The objective of this study was to examine to what extent ergonomics simulations of manual assembly tasks correctly predict the real outcomes in the plants and if recommended measures originating from ergonomics simulations are taken into consideration. 155 ergonomics simulation cases were used in the study and all cases were performed by nine simulation engineers at Volvo Car Corporation in Gothenburg. The evaluations of the ergonomics conditions of the simulated tasks were done by six professional ergonomists; working at Volvo Car Corporation in Gothenburg. The results show that digital human modelling tools (DHM-tools) are useful for the purpose of providing designs for standing and unconstrained working postures. Furthermore. the design of various auxiliary devices and their needed space for movements is a prevalent use of DHM-tools. However, the study also identifies areas that require ' possibility to additional development in order to further improve the digital human modelling tools correctly predict a work task's real outcome, i.e. hand access, push pressure and pull forces, leaning and balance behaviour and field of vision. Moreover, a better feedback of product and process changes and a more careful order description of simulation cases to the simulation engineers would lead to improved simulation results in current and future projects. Relevance to industry: DHM-tools are increasingly the major means used to perform ergonomics analyses of manual assembly tasks in the automotive industry, but there is still a need for improvements of the tools. It is of great importance to disseminate end users' experiences of the use of different DHM-tools so these can be developed and applied in a more efficient way. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
- Manual automotive assembly
- Virtual manufacturing
- Ergonomics simulation results
- Digital human modelling