Toyota Develops Dummy Fingers to Enhance Worker Safety in Auto Factories

28/04/2024 - 16:41 | Toyota,  ,   | IAB Team

Toyota, renowned for its quality automobiles, is taking innovative steps to ensure the safety of its factory workers. The Japanese auto giant has introduced dummy fingers to evaluate and maximize the safety of its workers' hands, particularly in light of increased interaction between humans and robots on the factory floor.

Toyota Dummy Finger In Factory Machine

The initiative comes as part of Toyota's commitment to maintaining the safety of its workforce amid the growing integration of automation in car manufacturing. Despite the efficiency of the Toyota Production System, human workers remain essential for operating machinery, but they are also prone to accidents, especially when working alongside heavy automated equipment.

Crafted in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, at Toyota's headquarters in Toyota City, these dummy fingers are the brainchild of Takeo Mori, a manager in the Manufacturing Engineering Department. Collaborating with Panasonic, Toyota developed these innovative tools to address the rising risk of workplace accidents, particularly hand and finger injuries caused by pinch hazards common in manufacturing.

Toyota Dummy Finger

Mori explained that the dummy fingers were designed to assess the degree of finger entrapment in small surface areas, a crucial aspect given the hardness and sharpness of many automobile parts. Made of pig skin to mimic human skin's elasticity and feel, each dummy finger includes a stainless steel core to simulate a human bone.

Moreover, Toyota has created different types of dummy fingers to correspond with gender and age, ensuring a comprehensive approach to safety evaluation. These dummy fingers enable engineers to adjust machine forces during the production process, minimizing the risk of injuries for workers.

Toyota Dummy Finger Size

The development of these dummy fingers began in 2018, in collaboration with Panasonic and Nagoya University's medical school research department. While Panasonic was working on a sophisticated device for analyzing finger injuries, Toyota opted for a simpler, on-site analog system that could be easily implemented without relying on computer analysis.

Not only have these dummy fingers enhanced safety on the assembly line, but they have also influenced the design of new car models. Toyota used them to create safer tonneau covers, which often pose pinch points where the luggage compartment meets the passenger space. Additionally, they help in studying accidents that car owners may experience, such as getting a finger caught in a door jamb.


You might also like