Innovative products instilled

Self-retracting lifeline

Thematic story: Innovative products instilled with sustainable values - Self-retracting lifeline (SRL)

YOKE aspires to “build a world-class company with firm profits and steady growth in the industrial safety component business.” Guided by the vision, in 2016, the Company began promoting its self-retracting lifeline (SRL) products that bear the YOKE brand name. With “material development, product design and quality certification” as our core technologies, we adopted the strategies of “increasing the value of key materials, structural design conventionalization, systemization of patent layout and intelligent product development” and achieved fruitful results in R&D in recent years.

One will only ever get to use SRL once it counts because the SRL is supposed to save his life by design.  Opting for a design philosophy that focuses on aspects of being “lightweight” and “easy to inspect,” we have also taken into account the outcome of our patent layout analysis to steer our product development towards three major features: “double lock engagement, buffer mechanism and connecting device.” We decided to differentiate our products from other existing SRL offerings in the market by developing exclusive structural designs. In light of the potential safety demands and stringent requirements, we actively sought innovation in our R&D so that we could raise the safety factor for our product. By increasing the personnel load specification to 190 kg (while existing product regulations only call for 140kg), we have taken the extra step to expand our pool of end-users so that they can benefit from the additional safety and protection that we promise to deliver.

With any safety protection product, “safety” will always be its core value and as such, YOKE takes the quality of product manufacturing extremely seriously. According to our chairman, “If you derive quality by relying solely on checks and inspection, the quality would be rudimentary in nature. If you achieve quality by manufacturing, you raise the game to the advanced level. But to get to consummate quality that can compete at the world-class level, you can only do so by nurturing through the right cultures.” As a testament to the corporate culture at YOKE, one of our senior colleagues who retired from her position as a QA personnel remarked, “The Chairman is fond of saying: ‘the devil is in the details’, so we had to stay vigilant and focused on all the details to get to the point of perfection before we deliver our products.” When you have a retired employee of the company making such a comment on the level of painstaking detail that YOKE expects from its product, it is evident that such expectation has already become a part of the Company’s culture.

YOKE’s requirement for quality can be separated into three components: “Management system,” “Factory manufacturing certification,” and “Product testing certification.” DNV GL has accredited our products for quality management system alone for ISO 9001, the API QMS that the American Petroleum Institute has specifically established for the petroleum and natural gas industries and the British-based SATRA Technology Centre’s Article 11B for periodical review.  For factory manufacturing certification, YOKE has passed professional certification for many years by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and China Classification Society (CCS). For product testing certification, we applied for product testing and inspection by various institutions such as ABS, CSA, DGUV Test, DNV, TÜV, SATRA, SGS and so forth according to product type region of distribution and customer requirement.  As of 2020, 3,556 YOKE products have received certification by various product inspections and our certified products contribute as much as 85% of our total revenues.


The model of industry-academia collaboration had been the distinguishing approach and feature that sets YOKE apart from other competitors in the process of promoting technological advancement. By focusing on our inadequacies with core product technologies and issues with yield rate that are more likely to take place in our manufacturing, we sought to enlist the expertise from professional instructors at different universities to analyze the issues we had from a theoretical standpoint so that we can carry out empirical study onsite at our facilities. That enabled us to explore and determine the best practice for improvement.

In the face of intense competition from the sector as a whole, our customers have become more demanding in terms of their need for product diversity and shorter development lead time. In order to better equip our R&D personnel with the know-how to achieve greater control over the direction of product development, YOKE has been working with NTU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering through an arrangement of sharing of technical knowledge. With the assistance of the department’s instructors, we were able to translate the actual operating model of our safety equipment into operating formulas that can be used in computer simulations. Not only that, the formulas have also been coded into programs to become our exclusive software that analyzes the operating structure of SRL. After more than a year of development and evidence-based statistics, we were able to achieve an impressive 94% accuracy with analyses performed with said software. The software not only reduced our development lead time and lowered developmental error to conserve precious resources and time, but it also enabled systematic management and preservation of SRL development knowledge. We will make further revisions to the analytic software to accrue our work experience in the software itself to help relevant personnel acquire adequate understanding over key design points of the mechanism in a shorter period of time.

As we market and distribute our products worldwide, it is absolutely crucial that we avoid potential copyright infringement in our product design. In an effort to maintain our competitive and technological edge over other brands, we have also been working with NTU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering to perform a comprehensive structural analysis of all patents relating to SRL. To this end, we have analyzed and studied patents that have been published within the past 80 odd years, dating back to 1939, in order to complete our systematic patent map, which helped us to identified three primary features of product development - “double lock engagement, buffer mechanism and connecting device” and launched relevant patent deployments. Starting from 2017, our number of patent application registrations and the number of patents awarded increased significantly. With merely 104 valid patents in 2016, we accrued a total of 185 valid patents in 2020.

In light of our previous industry-academia collaborations that only followed with two sessions of presentation and exchange time after the proposal has been submitted, with both participation and communication somewhat lacking, we had made it a point to increase the number of discussions and participants in the collaborations apart from research and analysis that followed the establishment of our R&D Center in 2017. By facilitating more exchanges and focusing greater attention on core technologies, we can speed up the process of talent nurturing within the Company.

SRL is poised to be the source of momentum that will drive our next wave of revenue growth. Apart from our products’ competitiveness based on their specifications, we have also incorporated the use of eco-friendly materials and local procurement components of our product feature as it reflects YOKE’s spirit and mission of shouldering the value of sustainability while we promote the SRL product line.

In recent years, YOKE has been working on improving its SRL fitting capacity. Through multiple industry-academia collaborations, we strengthened our R&D capabilities, constructed our patent map, optimized our process parameters and assisted local suppliers in material production as a multi-pronged approach to synchronize our development of research, purchasing and manufacturing so that we can boost the competitiveness of our SRL products. We hope to develop our SRL product line into a brand of Total Solution and that it will become our key product that enables YOKE to achieve its goal of generating NTD 10 billion in 2028.

Among our many industry-academia collaborations, one involves the analysis of webbing structure with the Textile and Material Industry Research Center of FCU. We went with this collaboration because none of the webbing produced by existing manufacturers in Taiwan was compliant with our requirements. In order to adhere to our policy for local procurement, we had reached out to the instructors at FCU’s Department of Fiber and Composite Materials by proposing an industry-academia collaboration so as to analyze the impact of webbing arrangement on its strength. Results from the collaboration had already been provided to local webbing suppliers through technical transfer. After comprehensive material testing, the improved webbing delivered the strength that we needed for YOKE’s SRL products. By sourcing and purchasing locally in accordance with the demand from product orders, we have boosted YOKE’s positive influence on local industries.

Presently, we have launched two models of SRL products under our own brand. N-9327 series covers all existing international product specifications for SRL. In contrast, the N-9328 series features the key achievements we have been able to accomplish with our patent system thus far, with three major features of “double lock engagement, buffer mechanism and connecting device.” The N-9328 series has already received 11 invention patents and 14 new patents, along with accreditations to international specifications such as ANSI Z359.14-2014, OSHA 1910.66, OSHA 1926.502 and third-party certification by SATRA.

In terms of functionality, we prioritized compactness and lightweight in our product design. With the product weighing less than 1kg, operators would be much more inclined to choose our product. Secondly, instead of using the conventional solution of buffer pack as is standard in the industry, we had developed an internal buffer mechanism that removes the need for brake pads containing asbestos and is capable of resisting fall characteristics caused by drastic temperature difference to reduce risks. Finally, our products feature transparent cases and semi-sealed partitioning so that operators can easily tell if the internal locking mechanism was working properly. The dust protection feature also lengthens the product lifecycle to more than 100,000 operations. While YOKE’s overall revenues fell by a substantial margin due to the pandemic, the revenues from our SRL products alone still grew from NTD 78.14 million to 87,98 million (equivalent to 12.59%). Not only that, our SRL product had also won the silver medal in the Taiwan Excellence Award in 2020.


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core CSR value

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