Evaluation and Scania Customisation of the Digital Human Modelling Tool IMMA (Mechanical Project)

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Ergonomics is of growing concern for many producing companies. Both the ergonomics of the intended user and the ergonomics concerning the handling and assembling of the product. The increased interest in ergonomics and simulation software to be able to prevent problems before they are realised, has led to the development of several ergonomics simulation software.

A software called Intelligently Moving Manikins (IMMA) is currently being developed by Chalmers University, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre (FCC) and the University of Skövde. This is done in collaboration with the Swedish vehicle industry, among others Scania CV AB. Before the launch of the software in the fall of 2016, it had to be examined how ready the software was.

The aims of this project was to: evaluate IMMA according to the needs at Scania and why Scania should implement it, suggest improvements of the software, and evaluate the Scania Ergonomic Standard (SES) to be implemented in IMMA.

A literature review was made to broaden the knowledge of different areas. Areas that were researched were: the ergonomics standards used at Scania, what usability is, the available features in IMMA, and other ergonomics simulation software such as Jack.

The meaning of exploring other software was to find the benefits that these software had in comparison to IMMA and vice versa. Some areas where IMMA was found to lack functions were that IMMA had no fully implemented ergonomics standard to evaluate by, that it was not possible to instruct the manikin to walk, and that the usability was in need of improvements.

In addition to comparing IMMA to other similar software, four cases were simulated in IMMA. The cases simulated were cases with problems within ergonomics at Scania. The difficulties and problems, which arose during the simulations led to suggested improvements of the software. No solution to ergonomic problems were developed in this project.

Deeper comparisons of the work procedures used in Jack and IMMA were made by simulating two of the cases in both software. These comparisons led to suggested improvements of IMMA. For the launch, one of the ergonomics standards used at Scania was to be implemented in the software. The standard chosen by Scania was SES Design. This project discussed the benefits and drawbacks of choosing this standard versus the other Scania standards for implementation. It was also examined what needed to be developed in the software to be able to fully implement the standard.

When investigating the standard to implement, the evaluation module was also analysed. Suggestions of improvements of the evaluation module, with increased usability and an added function were made. These suggestions were discussed in meetings at FCC in Gothenburg. The conclusion of the project was a priority list with the suggested improvements which were developed during the project. The improvements came from the case studies, studies of other software and the standard evaluation studies.
Source: KTH
Authors: Bašić, Elma | Idoffsson, Malin

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