A multi-criteria ergonomic and performance methodology for evaluating alternatives in “manuable” material handling

The objectives of this study were: 1) to develop an efficient multi-criteria approach for choosing the optimal alternative for “manuable” material handling, and 2) to apply the multi-criteria approach to a case study. In this paper, the authors use the single-word term “manuable” to refer to the definition “can be performed manually”. The case study results indicated that the use of the manipulator tested in this work may be preferable to manual material handling in situations in which the lifted weight is large (61% vs. 39%) as well as those situations in which the weight of the load could not apparently justify the investment necessary for a manipulator (53% vs. 47%). The case study also validated the selected approach. Furthermore, the applicability of the methodology was confirmed by the CEO of an Italian logistics and supply chain management company (Blu Pegaso S.r.l.). Relevance to industry This paper provides to the decision manager a structured approach regardless of industry and country for selection of the best alternative for manuable material handling that is able to satisfy the company objectives related to ergonomic criteria and production performance measures. The methodology also supports manufacturers of material handling devices in the optimisation of their products.

Diana Rossi, Enrico Bertoloni, Marco Fenaroli, Filippo Marciano, Marco Alberti, A multi-criteria ergonomic and performance methodology for evaluating alternatives in “manuable” material handling, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Vol. 43, no 4, July 2013, p. 314-327 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2013.04.009

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