Date: Tuesday 15 June 2021
Time: 17.15 until approx. 19.00. (time of day due to the time difference for the external reviewer).
Place: Zoom, online only: https://his-se.zoom.us/j/3036820181
PhD Student: Aitor Iriondo Pascual, ING
External reviewer: Professor James Yang, Texas Tech University, USA
Supervisors: Anna Syberfeldt, Dan Högberg and Erik Brolin
Title: Simulation-Based Multi-Objective Optimization of Ergonomics and Productivity
Simulation software is used in industry to simulate production as it allows predicting behaviours, calculate times and plan production already at virtual stages of the production development process. There is also software to simulate humans working in production, commonly called digital human modelling (DHM) tools. When humans are simulated, ergonomics evaluations can be carried out in order to assess whether workstation designs offer appropriate ergonomic conditions for the worker. However, these human simulations are usually carried out by human factors engineers or ergonomists, with the purpose of validating work-stations, without integrating these simulations with those performed in production by production engineers. Due to this, simulations performed to predict production are usually done separately from human simulations performed to evaluate ergonomics. This can lead to suboptimal solutions when the factory is optimized to improve productivity and ergonomics. This thesis proposal contains a frame of reference, literature review, research questions, proposed approach, motivation, expected results, philosophical paradigm, research methodology, method, challenges and planning, founded in the hypothesis that more optimal solutions for workstation design, layout and line balancing can be obtained in simulations by optimizing productivity and ergonomic factors at the same time instead of improving them separately. Hence, the aim is to carry out research in the development of a multi-objective optimization method of productivity and ergonomic factors, and to implement the method into a simulation tool in order to test and communicate the method. From an academic perspective, the overall objective is to contribute to knowledge and publish findings in the academic community, eventually leading to a PhD thesis. From an application perspective, the overall objective is to contribute to the development of efficient methods for how to find successful designs of productive and ergonomic workstations.
Keywords: Ergonomics, Productivity, Optimization, Simulation.