Ergonomics and intralogistics – a strong team

23. Aug 2017 item Redaktion

How two key performance features of cutting-edge industrial work benches complement each other perfectly thanks to compatible interfaces.

Even in times of innovative solutions for automating working processes, manual assembly remains one of the main keys to efficient production flows in many industries. Ergonomics and intralogistics at industrial work benches are essential factors in achieving this. They lay the foundations that allow each employee to use their full potential to achieve consistently high production quality with low throughput times. In this article, we make it clear once again why a cutting-edge work bench system only achieves its full potential in terms of boosting manual production efficiency when the individual elements fall into place.

Why ergonomics is so valuable at industrial work benches

Many companies still underrate the importance of ergonomics in industrial production. It is easy to overlook the clear benefits of ergonomic design in industrial work benches, as they only become clear on closer inspection. Ultimately, ergonomics is not primarily about more comfortable working conditions, but rather maintaining the high productivity of manual assembly staff for the long term.

An electrically height adjustable work bench, for example, enables employees to switch easily between sitting and standing while carrying out assembly work. Since different people are different heights, employees can select the bench height that suits them best. Without this kind of option, smaller or particularly tall workers are forced to adopt an uncomfortable posture before they even start their work. The same applies to material supply and picking, which can help boost production efficiency when it is not static but rather can be adapted to the specific handling area of each employee.

Using intralogistics to achieve fast throughput times

The full potential of ergonomics at industrial work benches can only be harnessed when not hindered by delays in other areas. A critical point in this is often material resupply for the worker at the bench. There is a good reason why the efficient management of resupply systems is a major factor in lean production. The FIFO process and just-in-sequence are just two examples of practical solution.

When it comes down to it, the aim of efficient intralogistics is always to ensure the production work of manual assembly workers is disturbed as little as possible. If workers have to interrupt their work when new material arrives, or worse, have to go and get the material themselves from a central pallet, this represents an unnecessary waste of time. The main aim in intralogistics is to ensure work benches are supplied with standard containers that are as large as possible, with no need to worry about sorting. The perfect intralogistics system thus both safeguards the flow of materials and uses grab containers and grab plate profiles to create a direct interface with individual industrial work benches.

Ergonomics and intralogistics become ergologistic®

This interface is precisely what item ergologistic® is all about. Industrial work benches designed using this principle combine the benefits of ergonomic work bench design with continuous material resupply, allowing workers to concentrate fully on value creation. For example, with item ergologistic®, small parts in standard containers can be resupplied to industrial work benches simply by sliding them in from the rear on trays fitted with a raised edge at the operator’s side. The transport trolleys are constructed from the same modular components as the work benches so that both elements can easily be adjusted to each other to provide smooth transfers.

In summary, production processes can only be made significantly more efficient by seamlessly combining ergonomically optimised manual production steps with the time savings that come from perfectly connected intralogistics. The fact this holistic ergonomic concept also significantly reduces the risk of long-term musculoskeletal disorders is an added bonus to the already positive effect of these systems.

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