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Integrating ergonomics into production system development--the Volvo Powertrain case.
Appl Ergon. 2009 May; 40(3):527-37.AE

Abstract

Understanding the barriers and assists to integrating ergonomics into production system design remains a research issue. An action research case study at Volvo Powertrain/Sweden was conducted. Researchers worked collaboratively with the firm in efforts to improve the company's ability to handle ergonomics in their daily work of improving and developing production systems. Researchers observed and reflected collectively on the change process using field notes and recordings to support their observations. Observed integration barriers included both individual level issues like life events, and organisational aspects such as communication barriers between groups or assignment of tasks to people not involved in decision-making. Observed assists included the 'political reflective navigation' (c.f. Broberg, O., Hermund, I., 2004. The OHS consultant as a 'political reflective navigator' in technological change processes. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 33 (4), 315-326) by the project owner to find new ways to overcome barriers and anchor ergonomics into the organisation. While special 'ergonomics' groups did not survive long, progress was observed in including ergonomics in regular design groups. A cross-functional workshop that fostered discussion across organisational boundaries helped shift focus from retrofitting systems to future production systems and improve engagement of engineering teams. Progress was marked by both success and setbacks and full integration appears to require more than 2 years time. It is concluded that support by senior managers should include succession planning for personnel that are key to the change effort.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria St., Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 2K3. pneumann@ryerson.caNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19019347

Citation

Neumann, W Patrick, et al. "Integrating Ergonomics Into Production System Development--the Volvo Powertrain Case." Applied Ergonomics, vol. 40, no. 3, 2009, pp. 527-37.
Neumann WP, Ekman M, Winkel J. Integrating ergonomics into production system development--the Volvo Powertrain case. Appl Ergon. 2009;40(3):527-37.
Neumann, W. P., Ekman, M., & Winkel, J. (2009). Integrating ergonomics into production system development--the Volvo Powertrain case. Applied Ergonomics, 40(3), 527-37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2008.09.010
Neumann WP, Ekman M, Winkel J. Integrating Ergonomics Into Production System Development--the Volvo Powertrain Case. Appl Ergon. 2009;40(3):527-37. PubMed PMID: 19019347.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Integrating ergonomics into production system development--the Volvo Powertrain case. AU - Neumann,W Patrick, AU - Ekman,Marianne, AU - Winkel,Jørgen, Y1 - 2008/11/18/ PY - 2006/03/20/received PY - 2008/09/03/revised PY - 2008/09/05/accepted PY - 2008/11/21/pubmed PY - 2009/5/27/medline PY - 2008/11/21/entrez SP - 527 EP - 37 JF - Applied ergonomics JO - Appl Ergon VL - 40 IS - 3 N2 - Understanding the barriers and assists to integrating ergonomics into production system design remains a research issue. An action research case study at Volvo Powertrain/Sweden was conducted. Researchers worked collaboratively with the firm in efforts to improve the company's ability to handle ergonomics in their daily work of improving and developing production systems. Researchers observed and reflected collectively on the change process using field notes and recordings to support their observations. Observed integration barriers included both individual level issues like life events, and organisational aspects such as communication barriers between groups or assignment of tasks to people not involved in decision-making. Observed assists included the 'political reflective navigation' (c.f. Broberg, O., Hermund, I., 2004. The OHS consultant as a 'political reflective navigator' in technological change processes. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 33 (4), 315-326) by the project owner to find new ways to overcome barriers and anchor ergonomics into the organisation. While special 'ergonomics' groups did not survive long, progress was observed in including ergonomics in regular design groups. A cross-functional workshop that fostered discussion across organisational boundaries helped shift focus from retrofitting systems to future production systems and improve engagement of engineering teams. Progress was marked by both success and setbacks and full integration appears to require more than 2 years time. It is concluded that support by senior managers should include succession planning for personnel that are key to the change effort. SN - 1872-9126 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19019347/Integrating_ergonomics_into_production_system_development__the_Volvo_Powertrain_case_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0003-6870(08)00147-6 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -