This paper describes two approaches for integrating human factors into discrete event simulations of production systems. In the first, biomechanical loading information was integrated with a simulation model in a car dismantling operation. In the second study, the productivity sensitivity of three systems with varying parallelisation was tested with respect to a) allowing operators to take breaks ‘as desired’, and b) having ‘reduced capacity’ operators at work. Both methods provided insight into design options that gave superior performance with improved ergonomics. Such ‘virtual ergonomics’ approaches can help establish boundary crossing discussions to support ergonomics application in early design stages.
For a more in-depth look on this subject, please see:
Kazmierczak, K., Neumann, W.P. and Winkel, J., 2007. A case study of serial-flow car disassembly: ergonomics, productivity, and potential system performance. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing, 17(4): 331-351. DOI: 10.1002/hfm.20078
Neumann, W.P. and Medbo, P., 2009. Integrating human factors into discrete event simulations of parallel and serial flow strategies. Production Planning & Control, 20(1): 3-16. DOI: 10.1080/09537280802601444
Perez, J. and Neumann, W.P., 2010. The Use of Virtual Human Factors Tools in Industry – A Workshop Investigation, Ryerson University, Toronto.http://digitalcommons.ryerson.ca/ie/1/