Although the increasing use of automation in industry, manual assembly stations are still common and, in some situations, even inevitable. Current practice in manual assembly lines is to balance them using the takt-time of each workstation and harmonize it. However, this approach mostly does not include ergonomic aspects and thus it may lead to workforce musculoskeletal disorders, extended leaves, and demotivation. This paper presents a holistic human-centric optimization method for line balancing using a novel indicator the ErgoTakt. ErgoTakt improves the legacy takt-time and helps to find an optimum between the ergonomic evaluation of an assembly station and its balance in time. The authors used a custom version of the ErgoSentinel Software and a Microsoft Kinect depth camera to perform online and real-time ergonomic assessment. An optimization algorithm is developed to find the best-fitting solution by minimizing a function of the ergonomic RULA-value and the cycle time of each assembly workstation with respect to the worker's ability. The paper presents the concept, the system-setup and preliminary evaluation of an assembly scenario. The results demonstrate that the new approach is feasible and able to optimize an entire manual assembly process chain in terms of both, economic aspects of a well-balanced production line as well as the ergonomic issue of long term human healthy work.

ErgoTakt: A novel approach of human-centered balancing of manual assembly lines

Vito Modesto Manghisi;Michele Fiorentino;
2021

Abstract

Although the increasing use of automation in industry, manual assembly stations are still common and, in some situations, even inevitable. Current practice in manual assembly lines is to balance them using the takt-time of each workstation and harmonize it. However, this approach mostly does not include ergonomic aspects and thus it may lead to workforce musculoskeletal disorders, extended leaves, and demotivation. This paper presents a holistic human-centric optimization method for line balancing using a novel indicator the ErgoTakt. ErgoTakt improves the legacy takt-time and helps to find an optimum between the ergonomic evaluation of an assembly station and its balance in time. The authors used a custom version of the ErgoSentinel Software and a Microsoft Kinect depth camera to perform online and real-time ergonomic assessment. An optimization algorithm is developed to find the best-fitting solution by minimizing a function of the ergonomic RULA-value and the cycle time of each assembly workstation with respect to the worker's ability. The paper presents the concept, the system-setup and preliminary evaluation of an assembly scenario. The results demonstrate that the new approach is feasible and able to optimize an entire manual assembly process chain in terms of both, economic aspects of a well-balanced production line as well as the ergonomic issue of long term human healthy work.
8th CIRP Conference of Assembly Technology and Systems, CATS 2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11589/223493
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