Process Planning: Human Simulation

Human performance on the factory floor can be modeled via software.

Creating and developing products based on the capabilities and limitations of people is not a new concept. For example, the PLM offerings of both UGS Corp. and DELMIA Corp. include digital manufacturing software solutions that can model human performance on the factory floor.

Early adopters of the human modeling software tend to be manufacturing environments with lots of human intervention, says Troy, Mich.-based Al Hufstetler, marketing vice president of the UGS Tecnomatix digital manufacturing brand. He says production floor complexities are the motivating factors for the automotive and aerospace/defense industries.

An example at Ford Motor Co. involved the UGS Tecnomatix Jack human simulation solution. The task involved evaluating ergonomics and worker safety in installing a new satellite digital antenna radio system. The analysis occurred early -- at the product' design review stage, says Ford's Allison Stephens, ergonomic and safety manager. Hufstetler says that the Jack solution could also be used to evaluate the ergonomic design of a vehicle's interior. (FactoryCAD is the UGS solution for simulating factory floor layout.)

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