Ergonomics and workplace design: application of Ergo-UAS System in Fiat Group Automobiles.Work. 2012; 41 Suppl 1:4445-9.WORK
Since 2008 Fiat Group Automobiles has introduced Ergo-UAS system for the balancing of production lines and to detect ergonomic issues. Ergo-UAS system integrates 2 specific methods: MTM-UAS for time measurement and EAWS as ergonomic method to evaluate biomechanical effort for each workstation. Fiat is using a software system to manage time evaluation and ergo characterization of production cycle (UAS) to perform line balancing and obtain allowance factor in all Italian car manufacturing plant. For new car models, starting from New Panda, FGA is applying Ergo-UAS for workplace design since the earliest phase of product development. This means that workplace design is based on information about new product, new layout, new work organization and is performed by a multidisciplinary team (Work Place Integration Team), focusing on several aspects of product and process: safety, quality and productivity. This allows to find and solve ergonomic threats before the start of production, by means of a strict cooperation between product development, engineering and design, manufacturing. Three examples of workstation design are presented in which application of Ergo-UAS was determinant to find out initial excessive levels of biomechanical load and helped the process designer to improve the workstations and define limits of acceptability. Technical activities (on product or on process), or organizational changes, that have been implemented in order to solve the problems are presented. A comparison between "before" and "new" ergonomic scores necessary to bring workstations in acceptable conditions were made.