The influence of Assembly ergonomics on product quality and productivity in car manufacturing - a cost-benefit approach
Paper in proceedings, 2008
The influence of assembly ergonomics on product quality in car manufacturing – a cost-benefit approach
Car manufacturing is often associated with poor working environment resulting in musculoskeletal disorders and high sick leave among assembly workers. Besides, a number of studies have proven that there is a clear correlation between assembly ergonomics and product quality and that poor assembly ergonomics result in impaired product quality and in increased production costs. Many proactive measures have been made trying to prevent these problems such as training production staff in load ergonomics, workstation improvements and design changes in product and production development. Nevertheless, there are remaining difficulties in receiving acceptance for product and production changes because of poor assembly ergonomics solutions.
This project aims at analyzing the correlation between assembly ergonomics, assemblability and product quality. The objective is to quantify ergonomics and assemblability in economic terms in order to better support product and assembly solutions during the early development process of new car models. Overall, the purpose is to create a tool that supports decision making in the design of assembly concepts. The tool will have functionality to assess ergonomic conditions in terms of quality and productivity, interpreted in monetary terms.
A selection of assemblies of high, medium and low ergonomic risk level will be followed and evaluated with respect to quality errors for eight weeks. The number of quality errors will be registered both in the assembly plant and on the after-sales market. The costs for scrap and corrective quality actions will be calculated both in the plant and on the after-sales market. The purpose is to define a quality cost associated to each ergonomic risk issue.
Key words: ergonomics