Modified method time measurements for ergonomic planning of production systems in the manufacturing industry
Journal article, 2000
The paper reports on an evaluation of a method called ErgoSAM. This method is based on SAM, a higher-level method-time-measurement (MTM) system, and is for use by production planners, e.g. production engineers. In addition to the SAM information, the ErgoSAM method considers information on weight handled or forces applied, and work zone. The method is designed to predict the physical demands of work postures, force and repetitivity, according to a scientific model, the Cube model. In co-operation with the Volvo Car Corporation, six workstations of an assembly line, were analysed by a production engineer using ErgoSAM. The total assembly time analysed was about 17 minutes. The results were compared to results from ergonomic analyses made by an ergonomist using the Volvo Car Corporations standards. The results showed that ErgoSAM predicts work situations of high physical stress for the workers. However, the method does not consider stressful positions for the hand, wrist and neck or mental stress. The production engineer judged the ErgoSAM analyses to require about 5% more time than SAM analyses alone. It is concluded that the method shows considerable promise for predicting physically stressful work situations, but needs to be further evaluated and refined.