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Evaluation of three working methods for cutting windshields seams in car repair

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Author: Grinten, M.P. van der · Bronkhorst, R.E.
Publisher: Elsevier
Place: Oxford
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Pikaar, R.N.Koningsveld, E.A.P.Settels, P.J.M., IEA 2006, 16th World Congress on Ergonomics "Meeting diversity in ergonomics"
Identifier: 278244
Keywords: Ergonomics · Arbeidsproductiviteit


A company for car glass repair requested a physical load evaluation study of three cutting methods for windshield removal. Aim was to get indications of the cutting forces in relation to the postures observed. A cutting knife, a traditional cutting wire and a new developed wire winder were tested. With two operators, two test series on 6 similar cars were executed. In series 1, postures were observed without disturbing the task execution. In series 2 we measured the forces with transducers fixed to the tool, requiring breaks in task execution. The results indicate large differences in main forces between tools. Heavy static pushing and pulling, up till the human limit, awkward body postures and precision was observed during the use of the knife. The wire winder rated best for forces and postures. It could be executed sitting in the car, contributing to a preferred variation of prolonged standing in other tasks. The wire winder was recommended, especially for ‘hard to cut’ seams. The tool and the preparational work could be further optimized. The traditional wire cutter was second best, but a risk of backward falling exists if a wire breaks; an improved work method could reduce hand force and risk. The cutting knife was not recommended.