Corporations need the best productivity levels to be the leading force in a competitive environment! As the workforce in Germany grows older and the pressure to cut costs grows, this is only possible if they have well-designed work processes and products that take into account ergonomic principles when using Germany as their industrial base. MTM is focusing on this idea in its research and development work in 2014. This is giving rise to a completely new kind of MTM building block system, which links work and ergonomic planning for the first time. It is called Human Work Design and is being developed in conjunction with partner companies from various sectors and academic partners – the Institute of Ergonomics at Darmstadt University of Technology (IAD) and the Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics at RWTH Aachen University (IAW). The development phase will draw to a close this year. A system validation phase will follow this.
The aim of the development project is to achieve a new level of quality in describing and designing manual work processes. Human Work Design is a completely new kind of building block system and it provides a standardized process description to assess work processes from both methodical and biomechanical points of view for the very first time. The globally established MTM-1 building block system (see graphic) and the ergonomics assessment tools used at the participating companies, including EAWS (Ergonomic Assessment Work Sheet), the internationally recognized standard procedure for evaluating ergonomic risks at a work station, form the basis for this.
Synchronizing ergonomics and time
In the light of the aging society and the increasing shortage of specialist workers, it is essential for all sectors to minimize health risks at work stations and maintain the capability of employees to account for their longer working lives. The all-round approach with Human Work Design, the MTM building block system, which combines methodical and ergonomic aspects of work, helps corporations to cope with the challenge of demographic change. The development of Human Work Design and the description of the complete work process using process building blocks – which range from the individual movements of a person’s body, head and hand/arm system to his or her posture during and at the end of the complete production time or assembly line cycle – is a logical step for MTM and its all-round approach to productivity management. The description includes the variables, which are necessary from the point of view of the biomechanical evaluation procedure and time assessment in line with the latest trends. The final result is a synchronization of ergonomics and time in the productivity management system.
MTM presented the Human Work Design development project to the public for the first time at the spring congress of the Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft (Society for Ergonomics or GfA) in Munich on 12 - 14 March 2014. The central topic at the event was designing the working world of the future. This also involved the issue of economic activity with work and time – where is all this taking us? You will be able to read about how Human Work Design is combining the aspects of productivity and ergonomics, the benefits of this new kind of building block system for work planners and the implications for a successful productivity and health management system at corporations that consider work from a human point of view in the next few issues of MTMaktuell.
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