Ford Links Good Ergonomic Design to improved Quality
Kent Hatcher 3/17/08
A recent article in Industrial Engineer magazine highlighted that Ford has found a tremendous impact of good ergonomics job design on quality performance – 11% improvement versus an industry average of 2%.
Ford used human modeling software in the virtual manufacturing process to design jobs that are less physically stressful. The impact of ergonomic redesign at the project level has been documented many times, such as the case study from Corning Goose Creek, but this is a major finding on the impact good ergonomic job design can have at the enterprise level.
The link between good ergonomic job design – at the point where people, work, and environment intersect – is well understood but not well documented. We’ve compiled six ergonomic success stories that have resulted in quality impacts in What to Expect form a Successful Ergonomics Initiative – with an average impact of over $900,000. This is far higher than the average improvement project impact on either injury costs (nearly $200,000) or labor costs (over $300,000).
Average Dollar Impact of Ergonomics Improvement Projects
According to the article, Ford is the only North American automaker to use human modeling technology in this way. Sounds like it might be a great investment for companies that routinely replace their tooling as products are updated.