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Technical Paper

Automotive Manufacturing Task Analysis: An Integrated Approach

Automotive manufacturing presents unique challenges for ergonomic analysis. The variety of tasks and frequencies are typically not seen in other industries. Moving these challenges into the realm of digital human modeling poses new challenges and offers the opportunity to create and enhance tools brought over from the traditional reactive approach. Chiang et al. (2006) documented an enhancement to the Siemen's Jack Static Strength Prediction tool. This paper will document further enhancements to the ErgoSolver (formerly known as the Ford Static Strength Prediction Solver).
Technical Paper

The Truck that Jack Built: Digital Human Models and their Role in the Design of Work Cells and Product Design

Henry Ford is credited with the invention of the assembly line and for 100 years now we have manufactured high quality cars and trucks. The process to bring cars and trucks into production has seen many changes with the introduction of new technology, however the principle is still the same; designers draw concept designs and engineers transform these designs into functional parts. The first time the engineering community has a real feel for the design and process compatibility is at a physical prototype build. The money invested in the designs and prototype parts alone make the thought of a design change this late in the game, unbearable. The design of the manufacturing process along with product design has embraced virtual tools and digital human models to assess assembly feasibility. The major incentive to utilizing such tools is to reduce costly re-engineering of parts and to decrease prototype costs. Virtual technology allows ergonomists and engineers to perform “virtual builds”.
Technical Paper

Retooling Jack’s Static Strength Prediction Tool

Often, ergonomists need to determine the maximum acceptable load or force for a given task. Ergonomic tools, like the NIOSH Lifting Guidelines (Waters et al, 1993) and the Liberty Mutual Tables (Snook & Ciriello, 1991)), provide such loads for selected population percentiles. In contrast, the UGS Jack Static Strength Prediction tool (JSSP), based on the University of Michigan’s 3D Static Strength Prediction Program (3DSSPP), uses force(s) as inputs and calculates the percentage of the male or female population that would be capable (%Cap) for a given task. Typically, the %Cap threshold will be a fixed number determined from corporate or government guidelines (e.g. 75% of females). Thus, in order to find the acceptable load, users of JSSP must iterate through loads until they find a %Cap that is just below their predetermined threshold.