CAD/CAM Corner

Jack 7.1 Explores Human Side of Simulation

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Avatars for the Factory Floor
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/18/2012 4:08:18 PM

Alex, my experiences have been similar to yours in that human factor and ergonomic considerations are often claimed to have been well thought out by product management; but in reality are truly an afterthought.  Its only after generations of (questionable) product releases show negative repercussions in the market that companies truly pay attention to real HF & ergonomic "needs".

In consumer products, a stodgy corporate attitude ("...we've always done it that way") can often be painfully reversed by a leaner, smaller competitor suddenly coming in and taking their market share. 

In lesser driven markets like the military,  end-users don't get much say in tools and equipment issued to them, and feedback to product designers is even more constrained - (recall the recent post in Design News discussing the pedometer/battery charger strapped to the Infantryman's boot heels).

In either scenario, HF & ergo can certainly stand to be further studied before launching the final versions of most products and equipment.  These Avatars for the Factory Floor should prove positive worth, providing their use & application for design intent isn't too difficult to manage by the design engineers.

Charles Murray
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Re: Avoiding Monkey problems
Charles Murray   1/18/2012 10:44:55 PM
For the past 15 years or so, Buick has been putting a lot of effort into ergonomics and seat design with special attention being given to those who are several standard deviations from the norm. I believe they were making special efforts to remove the "hot spots" in seats for drivers as tall as 6'-7". See link below.


Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Avoiding Monkey problems
Ann R. Thryft   1/19/2012 12:55:49 PM

Thanks for the link. Good to know they are being responsive.

My husband's problem wasn't hot spots: it was the fact that he could not sit in the seat without bending his neck! The seat was simply too high, even at the lowest adjustment, and the cabin too small overall. He was more than 12 inches taller than the average Japanese person of that time, and Toyota and others had not yet adjusted to building cars for sale in the US that were designed for taller Americans.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Re: Avoiding Monkey problems
Charles Murray   1/19/2012 7:36:38 PM
Two of my sons are rather tall -- one is 6'-6" and the other is 6'-7". The taller one has trouble in a Honda Odyssey minivan, but is comfortable in a little Saturn Ion. Go figure. The taller one also had trouble with the Toyota Prius PHV. My impression is that these problems can be circumvented if the manufacturer is willing to let the driver's seat slide back into the rear seat area. That virtually eliminates the possibility of a passenger sitting in the rear seat, but at least it allows the driver to drive.

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