Bridge the gap between operations & engineering
Bridge the gap between operations & engineering
Bridge the gap between operations & engineering

Logistics

Manufacturing and logistic systems usually involve manual work. Well designed tasks and workplaces increase productivity and reduce occupational health risks.

We offer the following:

  • Optimum design of new machines, production lines and/or tools.
  • Analysis and solutions of work-related stress.
  • Job redesign when enlarging or modernizing an existing plant
  • Optimization of heavy physical work

Signals of high work pressure are often rather the expression of discontent about the organization of the work, recognition or contact on the workplace, than excessive workload. ErgoS puts such signals into perspective and provides support in optimizing jobs.

We consider the following when (re)designing:

  • Efficiency
    • allocation of tasks to man and machine
    • non value adding tasks
    • optimum passageways
    • consequences of machine failure for the operator’s work
  • Environmental factors (noise, light, ventilation)
  • Work pressure
    • mental (workstress)
    • physical (repetive work, lifting, push/pull, work posture)
  •  Safety
    • slips, trips & falls.
    • machine accessibility

Our projects

Baggage handling at airports

Baggage handling at airports -

Within the aviation work area, ErgoS is active in a wide range of topics. Some of these topics are; (manual and robotic) baggage handling, check-in desks, control centres, interface design, work organization design, Systems Monitoring and Control centres and surveillance & security (CCTV). ErgoS has worked on these topics in close co-operation with manufacturers and airport organizations.

Baggage handling at large airports is automated. Nevertheless, manual baggage handling is unavoidable. This may concern the loading and unloading of containers, or identification of baggage with missing or unreadable labels.

In collaboration with a major handling system manufacturer, ErgoS’ professionals designed optimal workstations for these tasks.

For each type of workplace, field tests using a full scale mock-up was organized.

Baggage handling projects were carried out at the airports London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

Australian Post
Parcel sorting systems

Australian Post - Parcel sorting systems

New automated parcel handling systems have been developed by Vanderlande Industries for Australia Post in Melbourne and Sydney. Though the systems are automated, manual parcel handling cannot be avoided. The manual handling needs to meet ergonomic/human factors requirements. Therefore, a mandatory and independent review of the ergonomics of newly designed work stations was performed by a ErgoS.

The following procedure has been applied.

  1. Determine review criteria, based on Australia Post ergonomic specifications and other Australian standards, legislation and regulations.
  2. Establish an overview of the user population, and operational tasks 
including task duration, and expected working postures.
  3. Determine essential measurements of work stations and their immediate 
environment (engineering drawings).
  4. Validation and verification of the design (review for compliance with general project and Human Factors requirements).
  5. Report.

Masterfood
Production lines

Masterfood - Production lines

The task analysis at a food processing factory showed that operators divide their time between trouble shooting and filling up folding machines for boxes. The operators considered trouble shooting the most interesting part of their task.

Trouble shooting is an example of a value added activity for operators: humans are more flexible and creative than machines.

In their design for a new production line, the engineers wanted to place the folding machines and the trouble sources together, arguing that the operator, walking from one trouble point to the next, could also replenish the machines. After the analysis, we came up with another solution. The capacity of the folding machines had been enhanced, so that they only had to be filled once an hour. This way, less conveyor belts were needed and operators could dedicate more time to trouble shooting. More space was created to position machines with a high fall-out rate closer to each other and create a free passageway between them. Machines with a high noise level were placed together in an enclosed space to contain the noise.

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