Ergonomics

Ergonomics

June 10, 2016 Industry, Tools 0

Tool ergonomics is a new science combining knowledge from multiple discipline including human science, work-related sciences and production science. Very few ergonomic experts cover the entire field and normally it is personal interest that determine one’s profile of expertise.

An operator with high level of job satisfaction is motivated to deliver higher productivity. Compatibility between machine, work organization and operator is therefore important to production. If the physical and psychological demands of work exceed worker’s ability over a prolonged period, he may suffer work injuries. Improving the relationship between the operators and their working environment is an interest of many industries.

To achieve the ultimate goal of increasing overall productivity, optimizing both the operator and their environment is very crucial. This task calls for simultaneous study of the work organization, machines, workstations, work-procedures, physical and psychological capabilities of the workers.

Adaptation to the workstation

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Human being is the largest collection of variables in the ergonomic study. A workstation suits one operator perfectly may be a disaster for the other. The goal to design workstation suits every worker comfortably required a large degree of adjustment thus increase the cost. Nevertheless, the investment can be justified by the high flexibility result.

Power Tool Ergonomic

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Part of the operator comfort depends on the power tool selection. For instance, an impact wrench is selected for a repair workshop, but a computer controlled electrical nutrunner for safety joints in automotive industry. Most of the time, you are unlikely to choose between all the different tool types. Therefore, the question may looks very academic.

Today’s Work Organization

All organization is dynamic. If workers at all levels are encouraged to improve their knowledge, the organization’s efficiency will be improved. It is a natural process where investments in machines with worker training will form the foundation for a high level of job satisfaction.

To be competitive in today, a company should be able to adapt to market changes rapidly. Many production systems have now changed from the “push to market” vs “made to order” system.

New types of production system needs more integration of design, marketing, sales and production department, to improve on communication. Another characteristic is the flexibility. Workers are usually multi-skilled. The barriers between blue-collar, white-collar, engineers, marketing etc are melted down.

With the introduction of internet, market physical barriers are broken down. Crossed countries trades are increasing. Information flow easier, customers’ expectation are higher too. Supplier needed to respond to the ever changes in a shorter time frame.

Today’s leading companies have built their capacity for this market changes by equipped their workers with better workstation design, better tools, better skills to stay competitive and relevant. There is no the best technology, but a better combination.

About the author

Ir. Kim Kek Seong: MIEM, P.Eng.

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