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Reform, refine, reforest: Designing ergonomic equipment for manual reforestation
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Reforestation is typically performed by manually planting seedlings of desired trees by a small team of workers. The workers, referred to as planters, has a very physically demanding job that requires navigating through tough terrain and carrying varying loads in different positions throughout a full work day. This master thesis project is performed for SCA, Sweden’s largest private owner of forest land, and the reforestation equipment manufacturer BCC. A part of SCA’s work is a new project cal- led ZERO, which aims to improve the working environment and safety for all af liated workers of the company. Many planters use old equipment that is not satisfying the ZERO-project demands thus leading to the importance of improving the planters’ equipment.

The objective of this master thesis project is to improve the way manual reforestation with the usage of seedling trays is performed, with focus on improving the user’s work environment through im- proved ergonomics and ef ciency. The equipment is designed under the brand Pottiputki, owned by BCC, which is dominating the Swedish market for manual reforestation equipment. The nal result was expected to be a conceptual 3D model, focusing on communicating its functions rather than be- ing nalised for manufacturing.

The design process that was used in this project is an iterative design cycle of ve steps and was heavily focused on implementing user-centred design thinking. The cycle was repeated for every in- cluded component in the equipment to achieve a reliable result. Using information gathering such as interviews, surveys and testing of equipment the user needs have been mapped on which the ideation process is based. With access to a workshop and several useful materials the project is centred around the creation of prototypes and letting users test these said prototypes.

A deeper study of the current state showed that the current equipment is very unergonomic and for the planter to keep a high productivity the equipment is used in ways that reduce the ergonomic pro- perties even further. From the performed context analysis, an overwhelming majority of users are displeased with the current equipment and many users are speci cally complaining on insuf cient ergonomic properties. To solve these problems a reforestation harness and planting tube has been developed with higher comfort that reduce demanding and clumsy actions and improving usability. When used together with each other the harness and tube combines a main idea which is to distribute the strenuous workload more evenly across the body to avoid strain-related problems for the user.

The improvement in ergonomics and ef ciency have been proved in various user tests. No new way of increasing productivity apart from the improved working environment was found to be a valid addition for the equipment. In order to increase productivity, SCA is recommended to make sure that the planting task is performed systematically. Furthermore the growing system using seedling trays is a limiting factor for productivity improvement out on the clear-cuts and is recommended to be reviewed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 95 p.
Keyword [en]
Reforestation, Product Development, Ergonomics, Prototyping, Research, Productivity, User-Centred Design
Keyword [sv]
Skogsplantering, Produktutveckling, Ergonomi, Prototyptillverkning, Undersökning, Produktivitet, Användarcentrerad Design
National Category
Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-61291OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-61291DiVA: diva2:1061091
External cooperation
SCA; BCC AB
Educational program
Industrial Design Engineering, master's level
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-01-03 Created: 2016-12-30 Last updated: 2017-01-03Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The full text will be freely available from 2017-11-30 00:00
Available from 2017-11-30 00:00

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