Process of Work System Design

The implementation of ergonomic insights in concrete solutions of work system design is carried out in different operational functions. The individual divisions approach their task of work system design with different areas of interest. Regarding the systematization of such design interests developed a conception from a personal view. He differentiates interests of preservation, interests of design, and interests of utilization of human work. In reference to the interest of preservation of the human work ability the occupational safety was developed, which in turn endues own systematic procedures, for example, the TOP model. Work technology is referred to, regarding the general interest of the function of work systems. The work technology is essentially affected by systematic of the technological determinism in its design procedure. In direction of the interest of utilization of the human work, the labor economics and the industrial organization are to be identified, which developed their systematics, for example, towards types of work processes (concerning humans, equipment, and work object) and towards types of requirements (e.g., for the job evaluation and remuneration).

The framework of a comprehensive ergonomic design process contains design interests, which can be related to Furstenberg and proceeds from the system ergonomic procedure

The approach proceeds from a hierarchical-sequential procedure with feedback possibilities during the design process. Thereby, the design areas of the technological, technical, organizational, and ergonomic design are covered In this context, technology should be understood as a describing level of technique. Technology deals with the systematics and analysis of concrete techniques. Technologies in this sense are, for example, manufacturing processes. For instance, the manufacturing process “turning” (technology) is to be carried out with a corresponding technique (turning machine, control program, etc.).

Technological Design

The technological design is mainly determined with the construction process of a product. For instance, necessary exactitudes (e.g., fits), stabilities (basic material, geometry, heat treatment), and surface properties (surface roughness, corrosion protection, etc.) in this process are determined in consideration of existing technologies. From an ergonomic point of view the technological design must consider the effects a decision for a specific technology can have on the conditions of work (e.g., stress caused by certain work environmental conditions, degree of the simplicity of assembly task).

Technical Design

In a second stage in the context of the technical design the degree of mechanization and automation, that is, the division of labor between working person, on the one hand, and working equipment and operating resources, on the other hand, are discussed. Thereby, human weaknesses and evolution-caused limitations of humans are adjusted by mechanization and automatization. Besides, remainder functions for people, for example, as automation gaps, are to be equally avoided. Referring to the degree of mechanization and automatizatio, three levels can roughly be distinguished, namely, the manual activities, the mechanized fulfillment, and the automated fulfillment.

The manual fulfillment of a task may take place with the help of tools. The energy, however, which is necessary for the purposeful modification of the work object is mustered with the physical strength of a working person. Thereby, the human being poses as a regulator, that is, he gathers information concerning the actual condition of the work object and processes it as long as the desired work result is available. The informational effort of the working persons can be reduced with the help of working equipments like templates or apparatuses. Mechanization means the substitution of human energy with technical forms of energy. In comparison with the manual fulfillment, however, the informational effort can be further reduced, but no complete substitution of human information processing in the sense of a technical control or regulation takes place. The automation is characterized by the fact that — beyond the mechanization — the regulation of the process also takes place within the technical

system. The working person solely has a monitoring function. The individual levels of mechanization and automation can be distinguished further.

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