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Virtual Human Factors Tools for Proactive Ergonomics: Qualitative Exploration And Method Development

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posted on 2021-05-22, 15:36 authored by Jorge Perez

This thesis presents two studies that explore the use of Virtual Human Factors Tools (VHFT), such as Predetermined Motion Time Systems (PMTS), Digital Human Models (DHM) and Discrete Event Simulation (DES). Study 1 investigated the needs and expectations of ergonomist and engineers through a series of explorative workshops. Nine characteristics of concern to participants were identified in the tools: time, cost, training, difficulty to use, trustworthiness, graphics, flexibility, usefulness and report presentation. These characteristics can influence VHFT uptake and application decisions. Study 2 explored the integration of DES, PMTS, DHM and existing fatigue models, in an assembly context, to predict the accumulation of muscular fatigue. This study demonstrated the feasibility of using VHFT in conjunction and that DES can predict ergonomic outcomes such as work-related fatigue and recovery.  The study also uncovered some problems with the existing fatigue models, highlighting the need for further research and development of those models.





Master of Applied Science


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Patrick Neumann