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Q&A with the CEO: What problem is Santos® meant to solve?

This month’s Q&A with Steve Beck, President & CEO of SantosHuman Inc. answers the question of what problems Santos is designed to solve.

Q: What problems are solved by Santos®?

Santos technologies provide a platform that enables our clients to look at humans-in-the-loop in a wide variety of applications. Our capabilities stand out as solutions to not one—but two—of the most persistent problems in product design.

  1. wheelchair analysisDesigning for Humans Earlier in the Process. The Santos first-principles approach to predicting physical human behavior and performance allows human-in-the-loop criteria to be considered at the earliest stages of product development. This enables our defense and private industry clients to design for increased performance and increased customer satisfaction from the start resulting in better designs that can be brought into production sooner. If you haven’t seen the recent blog series on this topic, you can find the first post in that series here.
  2. Predicting Exposure to Risk of Injury. A 12-year study by two world-renown ergonomics researchers involving thousands of subjects indicates that commonly used tools for assessing work-related exposure to risk of injury are not only inaccurate but can be off by as much as 16 lbs. Putting that into perspective relative to the lives of the workers your company employs, assume a task assessment underestimates the load a worker must handle by 16 lbs and your company has been given a green light on that task, which could be as much as 16 lbs. heavier than should be allowed. This means your workers could be performing a task all day, every day, that exposes them to a significant increase in risk of injury. With all of that in mind, consider that a) work-related injuries cost U.S. companies an estimated $50 to $70 billion per year and b) our defense clients have noted that U.S. warfighters lose the most days due to injuries associated with equipment use.lift analysis in Santos Pro

Let’s now assume a task assessment overestimates the load a worker must handle by 16 lbs and your company has been given a red light on that task, which could be performed with minimal exposure to risk of injury as originally designed.  When was the last time you saw a budget line item for unnecessary and expensive task redesign expenditures?

Whether you’re underestimating the loads your workforce can handle and exposing them to increased risk of injury -or- expensively and needlessly redesigning their tasks, relying on commonly and widely used tools for these types of assessments, most of which have been shown to be off by as much as 16 lbs., affects the bottom line of just about every company in every industry.

We worked closely with Professors Jim Potvin, Ph.D., and Nick la Delfa, Ph.D. to provide their solution – the most accurate and extensively validated method of predicting exposure to risk of injury for manual material handling tasks available today – within Santos products through the Arm Force Field Plug-In,

Learn more about other Santos capabilities and, as always, let us know what you think.  We’d love to hear from you.

– S

Q&A with the CEO: What prompted the development of SantosHuman’s predictive human modeling software?

In this Q&A, Steve Beck, President & CEO, discusses the genesis of what is now commonly referred to as Santos®. Watch for additional posts like this one in the future.

Q: What prompted the development of Santos®?

SantosHuman digital human modelA: The research that led to the human simulation capabilities now commonly referred to as Santos® was originally funded by the United States Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) in 2003. These initial funds were provided to advance research in digital human modeling that could help reduce the time and cost to bring new systems to market.

TACOM’s assessment of the digital human modeling tools available at that time was that the capabilities were not sufficient for their future requirements. TACOM’s goal was to “kick start” the development of virtual warfighter-in-the-loop system testing technologies that could decrease the need for physical prototypes and thereby decrease the time and cost to bring new systems into production.

TACOM program managers provided the following motivation for the initiative:

  • The next generation tank was expected to take 13 years from white paper to production.
  • In that time, it was expected that nine working physical prototypes would be created.
  • Each prototype was estimated to cost over $1 billion.
  • Ninety percent of the cost (U.S. taxpayer funds) of each prototype would be committed the minute the DoD said, “cut metal”—in other words, as soon as they committed to having the prototype built.

SantosHuman modeling softwareTACOM program managers also relayed that one of the primary reasons for creating these prototypes was to ensure that warfighter-in-the-loop issues were identified and addressed prior to production because failure to do so will cost lives.  The ability to assess these types of issues virtually and reduce the number of physical prototypes required represented a significant opportunity to reduce expenditures.

Over $50 million (and counting) in external funding has been invested in Santos®-related research and development by the U.S. Department of Defense and private industry since 2003. SantosHuman Inc. is productizing this research to create client-driven Santos® capabilities which now encompass a broad spectrum of Virtual Human-in-the-Loop Solutions for both defense and private industry.