Update from the Applied Ergonomics Conference in Nashville
by Deepesh Desai, CPE
We are attending the keynote presentation by Dr. Don Chaffin; he is speaking on the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) that the White House is rolling out. For the past 18 months, Don has been working with other key personnel to give recommendations to the White House.
Obviously, the US economy over the past few years has been quite unpredictable, and several US companies have moved their manufacturing operations abroad as a cost cutting approach. The AMP is focused towards bringing manufacturing to the US. President Obama officially announced the program last June at Carnegie Mellon University.
One of the key focuses of the program is to bridge the gap between research and production by creating new manufacturing infrastructures and institutes across the country. Each institute will support the development and deployment of several innovation activities in manufacturing including virtual and digital aspects.
Some of you might be wondering how this applies to the field of ergonomics. The answer is in many ways. If we go back to the roots of ergonomics, it is a field that enables reducing barriers to human performance and improving efficiency as well as productivity by leveraging principles of industrial engineering, lean, and biomechanics. One specific way the new manufacturing infrastructure may help is to provide access to several simulation and 3-D digital modeling tools for designing workstations and products in an optimal manner.
At Humantech, we have always stressed that ergonomics be driven by engineering and the most successful ergonomic programs are those that seamlessly integrate with engineering and operations. This involves providing design guidelines and design for ergonomics and assembly principles to engineers (which, by the way, advances your program up the Ergonomics Maturity Curve™.)
Did you hear Dr. Chaffin’s talk? We are curious to hear your thoughts on his presentation and the AMP.