Addressing human variability and work performance through an inclusive design method

Humans are vital in meeting production requirements in manufacturing systems, but performance is strongly influenced by factors including experience, age, skill, physical and cognitive abilities and atti-tudes towards work. Typical manufacturing system design processes do not adequately account for these variability issues and an ‘inclusive design’ approach is proposed to address the problem. The diversity of the global workforce is described and the importance of older workers as an increasingly larger propor-tion of the workforce is emphasised. The decline in physical capabilities of older workers creates a mis-match between job demands and working capabilities, and this is described in the context of assembly. An inclusive design approach based on the HADRIAN digital human modeling approach is proposed to offer a more productive, safe and healthy working environment. It is suggested that healthy and safe working conditions give benefits in terms of workforce satisfaction, reduced turnover, higher productivity and im-proved quality.