Title: Ergonomics analysis in a virtual environment

Authors: Gunnar Backstrand, Dan Hogberg, Leo J. De Vin, Keith Case, Paul Piamonte

Addresses: School of Technology and Society, University of Skovde, Box 408, SE-541 28, Skovde, Sweden; Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK. and Volvo Powertrain Sweden, SE-541 87, Skovde, Sweden ' School of Technology and Society, University of Skovde, Box 408, SE-541 28, Skovde, Sweden. ' School of Technology and Society, University of Skovde, Box 408, SE-541 28, Skovde, Sweden. ' School of Technology and Society, University of Skovde, Box 408, SE-541 28, Skovde, Sweden; Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK. ' Volvo Technology Corporation, SE-405 08, Goteborg, Sweden

Abstract: Simulation can support the design of an ergonomic workplace by enabling early assessment of ergonomic conditions in a virtual environment. An important feature is the possibility to study alternative solutions or the effect of improvements from an ergonomics perspective. To be able to conduct an efficient and reliable evaluation in a virtual environment, an objective analysis method is essential. Such an analysis method should be integrated in the simulation software, and support a company|s everyday ergonomics work process. In order to gain from existing ergonomics knowledge within a company, the possibility to implement such wisdom in the current simulation software becomes important. This paper presents an implementation work done with the purpose of integrating an established ergonomics work process into a virtual environment. It describes the benefits of an ergonomics work process where simulation and evaluation at early stages of a design process are key factors. The paper will also describe the integration process, i.e., the technical issues as well as the change in work methods.

Keywords: simulation; ergonomics; workplace design; virtual environments; human factors; design process; product realisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMR.2007.014645

International Journal of Manufacturing Research, 2007 Vol.2 No.2, pp.198 - 208

Available online: 21 Jul 2007 *

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