An Integrated Approach to Ergonomics in the Design Phase of New Car Models: Virtual Simulation and Physical Validation
Authors: Spada Stefaniaa, Germanà Danilaa, Ghibaudo Lidiaa, Sessa Fabriziob
Abstract: During the last years, the car market has been characterized by a continuous request to produce new models in few years obliging OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to develop more flexible assembly lines and better methods for job planning on the same lines. New standards on work organization also require new concepts for process design and for production: the human centered approach to improve manual assembly operations. In Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) this approach has been applied during process design, using “Digital Manufacturing” (DM) techniques and, during Process Industrialization and Production, using the EAWS and ErgoUAS Methods for ergonomic optimization of assembly tasks and for optimal line balancing (distributing the work load in the best way between workers along the lines). The DM approach is based on a detailed “virtual plant” where virtual mannequins interact with digital models of car’s components, equipment, containers, etc. in order to simulate and improve working conditions with many benefits on ergonomics, safety, final product quality, work organization and general production costs. However, to achieve these results, experimental data and physical validation are also necessary. For this reason, an Ergonomics Laboratory (“ErgoLab”) has been built in FCA in order to have a physical validation of design/virtual solutions.
Keywords: Virtual Manufacturing, Digital Human Models, EAWS, Ergonomics Laboratory
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