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Fall 2015

Dr. Ali Ammouri

ALUMEC
Ergonomics Project
Aoun Roberto - Fayyad Yara - Sakr Makram
Table of Contents
Table of Figures ........................................................................................................................ 4
List of Tables ............................................................................................................................ 5
Abstract ..................................................................................................................................... 6
Overview ................................................................................................................................... 7
a) Company ........................................................................................................................... 7
b) Products: ........................................................................................................................... 7
Step I Project Selection ............................................................................................................. 8
Step II Exploratory Tools.......................................................................................................... 9
1) Process Description ........................................................................................................... 9
2) Flow Process Chart ......................................................................................................... 13
3) Pareto Chart .................................................................................................................... 14
4) Fishbone Diagram ........................................................................................................... 15
Step III Analysis ..................................................................................................................... 16
1) Line balancing ................................................................................................................. 16
2) Operations Analysis ........................................................................................................ 17
a) Operation Purpose ....................................................................................................... 17
b) Choice of material ....................................................................................................... 18
c) Manufacturing ............................................................................................................. 18
d) Tools ............................................................................................................................ 20
e) Material Handling ........................................................................................................ 20
f) Plant layout .................................................................................................................. 22
3) Manual Work Design ...................................................................................................... 23
a) Energy Expenditure .................................................................................................... 23
b) Heart Guidelines .......................................................................................................... 24
c) NIOSH ......................................................................................................................... 25
4) Anthropometry and Design ............................................................................................. 32
a) Workplace Design ....................................................................................................... 32
I) Standing posture ....................................................................................................... 32
ii) Posture Flexibility ................................................................................................... 33
iii) Anti fatigue Mats .................................................................................................... 33
iv) Location of Tools .................................................................................................. 34

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v) Machine design ........................................................................................................ 35
b) Equipment Design: ..................................................................................................... 36
i) Fixture....................................................................................................................... 36
ii) Cumulative Trauma Disorder .................................................................................. 37
iii) Use of power tools.................................................................................................. 39
5) Illumination .................................................................................................................... 43
a) Working Table ............................................................................................................. 43
b) Cutting Machine .......................................................................................................... 44
6) Noise ............................................................................................................................... 45
7) Ventilation and Temperature .......................................................................................... 46
8) Vibration ......................................................................................................................... 47
9) Design of Cognitive Work .............................................................................................. 48
a) Information Theory ..................................................................................................... 48
i) Amount of information ......................................................................................... 48
ii) Response Time and bandwidth ............................................................................. 49
b) Coding of information ................................................................................................. 49
i) Control Discrimination ............................................................................................. 49
ii) Stop Button ........................................................................................................... 50
c) Display of visual information ...................................................................................... 51
10) Office Study .................................................................................................................. 52
11) Cost Analysis ................................................................................................................ 53
Conclusion .............................................................................................................................. 54
References ............................................................................................................................... 56
Appendix ................................................................................................................................. 57
Appendix A - Body Dimensions ......................................................................................... 57
Appendix B – Range of Illuminance ................................................................................... 58
Appendix C - Reflectance ................................................................................................... 59

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Table of Figures

Figure 1 Aluminum glass frame ............................................................................................... 8


Figure 2 Storage ........................................................................................................................ 9
Figure 3 Wrapping Stand .......................................................................................................... 9
Figure 4 Cutting Process ......................................................................................................... 10
Figure 5 Barcode Process........................................................................................................ 10
Figure 8 Assembly .................................................................................................................. 11
Figure 6 Drilling Process ........................................................................................................ 11
Figure 7 Drills on bars ............................................................................................................ 11
Figure 9 Glass ......................................................................................................................... 12
Figure 10 Flow Process Chart ................................................................................................. 13
Figure 11 Results of Process Chart ......................................................................................... 13
Figure 12 Visual Flow Process Chart ..................................................................................... 14
Figure 13 Pareto Chart ............................................................................................................ 14
Figure 14 Fishbone Diagram .................................................................................................. 15
Figure 15 Metal Cutting Saw .................................................................................................. 19
Figure 17 Punching Machine .................................................................................................. 19
Figure 16 Punched and Screwed bars ..................................................................................... 19
Figure 18 Drill......................................................................................................................... 20
Figure 19 Hydraulic platform truck ........................................................................................ 21
Figure 20 Plant Layout............................................................................................................ 22
Figure 21 Heart rate after lifting ............................................................................................. 24
Figure 22 Heart rate between 30s and 1 min of rest ............................................................... 24
Figure 23 NIOSH1 .................................................................................................................. 25
Figure 24 NIOSH2 .................................................................................................................. 26
Figure 25 NIOSH3 .................................................................................................................. 27
Figure 26 NIOSH4 .................................................................................................................. 28
Figure 27 NIOSH5 .................................................................................................................. 29
Figure 28 NIOSH6 .................................................................................................................. 30
Figure 29 NIOSH7 .................................................................................................................. 31
Figure 30 Standing posture ..................................................................................................... 32
Figure 31 Anti-fatigue mats .................................................................................................... 33
Figure 32 Tool location guide ................................................................................................. 34
Figure 33 Machine control panel ............................................................................................ 35
Figure 34 Machine Evaluation Checklist ................................................................................ 35
Figure 35 Worker used as fixture (1) ...................................................................................... 36
Figure 36 Worker used as fixture (2) ...................................................................................... 36
Figure 37 Clamp ..................................................................................................................... 37
Figure 38 CTD Risk Index ...................................................................................................... 38
Figure 39 Drill used in plant ................................................................................................... 39
Figure 40 Ergonomic drill ....................................................................................................... 39
Figure 41 Tool Evaluation Checklist ...................................................................................... 40

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Figure 42 Worker Position (1) ................................................................................................ 41
Figure 43 Worker Position (2) ................................................................................................ 41
Figure 44 Proper Orientation of power tools .......................................................................... 42
Figure 45 Illumination on working table ................................................................................ 43
Figure 46 Lights on plant ceiling ............................................................................................ 44
Figure 47 Illumination at Cutting Machine ............................................................................ 44
Figure 48 Noise Measurements .............................................................................................. 45
Figure 49 Vibration measure on metal cutting machine ......................................................... 47
Figure 50 Matal Cutting machine control panel ..................................................................... 48
Figure 51 Control 1 (left) and 7 (right) ................................................................................... 50
Figure 52 Stop Button ............................................................................................................. 50
Figure 53 Control 5 ................................................................................................................. 51
Figure 54 Office Desk ............................................................................................................. 52
Figure 55 Chair length specifications ..................................................................................... 52
Figure 56 Computer Specifications ........................................................................................ 52

List of Tables
Table 1 Line Efficiency .......................................................................................................... 16
Table 2 Probability of selecting controls ................................................................................ 48
Table 3 Chair and Table Dimensions...................................................................................... 52
Table 4 Summary of Costs ...................................................................................................... 53
Table 5 Table of Recommendations ....................................................................................... 55

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Abstract

This project explores the dynamics of ergonomics in the workplace of the ALUMEC plant.

We focused mainly on implementing “Methods Engineering” by analyzing the manual work

design and systems (including the tooling equipment, technologies, workplace layout and

plant layout), the environmental design (including illumination, noise, temperature and

ventilation) and the cognitive design (dealing with the amount of information processed by

the workers, the coding of information and visual display of information). We conducted

thorough investigation in all these areas and identified the several problems present in the

plant by referring to the devices and checklists that were available for us throughout the

semester. Our analysis enabled us to find appropriate solutions to the non ergonomic issues

and introduce improvements where necessary in order to enhance the workers' well-being,

who in turn should find more comfort in their daily tasks.

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Overview

a) Company

ALUMEC is a company specialized in Aluminum, Steel, Glazing and Roofing works. It is

currently active in Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Nigeria. Due to its

expansion and experience in foreign countries, ALUMEC has the ability to mobilize teams to

execute projects internationally and to coordinate them from Lebanon. In 2012, ALUMEC

METALS was established as an independent unit in the ALUMEC Company for execution of

all kinds of steel/stainless steel works required to meet their projects and clients’ demands.

b) Products:

The plant produces many types of products:

- Aluminum glass frames

- Cobalt MX Series

- GXI + thermal break series

- GT+ lift & slide series & unitized curtain wall MX-EL series

- ESPO Folding sliding systems

- Hueck-Hartmann german series thermal break system

- Spider wall system

- Louvers & sunshades

- Shutters

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Step I Project Selection

After visiting and examining the plant and its products, we decided to focus our study and

project on the process involved in the fabrication of aluminum glass frames for windows. We

will analyze the work environment, process layouts, workers' conditions, tool organization

and the several methods in the process to introduce improvements where needed.

Our choice came as a consequence of us realizing that this specific process has several

downsides negatively affecting the overall production and mainly the worker's well-being.

Figure 1 Aluminum glass frame

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Step II Exploratory Tools
1) Process Description

The process we chose contains several steps that will lead to the fabrication of an aluminum

glass frame. The company’s storage room that contains the raw material is located in the

production plant which makes the transportation process a simple one. Each glass frame

consists of four bars (borders) which are initially cut from 2 aluminum bars, each of a

specific shape, and assembled to form the frame. The process consists of the following

activities:

Activity 1-Get two aluminum bars from the storage.

Figure 2 Storage

Activity 2-Wrap the aluminum bars with protective sheets to avoid harm (scratches, holes,

etc.) during their manufacturing processes.

Figure 3 Wrapping Stand

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Activity 3- Cut two pieces of equal length from each aluminum bar. The remaining of the bar

will be sold as scrap to be recycled later on.

Activity 4-The worker will mark the cut bars with their corresponding barcodes to identify

the product number and type.

Figure 4 Cutting Process

Figure 5 Barcode Process

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Activity 5- The four pieces obtained will be drilled from the inside to make their assembly

possible and to let the water escape if entered through it.

Figure 6 Drilling Process Figure 7 Drills on bars

Activity 6- The four pieces will then be assembled to get the final shape of the frame.

Figure 8 Assembly

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Activity 7-The examiner will then scan each barcode to make sure that each bar type is in its

designated place.

Activity 8- The glass (supplied externally) will be fit into the frame to finalize the product.

Figure 9 Glass

Activity 9- The final product is then shipped to the customers.

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2) Flow Process Chart

The detailed steps are summarized in the following Flow Process Chart:

Figure 10 Flow Process Chart

Figure 11 Results of Process Chart

Therefore, the cycle time to produce 1 frame is 48.43 minutes.

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Figure 12 Visual Flow Process Chart

3) Pareto Chart

The many errors, occurring in the several operations involved in the overall process, are

summarized in the following Pareto Chart:

Figure 13 Pareto Chart

It seems that the most recurring errors are wrong cut length, wrong barcode on bars, wrong

assembly of bars. They are the 20% that cause the 80%.

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4) Fishbone Diagram

Sources of
problems

Figure 14 Fishbone Diagram

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Step III Analysis

1) Line balancing

When observing the processes, we noticed that there is a high fraction of idle time. In

addition, there are several workers that spend a portion of their shift simply moving

aluminum bars from one station to another or fixing the bar on the workstation tables while

his coworkers are working on the part.

For this reason, we found it interesting to evaluate the %efficiency and %idle time of the

workers during a production cycle:

standard
Wait time on
minutes to Standard
operation slowest
perform time
operation
operation
1 3.27 12.24 15.51
2 5.56 9.95 15.51
3 0.386666667 15.12333333 15.51
4 4.96 10.55 15.51
5 7.47 8.04 15.51
6 5.1 10.41 15.51
7 15.51 0 15.51
8 6.17 9.34 15.51
summation 48.42666667 108.57

% efficiency 45%
%idle 55%

Table 1 Line Efficiency

We can notice that during more than half of the production time the workers are idle; this

means that a modification in the process should be done in order to replace wasted time by

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value-adding time. In fact modifications can be made in several areas as we will demonstrate

in the following sections.

2) Operations Analysis

a) Operation Purpose

Eliminating jobs: cycle time can be reduced by eliminating jobs that are not essential and that

do not add value to the product by improving the operation method so no job will be

reworked and by trying to combine some jobs into one operation.

First of all, we noticed that we can directly transport the bars from the storage to the first

machine where they will directly be wrapped with protective sheets before cutting them. This

will eliminate a second unnecessary lift from the wrapping table to the machine and reduce

cycle time.

However, we noticed that there are several workers only used for heavy lifting and fixing the

part while being worked on by another. This can be avoided by introducing some

mechanisms that facilitate the movement of heavy objects and some tools that can easily fix

the parts on the table while being worked on.

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b) Choice of material

The bars are pure aluminum which have a fairly low price (1.971$/kg) in the market

compared to other metals. The most important feature is that it is more readily processed than

other metals, easily machined and can be salvaged to be sold as scrap. Therefore, we believe

that the company has done a good choice in material by minimizing the total waste and

maximizing the production efficiency.

c) Manufacturing

The production processes used are:

-material removal: metal cutting saw, drilling

-material joining: punching

The metal cutting saw is used in the second step of the process to cut the initial aluminum

bars. Errors can occur when the length cut is bigger or smaller than desired.

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Figure 15 Metal Cutting Saw

The Punching machine is used to punch 4 holes into the bars so that they can be assembled

together by using screws.

Figure 16 Punched and Screwed bars

Figure 17 Punching Machine

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d) Tools

Drills are used to create holes in the aluminum bars so that the glass can be fixed inside and

also create openings for the water to escape in case of rain. Errors can occur when the feed,

speed or depth are set wrong, meaning that the bars will be left as waste and new bars must

be reprocessed.

Recommendation:

It would be a good idea to group the drill heads that are used for the same product to save

searching and reaching time.

Figure 18 Drill

e) Material Handling

The plant lacks the right equipment that facilitates the movement of material from the source

to the destination. Instead, the 2 workers are used to lift and transport the bars from one

workstation to another causing a lag in the process because this time wasted does not add any

value to the process.

Although material handling is extremely important in job analysis because it contributes in

around 75% of the overall production cost, it is completely ignored by the managers. We

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suggest that the plant uses hydraulic platform trucks to move the bars from one station to

another thus freeing one worker to involve himself in another process thus reducing the cycle

time.

Figure 19 Hydraulic platform truck

On a positive note, the bar coding technique is applied to the processes in the plant. In fact,

2D barcodes are used to identify the project the aluminum bar belongs to and the bar type,

thus reducing matching and compatibility errors and facilitates material handling.

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f) Plant layout

The plant uses the layout below. We used Smart Draw CL to produce the following layout:

Desk

Wrapping Process

Figure 20 Plant Layout

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3) Manual Work Design

a) Energy Expenditure

We are now going to calculate the amount of rest each worker should get with respect to the

amount of kilocalories they’re spending per minute during their work.

Type of workers:

1- Lifting workers:

The energy cost of lifting 15lb aluminum bars is 8.5 kilocalories/minute.

Since all workers are men: R= (8.5-5.33) / (8.5-1.33) = 0.4421=44.21%

Therefore, in an 8 hour shift, the worker should rest 0.4421x 8 = 3.52 hours.

2-Cutting workers:

The energy cost of cutting aluminum bars is 5 kilocalories/minute.

Since 5 is less than 5.33, the worker doesn’t need any rest in an 8 hour shift.

3-Drilling workers:

The energy cost of drilling aluminum bars is 6.8 kilocalories/minute.

Since all workers are men: R= (6.8-5.33) / (6.8-1.33) = 0.2687=26.87%

Therefore, in an 8 hour shift, the worker should rest 0.2687x 8 = 2.149 hours.

Because the lifting task has the highest energy expenditure, we decided to evaluate the heart

rate of the workers after this task.

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b) Heart Guidelines

We measured the heart beats of the worker after lifting aluminum bars.

His heartbeat immediately after the lifting was measured to be 232 beats/min.

Then, between 30 seconds and 1 minute of rest, his heart beat dropped to 180 beats/min.

A third reading at 2.8 minutes after rest was at 108 beats/min.

However, based on heart rate guidelines, it seems that the job is exhausting the worker and he

is not receiving sufficient rest. Indeed, a heart rate of 232 beats/min is extremely high, and

the reading between 30s and 1 minute of rest is greater than the appropriate value of 110

beats/min. However, the difference between the 2 post work readings is 180-108= 72

beats/min which is greater than 20 beats/min as required.

Because these lifts happen several times per day during each shift, the workers’ health will be

affected negatively.

Recommendation:

This problem highlights the urge to solve the lifting issue by introducing the hydraulic

platform trucks in the plant to relieve the workers from the lifting exhaustion.

Figure 22 Heart rate between 30s and 1 min of rest


Figure 21 Heart rate after lifting

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c) NIOSH

Figure 23 NIOSH1

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Figure 24 NIOSH2

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Figure 25 NIOSH3

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Figure 26 NIOSH4

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Figure 27 NIOSH5

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Figure 28 NIOSH6

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Figure 29 NIOSH7

Recommendation:

We can see that the LI are less than 1 and acceptable except for the lifting from the cutting

table to the metal cutting saw and from the glass assembly table to the warehouse. The latter

values are between 1 and 3 which means that a improvement should be introduced. Hence,

this further emphasizes the importance of introducing hydraulic platform trucks into the plant

to relieve the workers from harmful lifting.

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4) Anthropometry and Design
a) Workplace Design

I) Standing posture

The table heights in the plant are 37.4 in which is less than the 5th percentile elbow height of

39.4in. This means that all workers are able to reach the table and work comfortably knowing

that most workers have a stature between 64 and 68 in.

Recommendation:

When it comes to the metal cutting machine, the buttons are all located below the eye sight

level which causes the worker to bend his neck and back while operating the machine. This

height should be adjusted to a higher position.

Figure 30 Standing posture

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ii) Posture Flexibility

The workers should alternate between standing and sitting position. However, in the plant the

workers are standing during the entire shift and there are no seats available to rest.

Recommendation:

We suggest introducing industrial sit/stand tools to provide better comfort and appropriate

rest in the workplace.

iii) Anti fatigue Mats

Recommendation:

Another solution for relieving the operators from their constant standing position would be to

introduce anti fatigue mats that allow a better blood flow through the legs.

Figure 31 Anti-fatigue mats

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iv) Location of Tools

We noticed that during the assembly process, workers move from their assembly spot every

time they need to grab a screw or any other tool. Those items are not being kept within the

normal working area thus time is being wasted, productivity is being decreased and extra

kilocalories are being spent.

Recommendation:

We suggest that the items be placed according to the following guide in order to reduce cycle

time and increase efficiency:

Figure 32 Tool location guide

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v) Machine design

We analyzed the button arrangement of the metal cutting machine's work panel by filling the

checklist below:

Figure 33 Machine control panel

Figure 34 Machine Evaluation Checklist

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b) Equipment Design:

In this section we checked if the equipment was properly and ergonomically designed by

evaluating the following:

i) Fixture

While inspecting the different processes in the plant, we noticed that the workers avoided

using any sort of fixing tool such as clamps. Instead, an additional worker was used to fix the

metal bar while the other drilled, assembled, marked or wrapped it.

Figure 35 Worker used as fixture (1) Figure 36 Worker used as fixture (2)

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Recommendation:

This is obviously a time and worker consuming technique since a clamp could be used to fix

the material thus improving the quality and decreasing the costs (cost of employee or cost of

time).

Figure 37 Clamp

ii) Cumulative Trauma Disorder

While observing the workers’ interaction with the machines and equipment, we realized that

they might suffer from different cumulative trauma disorders such as “White finger” and

“Trigger finger”. The main reason for all of these bad effects on their physical state emerges

from the fact that they constantly use excessive forces, don’t avoid awkward motions, and

work for a long period of time. It was in our interest to fill the CTD evaluation checklist

below to see if the workers might be at risk. We got a final value of 0.55 which is less than 1,

meaning that the workers not at a high risk of CTD.

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Figure 38 CTD Risk Index

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iii) Use of power tools

The drills used in the plant are ergonomic and according to the specifications. They lack one

last ergonomic characteristic and it’s the three-finger trigger so that the workers use their

strongest working fingers and avoid any possibly related CTD.

Figure 39 Drill used in plant

Figure 40 Ergonomic drill

To further analyze the properties of the drills used, we filled the Tool Evaluation Checklist

below:

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Figure 41 Tool Evaluation Checklist

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In the plant, this is how the workers are positioned while using power tools:

Figure 42 Worker Position (1) Figure 43 Worker Position (2)

We can detect several ergonomic problems:

- Constant standing posture : the workers does not alternate between standing and

sitting posture.

- Neck flexion: their necks are bent down to view the working table because it is not in

their eye sight angle.

- Shoulder abduction: this is due to the height of the work surface tables which must be

lowered so that the elbow be at the resting position or elbow flexed at 90 degrees.

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Recommendation:

- Standing Posture: sit/stand tools should be provided

- Neck flexion: working piece should be fixed and held up vertically because it is

impractical to have tilted tables for drilling.

- Shoulder abduction: if the elbow is at resting position, the table height should be

lowered to knuckle height of 27.5 in and if the part can be held vertically with

fixtures, the elbow can be flexed 90 degrees with maximum force.

If these improvements are applied, the postures would be conforming to the following

specification:

Figure 44 Proper Orientation of power tools

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5) Illumination

We measured and analyzed the illumination at the working tables and at the cutting machine.

a) Working Table

Table color: Dark Blue with a reflectance of 8%

Illumination at table: 100.1 lux = 0.0929*100.1 fc = 9.29 fc

Figure 45 Illumination on working table

Therefore, the desired luminance = 0.08 * 9.29 = 0.7432 fL

The materials are dark grey, so the contrast is : (0.3-0.08)/0.3 = 0.73

We will see if the illumination fits the requirement.

Weight = -1 + 1 + 1 = 1 so it has medium weight

The task falls into category D because there is a high contrast and the workers perform

machine work, and the required illumination is 30 fc while there is only 9.29 fc in the plant.

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This means that the illumination do not meet the requirements, and this was expected

because of the layout of the lights on the ceiling where most of them were not functional:

Figure 46 Lights on plant ceiling

b) Cutting Machine

Machine color: Dark Grey with a reflectance of 30%

Illumination at table: 360.6 lux = 0.0929*360.6 fc = 33.499 fc

Figure 47 Illumination at Cutting Machine

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Therefore, the desired luminance = 0.3 *33.499 = 10.047 fL

The materials are a different shade of grey, so the contrast is not very high

We will see if the illumination fits the requirement.

Weight = -1 + 0+ 1 = 0 so it has medium weight.

The task falls into category E because there is a medium contrast and the workers perform

specific measurement with 0.01 cm tolerance. The required illumination is 75 fc.

This means that the illumination does not meet the requirements, and this was expected

because of the same reason presented above.

Recommendation:

There must be a constant maintenance of the lighting in plant so that burnt bulbs are

immediately replaced.

6) Noise

Ambient machines in the plant have on average a sound level of around 81.5dBA during 8

hours. The metal cutting saw produces a sound level of 103 dBA for 1 hour while another

metal cutting machine near our production process produces a sound level of 95dBA during 2

hours.

Figure 48 Noise Measurements

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First we will find the permissible durations in the sound level specified above.

T (81.5) = 26 hrs; T (103) = 1.32 hrs; T (95) = 4 hrs

Then, we evaluated the dose exposure: D=100*(8/26+1/1.32+2/4) = 156.2% > 100%.

If the workers use rubber ear plugs of 20 dBA while working on the metal cutting machine,

the sound level would be reduced to : 103+20-7= 90dBA

The new dose exposure is: D'=100*(8/26+1/8+2/4) = 93.23% < 100%. This noise level is

now acceptable.

Recommendation:

Provide rubber earplugs for workers operating at or near the metal cutting machine.

7) Ventilation and Temperature

The volume of working area is very large; 162846 ft cube. There are 8 workers in the plant

which means that each worker receives a volume of air equal to 18094 ft cube. Considering

a definite intensity of odors, the ventilation requirement is very low, and the plant has many

glass windows and openings already providing a lot of ventilation.

The ambient temperature is 24 degrees Celsius with humidity of 48.1% which are within the

specification limits for an 8 hour shift of 20% to 80% humidity and a temperature between

18.9 to 26.1°C.

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8) Vibration

We measured the vibration of the metal cutting machine and got the following result:

Figure 49 Vibration measure on metal cutting machine

According to the ISO standards, a value of 0.65 m/s² is acceptable and won’t have harmful

effects on the worker.

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9) Design of Cognitive Work

We will study the design of the following panel:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Figure 50 Matal Cutting machine control panel

a) Information Theory

i) Amount of information

The worker must decide between seven alternatives controls on the machine. By assuming

that control 2, which activates the wind blower to clean the machine, is used the least and

controls 3 &4, which correspond to the on/off buttons, are equally used but less than the

remaining, we decided upon the following probabilities for each control:

Control Probability
1 0.175
2 0.06
3 0.12
4 0.12
5 0.175
6 0.175
7 0.175
Table 2 Probability of selecting controls

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By applying the formula, we obtained that the amount of information given is H= 2.74 bits

and Hmax= 2.8

Therefore, the control panel is 2.14% redundant.

ii) Response Time and bandwidth

While operating the machine, the operator can supposedly process 6-7 bits/sec. We will see if

the current panel corresponds to this specification.

We know that the minimum reaction time is 0.04s based on a measurement recorded, so we

have RT= 0.04+2.74b.

The worker does 4 cuts/min =0.067 cuts/sec = 15 sec/cut.

So, we have 15=0.04+2.74b  b= 5.46 sec/bit

Hence, the bandwidth is 1/b = 0.183 bits/sec which is in conformance to the requirements, so

the worker is able to devote a considerable amount of attention to the task he is performing.

b) Coding of information

i) Control Discrimination

We can see that the different controls have a different size, color, and shape for the worker to

easily distinguish them from each other. However, controls 1 and 7 look exactly the same

and have the same illustration above them. Even though control 7 has a black mark on it, it is

not clear what the application for each control is.

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Figure 51 Control 1 (left) and 7 (right)

Recommendation:
Provide operator with more efficient illustrations that clearly explain and distinguish the

purpose of each button.

ii) Stop Button

On a positive note, there is a good compatibility of coding schemes because the stop button is

in red and has the biggest shape so the worker anticipates that this control would lead to a

stop in the machine and thus he has a faster reaction in finding the control when needed.

Figure 52 Stop Button

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c) Display of visual information

We will evaluate the design of control 5:

Figure 53 Control 5

Ergonomic problems:

- There is a big distance between the knob and the scale which decreases precision

- The scale is fixed and increases from right to left

- There are no graduations, whether major or minor, and it is not clear where the values

indicated (1,2,3,4) can be exactly reached

- There is no pointer to indicate at what value the control is set

These design errors will lead to bad precisions in the output length of the aluminum bars,

therefore a more ergonomic design should be implemented.

Recommendations:

The knob must be bigger and closer to the scale to increase precision - a pointer must be

included on the knob to know at what value the control is set exactly - the scale should

increase from left to right - major and minor graduations should be included.

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10) Office Study

Figure 54 Office Desk

Figure 55 Chair length specifications Figure 56 Computer Specifications

Office Actual Design Recommended


Body feature
features value Principle value
Seat Height Popliteal height 51 cm Adjustability 40-52 cm
Extreme
Seat Width Hip breadth 41 cm > 46.2 cm
(max)
Extreme
Seat Depth Buttock-popliteal length 40 cm 38-43 cm
(max)
thigh clearance+ popliteal Extreme
Table height 70 cm 60-72 cm
height (max)

Table 3 Chair and Table Dimensions

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We can see from the table that the seat height and depth are within the specifications,

however the seat width is below the required value for the maximum, meaning that a heavy

weighted individual would not be comfortably seating in his workplace. When it comes to

the table height it provides the efficient clearance for the knees and thighs.

The computer's height and angle can be adjusted to the eye sight level, and the keyboard is

tilted up for a proper hand posture. However, the mouse does not have an appropriate shape

because the worker must fit his/her hand to the shape of the mouse.

Recommendation:

The chair is not ergonomic so another chair with proper dimensions must be purchased,

along with a mouse that takes the shape of the hand.

11) Cost Analysis

For each recommended solution, we found the cost per piece that the plant would have to

face. The table below summarized the results:

Problem Solution Cost per piece


Material Handling Hydraulic platform trucks $250-$320
Fixtures Clamps $20-$50
Standing Position Sit/Stand tool $38.60
Anti fatigue mat $12
Noise Rubber Ear Plugs 30$ per box
Office chair Better office chair $229
Computer mouse ergonomic mouse $15-$27
Table 4 Summary of Costs

If these suggestions were implemented, the overall production/day would increase; hence

these minimal costs will be recovered in the long run, so we are confident that these

recommendations are profitable to the plant.

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Conclusion

Throughout our study, we were able to detect non-ergonomic aspects in the ALUMEC plant

in many areas which include the manual work design and systems (consisting of the tooling

equipment, technologies, workplace layout and plant layout), the environmental design

(consisting of the illumination, noise, temperature and ventilation), and the cognitive design

(dealing with the amount of information processed by the workers, the coding of information

and visual display of information). We were able to suggest recommendations for each issue

found and they are summarized in the table below. We then presented the list to the manager

and CEO of the plant in hope that they implement the solutions we found if they wish to

make their plant a fully ergonomic workplace.

Summary of Findings
Non Ergonomic Aspects Recommendation
Material Handling Hydraulic Platform Truck ($250-320$)
Workers used as fixtures Purchase clamps as fixtures ($20-50$)
Group heads that are used for the same product
Finding drill heads
together to save search time and avoid errors
Heart rate after lifting Hydraulic Platform Truck
Lifting index>1 Hydraulic Platform Truck ($250-320$)
Drills with 1 finger trigger Use 3 finger trigger drills
Operator neck and back flexion at
Adjust the machine panel to a higher position
metal cutting machine

Introduce industrial sit/stand tools ($38.6 each)


Working position
and anti-fatigue mats ($12 each)
Tool location Follow the tool location guide
Drilling position: neck flexion and Hold parts vertically while drilling, or lower
shoulder abduction table height to knuckle height = 27.5 in

Lighting Constant maintenance of lighting in plant

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Provide rubber earplugs of 20 dBA ($30 per
High noise dose exposure
box of 150 pairs)
Provide operator with more efficient
Machine Control Panel illustrations that clearly explain and distinguish
the purpose of each button.

The knob must be bigger and closer to the


scale to increase precision - a pointer must be
Bad design of graduated knob on included on the knob to know at what value the
control panel control is set exactly - the scale should
increase from left to right - major and minor
graduations should be included.

Replace current chair with an office chair


Desk Chair containing all dimensions within the required
specifications ($229 per chair)

Replace current mouse with a mouse that


Computer Mouse
takes the shape of the hand ($15-27)
Table 5 Table of Recommendations

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References

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society: http://hfes.org/

Mark Kelly (2014) Ergonomic Chair. VCE It. Retrieved from http://vceit.com/p/hardware-

egonomic-chair.htm

Niebel’s Methods, Standards, and Work Design, Andris Freivalds, 12th Edition

Occupational Safety & Health Association (OSHA): http://www.osha.gov/

The Ergonomics Center: http://www.theergonomicscenter.com/

The Ergonomics Society: http://www.ergonomics.org.uk/

6-in Industrial C-Clamp. Harbor Freight Tools. Retrieved from

http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-industrial-c-clamp-37850.html

(2015). Safety Hydraulic Platform Trucks. ESE Direct. Retrieved from

https://www.esedirect.co.uk/p-3183-sealey-hydraulic-platform-trucks.aspx

(2015). Ultra Soft Diamond Plate Anti-Fatigue Mat. American Floor Mats. Retrieved from

http://www.americanfloormats.com/ultrasoft-diamond-plate-anti-fatigue-mat/

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Appendix

Appendix A - Body Dimensions

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Appendix B – Range of Illuminance

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Appendix C - Reflectance

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