One-Fits-All vs. Tailor-Made: User-Centered Workstations for Field Assembly with an Application in Aircraft Parts Manufacturing

Walter Mayrhofer, Patrick Rupprecht, Sebastian Schlund
2019 Procedia Manufacturing  
Field assembly of large components for aircraft, ships, trains or big machinery is often done in a rather unstructured environment, with little concern for the individual needs of the involved personnel. Confronted with a shortage of qualified personnel and a generally aging workforce, workstation designers need to put more emphasis on improving ergonomics and allowing for individual adjustments and support for a particular worker. Human factor engineering traditionally uses a
more » ... ch" to work-design, preventing an exact adjustment to the ergonomic needs of particular users. New technological advances provide opportunities for major improvements; novel assistance and information systems allow the accommodation of the needs of an increasingly diverse assembly workforce, while minimizing overall physical and mental stress. Based on a recently developed synopsis of options for individualization of assembly workstations, an example of an application in field assembly is being presented and illustrated by a full-scale demonstrator for the assembly of large scale composite parts for the aerospace industry. The pilot-installation combines a projector-based augmented reality environment for dynamic worker-information with automated operator position tracking and field of vision positioning. Finally, a comprehensive concept, that includes other dimensions of individualization, is presented. Abstract Field assembly of large components for aircraft, ships, trains or big machinery is often done in a rather unstructured environment, with little concern for the individual needs of the involved personnel. Confronted with a shortage of qualified personnel and a generally aging workforce, workstation designers need to put more emphasis on improving ergonomics and allowing for individual adjustments and support for a particular worker. Human factor engineering traditionally uses a "percentile-approach" to work-design, preventing an exact adjustment to the ergonomic needs of particular users. New technological advances provide opportunities for major improvements; novel assistance and information systems allow the accommodation of the needs of an increasingly diverse assembly workforce, while minimizing overall physical and mental stress. Based on a recently developed synopsis of options for individualization of assembly workstations, an example of an application in field assembly is being presented and illustrated by a full-scale demonstrator for the assembly of large scale composite parts for the aerospace industry. The pilot-installation combines a projector-based augmented reality environment for dynamic worker-information with automated operator position tracking and field of vision positioning. Finally, a comprehensive concept, that includes other dimensions of individualization, is presented.
doi:10.1016/j.promfg.2020.01.287 fatcat:xdgmcw7nrvcofa46bcw7cl5ix4