Posted by: ugleepen | August 2, 2012

Ford is Changing the Game of Worker Ergonomics

Ford has issued a press release describing the development of a complete virtual factory to simulate the full assembly line production process.

This will enable the company, says the release, to improve quality and cut costs in real world manufacturing facilities by creating and analyzing computer simulations of their vehicle assembly procedures.

That’s good news for Ford’s assembly line workers. The actions required by real-life assembly line operators are simulated inside these environments to help Ford ergonomics experts eliminate strenuous postures and optimize individual aspects of the assembly process.

Ford’s ergonomics experts in Cologne, Germany, use the computer simulations to scrutinize the fitment process for even the smallest components, and to determine what is required to make the task as straightforward as possible for the assembly-line operator.

Ford’s virtual employee “Jack” can simulate the actions of both male and female assembly line workers to test and evaluate processes in fine detail, right down to the movement of the operator’s fingers within an enclosed space. “Jack’s” advanced software evaluates the demands on the real-world operator and uncovers 80 per cent of ergonomics issues at the simulation stage

“We have already started work on our virtual factory project, so that we won’t have to go to the real assembly line to conduct tests or research possible plant upgrades,” said José Terrades, simulations engineer, Ford of Spain.

“Virtual factories will enable Ford to preview and optimize the assembly of future models at any of our plants, anywhere in the world. With the advanced simulations and virtual environments we already have at our disposal, we believe this is something Ford can achieve in the very near future,” said Terrades.

Whether you’re at work, school, or home, ergonomics play a major role in your overall well-being by helping to prevent the onset of painful and debilitating conditions caused by repetition. Take, for example, my ergonomic pen – the UGLee Pen. I designed this pen to be the best pen on the market for keeping your hands and fingers, tendons and muscles relaxed no matter how little or how much writing you find yourself doing.

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