Motion Capture and Ergonomics at the Workplace
One of the key requirements in the production field today is to make the workplace as suitable for employees as possible – everything without influencing the efficiency of production. This is mostly based on the rising cost of any workforce as well as the strict legislative policies in most countries. It is quite logical that companies today reflect these realities by enhancing their workplace ergonomics.
The traditional approach based on broad experience and systematic work cannot be replaced, but as technology goes further, there are new ways to make the pipeline faster and to improve the efficiency of the workforce by optimizing overall ergonomics; this can be critical as it can allow optimization of a workplace for workers without extensive years of experience in their field.
The new approach is dealing with ergonomics using digital factory tools, implementing motion capture as the motion data source. Many companies are using this approach already, such as Skoda, Hyundai, Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, with countless more to follow.
The most advanced solutions in the field of digital factory and ergonomics comes from Siemens (Jack, Process Simulate Human) and Dassault Systems (Delmia V5 Human, Catia V5).
But, There is Always a But...
For analyzing the ergonomic conditions at the workplace (using digital factory tools), one must model workers' movements. Even though most ergonomic tools are highly sophisticated, this task can become the most time-consuming in the whole optimization process.
Expert estimations (and our own experience proves) states that it takes 4 hours to create just 1 minute of the workers' tasks! And this applies only for expert-users in particular ergonomic tools (Delmia or Siemens). This is not because the tool is hard to use, but because it takes some time to cover all human body degrees of freedom in order to compile natural-looking movements.
Here Comes the Motion Capture Technology
Why not to use motion capture to solve this problem?
Synertial systems allow you to capture REAL and NATURAL human motions in REAL-TIME. There is some post-processing necessary, but this is an incredible forward leap from the “4-hours of work for 1 minute of simulation” to a “few-minutes of capture for 1 minute of simulation.” In fact, with inertial motion capture systems, the post-processing is often not necessary and when it is, it is quicker and more reliable to re-record the motion in order to fix it
It is not a problem anymore to create a case study for putting material into a shelf (new shelf design virtually in laboratory or real one at the workplace), to analyse assembly tasks directly on the assembly line, to find out the visibility of workers while performing an assembly, or to analyse a car-driver seat adjustment in a real car interior...
Inertial motion capture systems are reliably simple to start – for example with the Synertial IGS 180i, it takes only a few minutes to put the suit on the worker, to turn on the wireless unit, and to calibrate the system (one click), as then, you are ready to capture.
With Syneryial IGS systems, you can capture anywhere – they are light and comfortable, and work wireless with a battery that lasts for at least 2 hours (and is easily replaceable and hot-swapable with its spares). At the other end, you need just one laptop and wireless router (which works on batteries as well and is included with the system), so you are super-portable and if you follow (ideally 30 meters of less) the captured subject, the capture area is unlimited!
Synertial motion capture systems calibrate the sensors before each use, therefore the system is always fresh and precise. Industrial line – IGS 180i – is provided with special industrial suit which covers sensors from being hit and cables being stuck in the work environment. If something goes wrong, it is trivial to replace broken sensors as well as to continue work.
The magnetic compensation feature is included in all Synertial systems and the IGS 180i for industrial use implements its enhanced version to survive heavy industrial environments, without difficulty.
Now capturing motions is possible in previously forbidden areas for inertial motion capture systems as assembly lines, welding shops or even car interiors, as many of our customers verify every day.
Synertial has created the ultimate communication interface for the Siemens ergonomics software – Jack and Process Simulate Human for all Synertial motion capture systems. That means you are now able to see and analyse workers' natural motions from the real workplace, working on real tasks in REAL-TIME (offline replay is possible as well). This interface is called IGS Jack and together with EtherJack (SynDash sync tool), it allows you to operate the figure body (IGS 180i) together with fingers (IGS Glove) effectively.
Interface for Dassault Systems – Delmia is also available.
To list other options, Synertial provides drivers for: MotionBulider, Unity, and Unreal.
As a worldwide leader in inertial motion capture systems, Synertial provides a wide range of motion capture systems – from basic models (IGS 150) to high end “All body” (IGS 180i + 2 x IGS Glove) solutions.
With Synertial you shall receive a personal approach while consulting, designing, delivering and using your motion capture system – we will always be there for you.
Let us help you to get from modelling motions to analyzing them - Today!
We look forward to your call.