Strategos Lean Briefing

The Newsletter of Lean Manufacturing Strategy
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30 August  2005             

Workstation Design & Ergonomics

Ultimately, value is added at the workstation level where products are built. Eliminating waste here is just as important as eliminating it through inventory, material handling and in other areas.

The Principles of Motion Economy, developed by Ralph M. Barnes over 70 years ago, are an excellent tool for the productivity side of workstation design. However, productivity is not the only issue. An effective design is not just productive; it protects workers from ergonomic injury. 

Our new Ergonomics pages provide a concise overview of topics that apply to manufacturing. They include Physiology, Anthropometrics, Biomechanics and functional allocation. Our "Principles of Ergonomics" mirror Barne's principles and provide a practical tool for design.

Many designers see conflict between productivity and ergonomics. But, the use of both Motion Economy and Ergonomics is not only possible, it is essential. There is rarely a true conflict between productivity and ergonomic objectives. 

Our new pages on Workstation Design illustrate a structured, step-by-step approach for designers that incorporates both Ergonomics and Motion Economy.

Designing workstations is just one aspect of the plant layout and Facilities Planning. For more information, you may download a free copy of my book, "Facilities and Workplace Design"

Quarterman Lee

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Books & Videos

Guide to Cycle Counting

Warehouse Planning Guide

Human Side of Lean Video