Dec 04 2007

VW Optimizes Ergonomic Integrity with Dassault Systèmes DELMIA V5 Human

Visualization Tool Helps Ensure Manufacturing Efficiency

Auburn Hills, Michigan, December 4, 2007  Dassault Systèmes (DS) (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, announced that its DELMIA Human software is being used by Volkswagen AG to ergonomically design its human assembly line functions. The software’s prototyping capability provides communication between designers, engineers and operators to maximize the efficiency and speed of human motion in a manufacturing situation.

To eliminate the potential for physical injury to line workers, possible work stoppage or vehicle quality issues, Volkswagen thoroughly analyzes all human movement to assure ergonomic integrity and prevent situations which could compromise manufacturing efficiency.  For example, through simulation it can be discovered that it is difficult for an assembly line worker to reach a bolt and tighten it at the required line speed.  The work station layout and process can then be re-configured prior to its implementation on the plant floor.

“DELMIA Human gives me the ability to simulate the work environment on the computer to ensure ergonomic suitability before implementing in real life,” explains Maileen Zander, an ergonomics consultant for Volkswagen’s vehicle projects. “Since the system simulates many standard positions and one can also expand the body posture library, one is spared from having to manually model every new position. DELMIA Human is an essential tool for my work. Without the true-to-life simulation, we would be unable to verify our findings in the early planning phase.” DELMIA Human provides process and resource plan definition. “Zander uses DELMIA Human to create human CAD (Computer-Aided Design) models, called manikins, which can then realistically simulate the complex task procedures at each station.

Of the 65 moveable human body parts, 49 can be highlighted with individual colors. Certain body parts and areas like the spine, chest area, lumbar region or pelvis can be blocked or activated in the simulation. Objects can be added to the manikin, such as a hardhat that automatically moves with every motion. The field of vision also adjusts dynamically to the manikin’s movements.

The manikin not only moves autonomously, it also can walk on reference surfaces. In addition, DELMIA Human contains functions for climbing stairs and ladders, whereby the body automatically moves in synch with the limbs used. The human models can grasp objects within their reach, and the projected effort required for a certain activity when an individual is in a particular body position can be determined. The results achieved by Volkswagen so far are most positive and have made the leap from computer simulation to bona fide implementation; pre-assembly of the doors for the Golf’s successor model was ergonomically optimized.