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Case story

HOOB improves assembly line ergonomics using LINAK lifting columns

When the Estonian company HOOB was asked to build a completely new assembly line for a global company, they looked to LINAK to meet the ergonomic goals of the project.

HOOB one-piece flow assembly line featuring LINAK® LC3 electric lifting columns and LA37 actuator

HOOB was founded in 2014 by two engineers, Tanel Sildnik and Priit Raid. In their previous careers, they both worked with product design and often struggled with machine shops being bottlenecks for realising their innovative projects. This encouraged them to take the plunge and start HOOB, a company dedicated to the design and manufacture of assembly lines. They soon built up a proven track record of projects, and today HOOB counts 20+ engineers and specialists designing and manufacturing high-quality assembly solutions.

In 2017, when the company was still in its early days, the team got a project from a global technology leader in electrification and automation: To design, develop and build a new assembly line from scratch. The goal of the new line was to make the frequency converter assembly more efficient and as ergonomic as possible.


Ergonomic excellence with LINAK lifting columns

Designing an ergonomic solution, HOOB had to consider a product weight of up to 300 kg as well as the adjustability of the line to any employee operating it. After looking into potential suppliers for the project, LINAK® was chosen to be a vital part of the solution. The result was a 14-meter one-piece flow line with six workstations and five free-running conveyors.

When it comes to making workstations safe, comfortable, and efficient, ergonomics and lean manufacturing go hand in hand. Business Development Manager at LINAK, Melanie Kuhn, elaborates:

"If workstation designs are not adapted to the operators, it increases the risks of human errors, as well as work-related accidents and injuries, which has a negative effect on productivity. The HOOB team excels in integrating ergonomics in lean manufacturing, improving both employee performance and satisfaction. We are proud that our products contribute to this in both manual and semi-automated processes."

For the assembly line, HOOB uses LINAK lifting columns under each station to adjust the workbench height while the product is being assembled. Furthermore, an LC3 3-stage column with a vacuum gripper is used for lowering, lifting and moving the product further down the line.

When the product has been assembled, it is transferred to a trolley. For this purpose, HOOB designed a tilting solution featuring an LA37 actuator to minimise manual handling of the heavy frequency converters.

The new assembly line has increased the assembly speed, and the layout provides a good overview of the process. Through their well-thought-out design, HOOB has also succeeded in creating good ergonomic solutions that adapt tasks to individual operators, accomplishing an ideal human-machine interaction.

LC3 lifting column with a vacuum gripper used for lowering and lifting a product at an assembly line


HOOB assembly line featuring LINAK LC3 electric lifting columns and LA37 electric actuator

The starting point of a long-term collaboration

The assembly line project started the collaboration between HOOB and LINAK. HOOB found LINAK through their online research. The reasonable delivery time was a plus, but not the most important reason why HOOB chose LINAK as a supplier.

We chose LINAK because of the easy-to-use lifting columns and actuators, and the local support. But also, very much due to the fact that they have all the technical information and mechanical drawings available online. That makes our job of fitting the components into our design so much easier.
Priit Raid, Co-founder of HOOB

The first project was a success and kickstarted a collaboration that has been going strong ever since:

“We had a good communication, and after the first project, it was quite clear that we wanted to continue the collaboration. Our customer also got familiar with the solution, so for the next project it was only natural to use the same sort of solution”, Priit concludes.

Both HOOB and LINAK look forward to collaborating on implementing good ergonomics in manual and semi- automated production lines in the years to come. You can read more about HOOB at their website.

You can also learn more about our lifting column kits for ergonomic workbenches and other workstations here.

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