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Seat Comfort Evaluation Process
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Sitting comfort in automotive industry has over the years become more important, not only for creation of enjoyable and comfortable drives, but for the sake of health and wellbeing. In the segment for professional drivers the seat is a part of work, and in which the drivers spend most of their workday. A comfortable seat also becomes a need to prevent injuries caused by long time spent seated, due to work duties.The ergonomic team at Volvo Group Trucks Technology (onwards Volvo GTT), in Gothenburg, place great value in seat comfort. The team constantly work to improve the comfort experience of the Volvo truck seats. Comfort is measured subjectively and how comfort is experienced is an individual interpretation. Hence there are certain difficulties encountered in the development of a truck seat considered comfortable by everyone. The Master Thesis project, “Seat Comfort Evaluation Process”, have looked into the possibility to improve and standardise the seat comfort evaluation process at Volvo GTT, to be able to secure good seat comfort.The project was initiated by a comprehensive study in theories about ergonomics, usability, comfort, discomfort and methods for comfort and discomfort evaluation. Internal and external stakeholders were defined, and their importance for the project was investigated. Internal stakeholders are departments at Volvo GTT with interest in the seat development process: HMI, ergonomics, product design, product planning, seat engineering and textile engineering. These are also the ones who could contribute with important knowledge regarding seat development, and needs for a successful implemented seat development process. The external stakeholders in this project are the truck drivers. Truck drivers are considered important for bringing valuable user needs and thoughts on comfort into the seat development process. For the seat comfort evaluation, both internal and external stakeholders contribution are considered important for the achievement and securement of good seat comfort.Stakeholder needs were investigated in semi-structured interviews. Focus for the internal stakeholder interviews was to understand current seat development process and needs for an improved process. The external stakeholder interviews aimed to gain understanding in user needs for good seat comfort. The result of the internal stakeholder interviews found the basis for a workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to gather all internal stakeholders and further investigate needs for the seat comfort evaluation process. The result of the external interviews became important knowledge for the development of comfort and discomfort evaluations.With a foundation in important theories and stakeholder interviews, standardised questionnaires for comfort evaluation (focus on the truck seat and offered comfort), discomfort evaluation (focus on the physical body strain due to time on task) and usability evaluation (focus on the usability of seat controls) were developed. The questionnaires were tested in pilot runs and refined.The delivery of this thesis project is complete ergonomic method descriptions for comfort, discomfort and usability evaluation. The methods include a step-by-step description on how to use the methods, the context of the methods, output, how the data could be used and includes the developed questionnaires.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 138 p.
Keyword [en]
Keyword [sv]
Teknik, Komfort, diskomfort, ergonomi, användarvänlighet
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-45519Local ID: 336133ca-6606-4927-bd3e-131e64296036OAI: diva2:1018811
External cooperation
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Ergonomic Design & Production Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20150803 (global_studentproject_submitter)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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