Honda engineers in Shelby Co. create artificial arm for colleague

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Honda engineers in Shelby Co. create artificial arm for colleague

Employees at Honda’s Anna, Ohio engine plant have made an artificial arm for a colleague recovering from a rare disease.

Tony Leonard, a worker in Honda’s Anna engine plant, had his arm amputated after complications from a “rare disease” severely weakened his left elbow, CBS News reported Thursday, keying off the earlier reporting of an affiliate station in Columbus.

Leonard’s colleagues in the Anna plant’s engineering group thought they could build him a working arm while he awaited his prosthetic limb, Honda spokesman Chris Abbruzzese said Thursday.

The workers pursued the project through an “NH Circle” team, an internal group that all Honda plants have, a group that attends to internal plant or company projects throughout the course of a year, Abbruzzese said.

Such teams come together to “find solutions to problems,” he said. Projects seek to create solutions to internal plant engineering issues, such as making components carts more quiet.

“This is something we do every year,” Abbruzzese said

At year’s end, the best projects can receive company awards. This team won a trip to China.

“This one won one of our world honors,” the spokesman said.

“The bottom line is that it’s a nice story about people helping people,” Abbruzzese added. “It’s a really cool story.”

The Anna plant is about an hour’s drive north of Dayton off Interstate 75.

In October, the plant — the largest Honda engine plant in the world — marked the 25 millionth engine produced since Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. opened the facility in 1985.

Honda has some 13,000 employees in West Central Ohio, including about 1,000 who commute to work from the Dayton area, the company said. The automaker also has a distribution center in Troy.

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