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Ergonomic Industrial Workplace Increases Productivity

Hoffmann Group designs industrial workplaces according to the Japanese 5S method, which is based on the five principles of order: selection, arrangement, cleanliness, standardization and self-discipline.

Relieve the Strain on the Body

Using 5S, the storage place for a tool depends on its frequency of use. The tools are positioned according to importance within the employee's field of sight, and swiveling perforated side walls are used to adjust the work place to an arm's length. This means that grip holders, tools and visual information are always the same distance away from the employee. For uncluttered storage, perforated panels can be customized using Garant Easyfix hooks and holders. E-shaped foam inserts with gaps in the shape of tools give a quick overview of tool drawers and whether any tools are missing.

For employees who must spend more than two minutes standing up in the same position, seating or standing aids are available. They can absorb up to 60% of the body weight. Anti-tiredness mats placed in front of the work space can provide additional joint relief and help improve circulation in the legs. Anti-tiredness mats also collect dirt particles; absorb noise; shield the employee from the cold ground; and reduce stress caused by noise.

Adjust the Working Height

"To prevent back problems, damage to posture or alleviate tension in the neck and shoulders, it is important to adjust the height of the work bench or work station to fit the employee and job at hand," said a company spokesperson. "The ideal working height is generally below the heart height-depending on whether the work is being carried out standing up or sitting down-but between 70 cm and 150 cm is recommended. Tasks that require a lot of power need a working height 15-40 cm below the elbow. For very precise mechanical tasks, it is 10-20 cm above the elbow." Modern work benches and work stations are available with a manually or electrically height-adjustable work surface. If an employee is working on different sized components, it is enough to adjust the height of the work surface. In a multi-shift environment, completely height-adjustable work stations are recommended so that each employee can adjust the work station exactly to his or her height. Modern electrically adjustable work benches and work stations have a memory function, which means the work station can be set up quickly and easily.

Simplify Mobility

Since some employees need to be mobile within the company premises, there are also work benches available with a drive unit. Vises, tools and other heavy objects can easily be moved where needed.

For employees who need a solid and stable work bench and do not change their location very often, the Hoffmann Group has, for example, an electronically height adjustable work bench with mobile power supply, wheels and electronically retractable and extendable feet. After the feet have been extended, the work bench can simply be moved to another place. For employees who must move considerable distances during their shift, the Hoffmann Group invented a movable work bench with electric drive. The entire work station area can move up to 4 km/h forward and backward.

Ergonomic PPE and Tools

"The choice of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has an influence on the well-being, safety and productivity of the employees," said the spokesperson. "Safety shoes with a suitable damping system offer necessary protection and also help to prevent back pain. Breathable, highly-flexible gloves for assembly work offer protection and grip as well as comfort. Work clothing should offer a high flexibility of movement and be well-designed."

"Screwdrivers with rounded handles can transfer power more efficiently; tools with Santoprene grips lie better in the hands," added the spokesperson. "Low vibration tools and technical aids for vibration reduction provide further relief."

Planning an industrial work environment can be done in 3-D on the computer. The Hoffmann Group also offers a virtual tour of the premises using VR glasses. For setting up modern facilities based on clear planning and using a pre-defined grid, the Hoffmann Group additionally introduced the holistic set-up concept GridLine. "Using GridLine, aesthetics and functionality can still be guaranteed, even when changes are made to the set-up in the future," said the spokesperson.

For more information contact:

Hoffmann Group USA

202 N. Seven Oaks Drive

Knoxville, TN 37922


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