Browse Publications Technical Papers 2013-36-0216
2013-10-07

Development of a Methodology Focused on the Improvement of Both: Ergonomics and Comfort of Commercial Vehicle Seats 2013-36-0216

Safety, Ergonomics and comfort are inseparable concepts and of greater relevance to the full exercise of professional drivers, being the seat, one of the most important components to be considered, when designing their workplace.
This work presents initiatives taken by Mercedes-Benz do Brasil Ltda. (MBBras) in partnership with GRAMMER do Brasil Ltda. (Grammer) and Oficio Ergonomia e Design Ltda. concerning the improvement of a SAE Class 8 Heavy-truck Driver Seat. Proposals involved seat design improvement at driver reach and posture, design and constructive characteristics (seat-bottom foam and frame) Upholstery, seat-controls ergonomics and the vibration response, due to the introduction of independent shock-absorbers. A user centered approach was employed to promote the necessary interaction between the major synergic areas: ergonomics, engineering, manufacturing and design, in order to guarantee that the greatest number of demands coming from future customers - here represented by a selected group of drivers - was brought to reality.
Because ergonomics and comfort are heavily dependent of psychological and anthropomorphic aspects, this development was based on successive steps of static and dynamic evaluations, involving forty subjects of various percentiles, most of them professional drivers, plus fifteen different models of seats, among other material, logistics and professional resources.
Concurrent to the presentation of some experimental results, the impacts of different factors, such as the morphological characteristics of the evaluators and the importance of applying high standards of planning and control of the many variables involved are discussed. As a result of this joint and multidisciplinary development, emerged a more comfortable and ergonomic component, enabling relevant gains to: driver, vehicle and pay-load.

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