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Overlapping ergonomic evaluation in the automotive design process

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conference contribution
posted on 29.06.2015 by Dan Hogberg, Keith Case, Leo J. De Vin
Ergonomic evaluation typically comes late in the automotive design process, often not performed until physical mock-ups are produced. This may lead to expensive and cumbersome iterations, or to reductions of the final product quality due to low priority of meeting set ergonomic requirements. Computer aided design (CAD) is intensively used for design in the automotive industry. Performance and usability of computers and software are improving at a rapid pace, which enables CAD to be employed even more intensively. This encourages a digital design process where expensive, inflexible and time consuming physical mock-ups are only built at the end of the design process. This incorporates the risk that ergonomic evaluation will be put back even further. A way to address this problem is to enable ergonomics to be evaluated in the digital design process - in a virtual product. However, in many cases, evaluation made in a physical prototype is unbeatable in establishing ergonomic conditions. This paper discusses possible advantages of moving ergonomic evaluation earlier in the automotive design process by implementing planned overlapping strategies. It also shows initial results from a project at a car company, which aims at improving ergonomics integration in the automotive design process, e.g. by looking at task overlapping. These strategies are believed to be applicable both for evaluations made in a virtual environment and evaluations performed in the real world. KEYWORDS: design process, vehicle ergonomics, integrated product development



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

International Manufacturing Conference, IMC19 'Manufacturing the Future Through Innovation and Research', Proceedings of the International Manufacturing Conference, IMC19


233 - 241 (9)


HÖGBERG, D., CASE,K. and DE VIN, L.J., 2002. Overlapping ergonomic evaluation in the automotive design process. IN: Armstrong, P.J. (ed.) Proceedings of the International Manufacturing Conference, IMC19, Queen's University, Belfast, UK, 28-30 August 2002, pp.233-241


Queen's University, Belfast


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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This is a conference paper.






Queen's University, Belfast, UK


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