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GM’s Ergo Chair Benefits Seat Installment for Traverse

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GM's Ergo Chair

GM’s Ergo Chair

If you think that the idea of designing a chair to more easily design other chairs sounds ridiculous, then clearly you’ve never seen GM’s Ergo Chair. Check it out:

As you can see, GM’s Ergo Chair is great for installing the third-row seats of the award-winning Chevy Traverse, which made it onto Kelley Blue Book’s list of the 12 Best Family Cars of 2014, and with good reason. The third row makes the Traverse the perfect transporter for larger families, offering space enough for three adult passengers. The third-row seating offers safety systems, lights, climate control, infotainment, and even coat hooks.

But manufacturing such a versatile rear row required a new kind of innovation, and thus GM’s Ergo Chair was born. The ergonomic device allows a team member to operate easily inside the rear of the vehicle with all the tools necessary to get the job done. The chair is driven by a robotic arm, but it is controlled by the “sitter’s” body motions.

GM's Ergo Chair

Body motions control GM’s Ergo Chair.

“Our goal was to get the operator in and out of the vehicle in the safest and most ergonomic fashion to allow them to do the high amount of overhead and rear work required,” said the Ergo Chair design team lead, Dave Bentoski, a GM manufacturing systems engineer.

Tony Francavilla, Lansing Regional plant manager, added, “To build a vehicle successfully, you need a great product and a great process, but at the heart of that process are the people, and the care they put into each and every vehicle. Having the Ergo Chair put our employee with the parts and tools at the optimal position for each operation, improves both vehicle quality and worker health and safety.”

GM's Ergo Chair

General Motors has had three Ergo Chairs installed at Lansing Delta Township and has also added them to the Spring Hill Assembly line down in Tennessee. Currently, GM’s Ergo Chair is being examined to see how it could be used in other manufacturing and assembly environments.

“Many of the innovations that make the Traverse such a great family vehicle, are easy to see,” said Betsy Flegg, marketing manager, Crossovers. “What’s harder to see is the manufacturing innovation that went into making those seats possible, thanks to the creativity and hard work of the men and women in our General Motors assembly plants.”

GM's Ergo Chair

Photos courtesy of General Motors