ISC and Lean Ergonomics

It is a reality that at least one third of all injuries and illnesses are caused by wrong ergonomics application of human work in lean manufacturing.

And that is not all, the cost of bad lean ergonomics leads to time, effort and budget draining.

In fact, the most prevalent ergonomic related injuries are musculoskeletal caused by repetition, overload, awkward positions, etc.

But, before diving into how to easily find out bad ergonomics using the ISC software, it is important to define what ergonomics mean.

Ergonomics refers to the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.

However, when people hear the word ergonomics, they solely think of improving the equipment used in every human work process.

The truth is that there is a hidden element that is critical: process inefficiencies.

Examining to whole process looking for inefficiencies to be eliminated or reduced is key in lean manufacturing. And the best way to achieve it is focusing in the eight wastes of lean, also called TIMWOODS. Waste motion of ergonomics that should be reduced are stretching, bending and extensive reaching.

This way, it leads to well-designed Lean Manufacturing processes that relieve many of the risk factors associated with traditional workstations and functional layouts.

For example, workcells normally rotate workers through an entire process to reduce repetition and static postures.

To conclude this section, good lean ergonomics not only leads to safe and healthy work, but dramatically increase the efficiency of a manufacturing process.

Benefits of Lean Ergonomics

Applying Lean Manufacturing principles to Ergonomic principles systematically remove process inefficiencies such as wastes, and risk factors.

In fact, removing all risk factors related to musculoskeletal injuries will improve the efficiency of both the whole process and the workers as a result.

Going to a deeper level, below is the long list of benefits when applying lean ergonomics across a process:

  • Improved quality.
  • Improved efficiency.
  • Higher morale.
  • Improved productivity.
  • Improved on-time delivery.
  • Cost savings.
  • Improved safety and health of individuals and teams.
  • Reduction of key risk factors.
  • Reduction of injuries and disability.

DGI, the best software for lean ergonomics purposes

At this point, it is important to understand how crucial it is that good lean ergonomics may secure our long-term business. They may dramatically improve our process and people efficiency as noted above.

So, the best way to improve lean ergonomics is with DGI, the time and motion study from ISC.

DGI is focused on human work processes and provides several useful modules. And one of these modules is the Ergonomics Manager.

In this section we will guide you through several steps, in order to achieve a complete ergonomic analysis in a fast and easy way.

Steps to create an ergonomic analysis in DGI

  1. Log in DGI with your account and load a previous study or create a brand-new one.
dgi time and motion software lean ergonomics

2. If you have created a new study, just establish the start and end point of the main sequence, and additional sequences if needed.

lean ergonomics dgi

3. Right-click your favourite sequence from the right panel as noted below, and click the <See sequence> option from the popup menu.

industrial ergonomics

4. Let’s assume that there is an excessive left-hand bending. In this case, simply add the appropriate MTM-2 movement and set a value bigger than 0 from the last column, called <ERG>. The software will notify that there are bad lean ergonomics that may lead to musculoskeletal injuries.

physical ergonomics

5. Then, click the <Ergonomics> button from the main menu.

business ergonomics office

6. Move the video cursor to the exact moment that best shows the bad ergonomics movement and click the <New> button to capture the frame. The illustration below shows the process.

proper ergonomics

7. Then, select the MTM-2 line that represent the captured frame and type a description if needed. Finally, simply click the <Save> button.

operational excellence ergonomics lean

8. Finally, the ergonomic analysis is saved successfully.

lean ergonomics

9. Once every ergonomic analysis has been created, go back to the previous window and click the <Calculations View> from the main menu. 

10. Then, click the <Ergonomics> tab to see previously defined Ergonomics.

11. Click the <Report> button from the main menu and check the <Ergonomics> option from the popup to preview the Ergonomics report.

12. To save the report as a PDF file, simply click the option <Save as PDF> from the main menu.

13. Finally, to export every Ergonomic Analysis data to Microsoft Excel, go back to the <Ergonomics> tab and click the <Excel> button from the main menu. Then, check the <Ergonomics> option from the popup.


And that’s all!

In future posts, we will discuss in detail about how to improve bad ergonomics with the Non-Value Added module from DGI.

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