It's in the Eye of the Beholder: Who Should be the User of Computer Manikin Tools? 2003-01-2196
The aim of this study was to examine the influence of computer manikin users' background and knowledge for the results of a computer manikin simulation. Subjects taking part in the study were either production engineers or ergonomists. A manual task that presented production and ergonomics problems was used. The task was simulated prior to the subjects' sessions, using the computer manikin software Jack. During the sessions, the animated simulation was shown to the test subject. Results show that there are differences in how production engineers and ergonomists interpret results from a manikin simulation. Depending on the user's background, certain aspects that are difficult to visualise with the computer manikin were interpreted differently, regarding e.g. detected problems and holistic perspectives. Differences in results between engineers and ergonomists, especially regarding suggested solutions for detected problems, show that recommendations concerning a participative process should be made for the utilisation and interpretation of computer manikin analysis.
For the practical implementation of computer manikins, it is of great importance that users have adequate knowledge and education, to get the most out of the investment. This paper discusses this issue, and suggests that there must be a clear strategy on who should use computer manikins in order to get valid and reliable results.