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AHEAD or behind when using ergonomic simulations: an ergonomic study of wing structure production
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This report is a master thesis performed by Carin Stillström, Master of Science student in Ergonomic Design and Production Engineering at Luleå University of Technology. The study has been conducted at the department of Human Work Science at the division of Industrial Work Environment at Luleå University of Technology. It has to a certain extent been a part of a research project AHEAD - New ways of manufacturing large non-rigid structures through innovative production systems, with the purpose of finding methods to automate parts of the assembling of wing structures. The study has been performed at a company developing and manufacturing wing structures and at their production of aircraft stabilizers in southern Europe. When developing new methods of production, it is important to investigate the change of the ergonomic conditions. An ergonomic study concerning working position and workplace design of the production of the wing structures has been done. Ergonomic simulations have been done in the software tool Jack, by UGS, to analyse the most strenuous working positions at present and in the future. The thesis has also analyzed how, when and for which reason ergonomic simulation has been used in the AHEAD research project. Three different and actual operations have been chosen and simulated. The analyses of the present situation show a clear pattern. Strains appear in upper arm, torso, neck and trunk in the sitting positions. The upper part of the body is both bent and twisted in all the sitting positions which mean a stress in the upper limbs and trunk. In the standing positions the operator is working with a twisted and bent back at the same time as the knees are bent. This creates strains in the parts mentioned above, but also in knees and ankles. The main reason to the strenuous positions is the working height and the lack of adjustable fixtures. Two future operations, which appear with the automation, have also been simulated. The analyzed positions which are included in the new production technology give a better result, even if there are several deficiencies. When automating the drilling and riveting of the skin to the structure, some working positions will remain, which means that the most strenuous positions will still exist. It is important also to improve the manual operations in this new method when creating a new technology. Furthermore it is important to apply job rotation to prevent injuries among these operators. A number of analyzed operations are not planned to be changed which is serious since the analysis indicates that an improvement would be necessary. Many of these problems are easy to adjust by for example regulating the height of the fixtures and using lifting equipment. The reason of using ergonomic simulations in the AHEAD research project has mostly been to visualize how the automation has changed the ergonomics. If the simulations had started in an earlier part of the project and if it has been a distinct corporation between the work packages the results of the ergonomic analyses have influenced the development of the new production technique.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, Ergonomic simulations, workplace design, poduction system, design
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-56143ISRN: LTU-EX--05/165--SELocal ID: cf034767-9dd8-47bf-acc0-9d1226d2ce8aOAI: diva2:1029530
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Ergonomic Design & Production Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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