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Ergonomics Considerations in IT-Enabled Computer-Aided Design for Discrete Manufactured Products

Nwaigwe, Adaeze (2006) Ergonomics Considerations in IT-Enabled Computer-Aided Design for Discrete Manufactured Products. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Despite great advances in the field of ergonomics, its integration into computer-aided product design remains a great need, especially during conceptual design. In order that a product be designed for safety and comfort, it is essential that pertinent ergonomic principles be imposed as design constraints during design conceptualization. Further, it is vital that these constraints be propagated to downstream design activities so that they can be considered along with other design constraints such as manufacturing and assembly, in deriving design alternatives and subsequently in determining the outcome of the final product. This should enable the design of safer and more comfortable products, minimize design iterations that often result from ergonomic violations, reduce design cycle time and hence minimize product lifecycle cost. The objective of this dissertation was to provide an efficient and effective method for integrating ergonomics into computer aided product design. To achieve this objective, first, the principles of ergonomics in relation to product design were stated and then represented algebraically so that these principles can easily be integrated into computer aided design. Next, discrete products were categorized into twelve classes on the basis of the function(s) users would perform on them. Ergonomic principles constraining each product class were then provided. As such, by means of this categorization a designer should easily acquire ergonomic rules that constrain a design within a product category. Thirdly, to make ergonomic constraints available to downstream design activities for the generation of design alternatives and subsequently, the derivation of the final product, a means, based on Extensible Markup Language technology, was provided for ergonomic constraints propagation. This work was implemented in a Java-based software application and demonstrated in the design of a wheelchair seat cushion. For validation, the results obtained were compared to those of an existing product.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Nwaigwe, Adaezeafmst14@pitt.eduAFMST14
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairNnaji, Bart
Committee MemberWolfe, Harvey
Committee MemberSacre, Mary
Committee MemberCham, Rakie
Committee MemberCooper, Rory
Date: 1 February 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 April 2005
Approval Date: 1 February 2006
Submission Date: 10 April 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Industrial Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Algebraic Constraint Representation; CAD; Computer-Aided Design; Computer-Aided Product Design; Conceptual design; Design; Ergonomic Rules; Ergonomics; Ergonomics Principles; Extensible Markup Language; Wheelchair Seat Cushion; XML
Other ID:, etd-04102005-135304
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:35
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:39


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