Computer aided design for work injury elimination in production assembly systems
Work injury is one of the major obstacles in manufacturing industries especially in production assembly systems all over the world. Work injuries reduce production efficiency and threat human health. Among various types of work injuries, repetitive work injuries are the one that can be easily neglected. This thesis is about the application of computing technology to analysis and synthesis of repetitive work injuries in production assembly systems for the purpose of reduction or elimination of these injuries. A production assembly system consists of the assembly machines, products, tools, humans (workers), and particular environments. Injuries of the worker are basically caused by over stress, strain, and fatigue, which are further related to the worker’s posture. This research proposed a general methodology for constructing a software system for analysis and simulation of a worker’s postures in a virtual environment. The implementation of such a computer system was discussed. This research also proposed methods to compute work injury cost. Finally, this research proposed a more systematic method for the synthesis or re-design of worker’ postures to reduce or eliminate work injuries. The major contribution of this thesis work is to advance computing to work injury analysis and synthesis in production systems. This thesis study concludes that the computer technology is matured enough to highly automate the process of work injury analysis and synthesis. It is possible that a complete design of production systems with consideration of work injuries can be done in a much more efficient manner – perhaps reduction of the ramp-up process in the automobile industry from 6 months (typically) to one month in addition to the removal of wasted materials and potential injuries in the ramp-up process.
Computer aided design, Work injury elimination, Assembly System
Master of Science (M.Sc.)