12/1/2007

E Is for Ergo

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Ford Motor Co. engineers were forced to make a change to the design of the grille of its 2008 E-Series commercial van after the automaker’s manufacturing ergonomics lab determined, through virtual simulation, that assembly line workers would have to exert too much pressure on their bodies during installation. “We were looking for a specification to provide to engineering on what the maximum acceptable insertion force would be [and determined] the allowable effort would be 29.2-lb.,” says Allison Stephens, Ford manufacturing ergonomics technician specialist.

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Ford Motor Co. engineers were forced to make a change to the design of the grille of its 2008 E-Series commercial van after the automaker’s manufacturing ergonomics lab determined, through virtual simulation, that assembly line workers would have to exert too much pressure on their bodies during installation. “We were looking for a specification to provide to engineering on what the maximum acceptable insertion force would be [and determined] the allowable effort would be 29.2-lb.,” says Allison Stephens, Ford manufacturing ergonomics technician specialist. That determination required engineers to redesign the attachment clips for the grille, reduce the number of clips from 5 to 3 and enlarge the holes for the clips for improved ease of assembly. The virtual simulation not only helped Ford avoid potential operator injury, it reduced the amount of material necessary for grille assembly.—KMK
 

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