Over the last few years, industrial ergonomics and therefore ergonomic studies have very quickly moved away from a reactive approach, in which jobs that cause injuries are modified, to a proactive approach that emphasises assessing each job for feasibility and safety as the workplace and processes are designed.
Some aspects of job design can be reduced to a simple checklist or a set of numerical criteria e.g. maximum weight to be lifted or a maximum part insertion force.
Eventually, when the potential problem includes an awkward posture or a difficult reach, a more complex analysis is necessary.
Software representations of humans, known as digital human models (DHM), are becoming widely used to perform the analyses for these complex situations.
One of the largest areas of application for digital human models is in vehicle design. Expensive physical mockups are being replaced with virtual prototypes that are assessed using virtual drivers and passengers.
Nova have invested in analysis software including Technomatix Jack to enable our simulation engineers to conduct ergonomic studies in parallel with the engineering design process.
Tecnomatix Jack is an ergonomic study and human factors product that helps Nova’s mechanical design engineers verify the design of a workstation, ensuring the product parts can be reached, assembled and maintained whilst improving the ergonomics of product designs and common workplace tasks.
Using the human simulation tools, Nova’s mechanical design engineers can perform realistic simulation of human tasks and optimise process cycle times according to industry standard ergonomics libraries.
The software enables our design engineers to position biomechanically accurate digital humans of various sizes into virtual environments, assign them tasks and analyse their performance.
Jack (and Jill) digital humans can tell our engineers what they can see and reach, how comfortable they are, when and why they’re getting hurt, when they’re getting tired and other important ergonomics information.
This feedback has enabled our team of design engineers to design more effective and safer products.
Ultimately, Jack has assisted in Nova helping our clients to bring factories on-line faster, optimising productivity virtually whilst improving worker safety.
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