Development of Unloading Station by Concept Generation and Ergonomic Evaluation

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskap och matematik

Abstract: This thesis presents a product development project done at Scania Ferruform in Luleå. The process that was used is called Stage-Gating which means that the project is divided into gates. The gates used in this project were the following: Planning, Concept development, Ergonomic analysis, Analysis of culture and work environment, Refinement & Documentation. The purpose was to generate concepts that lowers the overall load on the operators at the crossmember painting lines unloading station, to better the production. The subsystems investigated in this project were the following: Trolley, Hooks, Lifting table (+Control panel) & Pallets (Packaging). The mission from Scania was to analyse, concept generate, find tools and solutions to the crossmember painting line. The aim was to deliver: Foundation of product development regarding the unloading station, Ergonomic evaluations of the chosen concept towards today’s station, Analysis of work environment and culture & Report. The project was started by interviewing operators and leaders to get a clear picture of the current situation and what has been done so far. The method to reach the desired solutions consists mainly of concept generation. To evaluate and choose concept, Screening and Scoring was used which ensures that the best possible concept is chosen. The chosen concept that is called Concept 3 includes 14 new functions where some functions are more important than others. The results show that Concept 3 will perform 30–60 % better regarding ergonomics than today’s station. It also shows that at the average of the amount of lifts per takt, the ergonomic evaluation get a red evaluation in the zones where the operators work the most. Culture and work environment shows that skepticism towards the management is deeply rooted in the culture which leads to a worker collective to form. In turn, this leads to that unhealthy working conditions is enforced by the culture itself. More results can be seen in the section Results & Discussion. One of the most important conclusions is that even if the chosen concept improves the ergonomics, it does not eliminate the extreme loads and the extent of beams the operators are lifting daily. Even with proof of improvement, it is impossible to eliminate the immense load — which leads to that something else than the operator have to take up the force of the beams. Manual handling is therefore not an option to consider.

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