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.
Neumann, W.P., Medbo, P., Kazmierczak, K. (2008) Virtual Tools for Assessing Human and Organisational Factors in Production System Design. In Human Factors in Organizational Design and Management – IX, L. Sznelwar, F. Mascia and U. Montedo (Editors), IEA Press. Guarujá, São Paulo, Brazil, March 19-21.