Ergonomic Assessment of Material Handling in CV Joint Assembly

Ergonomic Assessment of Material Handling in CV Joint Assembly

Juan Luis Hernández-Arellano (Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Mexico), J. Nieves Serratos-Perez (Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico) and Porfirio Peinado Coronado (Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0130-5.ch006


Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSD) is one of the most common problems that affect productivity in industrial processes. This chapter presents the ergonomic evaluation of the main tasks in a Constant Velocity (CV) Joint assembly process. Tasks selected and evaluated using ergonomic methods were the transport of manufacturing parts on carts, parts supply at the workstation, materials handling within the workstation, and loading of the finished product on pallets. The ergonomic evaluation was performed by applying both Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) method, and Rodgers' Biomechanical analysis. The analysis showed the existence of very high and high risk levels. Body regions most affected were elbow, shoulder, trunk, hip, legs, arm, and wrist. Ultimately, this research highlights the urgent need to perform corrective actions and further assessment for the CV Joint assembly process tasks studied.
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1. Introduction

High frequency of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSD) has been reported for assembly tasks performed in the production of automobile parts. Low and high back, neck, right ankle, and right wrist (in that particular order), were the most common sites of trouble in workers within this kind of process, as reported by Serratos, Hernandez, and Negrete (2014). The work herein presented refers to the ergonomic evaluation of Constant Velocity (CV) Joint assembly process. This entails putting together semi axes, bells, tulips, and other components. A report by Hernandez-Arellano, Brunette, Ibarra-Mejia, and Balderrama (2014), shows that the average cycle time to assemble a CV Joint is 30 seconds (±10 s). The semi axis is the first piece to be manipulated by the worker. It weighs typically a minimum of 3 kg. By the end of the assembly process, the CV Joint weighs up to 14 kg. The facility where the study was performed produces over 50 different models of CV Joints. The operations performed by workers are manual loading-unloading of pieces (to/from the machines), and inspection of parts. Occasionally, the workers operate the control panel of the Hydraulic Presses.

The main objective of this study is to perform the ergonomic risk assessment of manual materials handling activities involved in the assembly of Constant Velocity (CV) Joints at a manufacturing company located in Central Mexico.

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