Evaluation of ergonomics in a virtual manufacturing process
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2007
This paper presents a study of the evaluation of ergonomics using virtual tools in a pre-production phase when verifying the manual assembly of the XC90 car model at the Volvo Car Corporation. The case study focused especially on the verification of visual demands in assembly work due to its complexity. The virtual development process was mapped in observations of the use of virtual tools and interviews with actors involved in the verification. Results show that computer manikins are viable tools in verifying ergonomics early in a development process and that they help to detect many problems prior to physical pre-series. There are, however, substantial improvement potentials, both in the software itself and, even more, in the process of using virtual tools. The study identified several factors that can increase the reliability of the results of computer manikin simulations (e.g. participative ergonomics and documentation issues). The special focus on visual demands shows the need of basic knowledge about human behaviour for making valid simulations. This case study stresses the need for knowledge about simulations in both analysis and interpretations in order to achieve maximum output from a virtual manufacturing process.