers have for a long time been receiving questions from their customers about reaction force exposure, but have had few or no generally accepted recommendations to refer to. The aim of this research project is therefore to contribute to the development of occupational exposure limits for reaction forces from handheld powered tightening tools. In the long run, the goal is to contribute to more sustainable assembly work. The project is further carried out in collaboration with representatives from the Swedish assembly industry.


Ava Mazaheri, Industrial PhD Student, +46 72 083 86 68