Title: Ergonomics interventions improve quality in manufacturing: a case study
Author: Oguzhan Erdinc, Ozalp Vayvay
Department of Industrial Engineering, Turkish Air Force Academy, Hava Harp Okulu Endustri Muhendisligi Bolum Baskanligi, Yesilyurt, Istanbul 34149, Turkey.
Department of Industrial Engineering, Marmara University, Muhendislik Fakultesi, Endustri Muhendisligi, Bolumu, Goztepe, Istanbul 34722, Turkey
Abstract: Ergonomics interventions that enhance employee performance lead to better quality in manufacturing. This study exemplified Quality Improvement Through Ergonomics (QUITE) interventions in apparel manufacturing context. The study was conducted at two machine sewing lines in an apparel manufacturing company. Ergonomics problems and quality performance were assessed before and after interventions. Major ergonomics problems were awkward postures, musculoskeletal discomfort and difficulty in monitoring operation of machine needle and flow of stitches. Operators were given ergonomics training and a manual about correct work methods. A reminder figure showing correct work postures was installed on workstations. Workstation adjustments and machine tilting were applied. After interventions, significant reductions in ergonomics problems were attained, proportion of Sewing Operator Related Defective Products (SORDP) was reduced by 56% in Line 1 and by 52% in Line 2. It was concluded that ergonomics interventions served to improve quality via reduction of operator errors in machine sewing task.
Keywords: quality improvement; ergonomics; manufacturing; apparel manufacturing; ergonomics intervention; machine sewing; QEC; quick exposure check; human factors; employee performance; training; work methods; operator errors; clothing industry; garment industry; apparel industry.
Int. J. of Industrial and Systems Engineering, 2008 Vol.3, No.6, pp.727 - 745
Available online: 10 Oct 2008