Research on how to support product and production design processes by virtual ergonomic tools is one of the scientific focal points within the interdisciplinary field of ergonomics. Digital human models are an important aspect within this research context. Assuring a widespread use of these and other computer-aided ergonomic tools gives great potential for increasing product usability and designing safe, healthy and competitive work systems: The identification and redesign processes for dangerous or unhealthy product design and work system parameters can be moved into early product and production process design phases.
In order to analyze specific future technological and organizational trends, an expert- and web-based, three-round Delphi survey on Digital Ergonomics was carried out from November 2011 till May 2012. A panel of 60 German experts was asked to give up to five answers to nine lead questions in a first round. 26 statements were then written down resulting from a qualitative data analysis of the received 886 answers. Each statement had to be evaluated according to its impact as well as its most probable date of occurrence in the second round. In the last round the results of the second run were presented to the experts according to the Delphi method and they were asked to assess the statements once again. During the whole Delphi survey the response rate was about 55 %.
Based on the final results a ranking was built and the trends were grouped in seven categories:
Furthermore, named advantages and disadvantages of as well as requirements of small and medium sized enterprises towards computer-aided ergonomic tools such as digital human modeling are presented.
The results of the Delphi survey provide a detailed, expert-based roadmap on trends in computer-aided ergonomics till the year 2025.
Please download the complete report "Digital Ergonomics 2025" (in German only).
Digitale Ergonomie 2025.
1. edition. Dortmund: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin 2013.
ISBN: 978-3-88261-004-8, pages 52, Project number: F 2313, paper, PDF file
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