E-Exoskeletons Part of New Innovation Roll Out in Canadian Tire Warehouse

While revamping their flagship storefront and optimizing their back-end operations, the Canadian Tire team in Welland, Ontario invested in enhancing their workforce’s safety by incorporating German Bionic’s e-exoskeleton, Apogee.

Lower back injuries continue to be a prevalent challenge to warehouse workers due to the physical demand of consistent lifting of goods and the increase in the volume of goods that must be handled. Amidst a swiftly evolving technological landscape, warehouse efficiency and safety has gone through an evolution through the introduction of wearable technologies to help tackle some of these issues. These advancements go beyond just technology upgrades; they signify a fundamental change, embracing the human factor and using technology to enhance innate abilities. With the help of these new innovations, Canadian Tire in Welland, Ontario was able to fill a critical gap in employee safety in their new, 75,000 square foot warehouse to complement their recently upgraded operations.

Canadian Tire recently underwent significant storefront renovations, marking a substantial transformation in its appearance and functionality. The renovation project focused on expanding the store’s size, allowing for a more extensive product range and improved customer experience. Alongside the physical expansion, Canadian Tire incorporated cutting-edge technology within its warehouse space. These renovations not only modernized the store but also underscored Canadian Tire’s commitment to meeting evolving consumer needs while maintaining its reputation as a go-to destination for a wide array of automotive, home, and leisure products.

The warehouse team at Canadian Tire’s flagship store is being equipped with German Bionic’s Apogee exoskeleton during periods of lifting and unloading goods, which will result in added energy and both physical and mental relief to workers. The device, which is worn like a backpack, provides up to 66 pounds of weight compensation for each lift, which comes in handy for the multitude of goods the retailer offers to customers.

Specifically in the areas of truck unloading, shelf stocking and loading goods onto their conveyor system, employees are being benefited by additional support and power with the wearable lift-assist device. With a quick onboarding, each team member felt confident utilizing it in their daily tasks, making the transition smooth for employees.

“The German Bionic team is fantastic. Explaining everything to us, walking the guys through at a detailed level just to make sure everybody has that comfort level with knowing how to use the equipment properly and understanding the benefits for them.”

Jason Warwick, Manager of store operations and process improvement at the Welland store, highlights the need to support his team through new technologies. He shares, “The folks in the back are responsible for basically handling all our goods. We updated our equipment by installing a powered conveyor system. Now we want to reinvest some of that into our team for their safety.” Warwick also shares that the journey to the Apogee has been straightforward and easy for his team. He shares, “The German Bionic team is fantastic. Explaining everything to us, walking the guys through at a detailed level just to make sure everybody has that comfort level with knowing how to use the equipment properly and understanding the benefits for them.”

“I used to work in construction, and I actually hurt my back. So having something that helps assist and remove that stress for me was very interesting to get a hands-on view and work with it. I’m very excited moving forward to see how we can apply it in the store.”

Joe Heitauer the Warehouse and Receiving Manager shares his enthusiasm as he reflects on a back injury from a previous job.  “I used to work in construction, and I actually hurt my back. So having something that helps assist and remove that stress for me was very interesting to get a hands-on view and work with it. I’m very excited moving forward to see how we can apply it in the store.”

The team is excited to see what additional applications the Apogee exoskeletons can be utilized in to make their warehouse tasks easier and safer.


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