Office of Undergraduate Research

Assembly Force Requirements and Human Capabilities in Upstream Design Planning

The objective of this study is to quantify the effects of design parameters of common assembly parts on force/torque required during assembly processes. The results of this study will be tabulated into a decision matrix that will be used by designers to match task requirements to human capabilities thereby helping to reduce work related upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. This phase of the study will explore the effects of fastener: head design, thread pitch, and insertion material; and grommet: material, diameter, lead angle on applied force/torque requirements. Applied forces and torques will be measured using instrumentation. Human subjects will use standardized tools to insert fasteners and grommets and provide ratings of perceived exertion for each experimental combination. Data will be analyzed and provide the effect of fastener parameters on applied force/torque as well as whether those effects are detectable by human operators (ratings of perceived exertion).

Tasks and responsibilities:

The student will be incorporated into every aspect of the project, thereby becoming immersed in the research process. Working closely with the faculty, the student will identify key parameters that will require experimental control, design and build necessary fixtures and instrumentation and collect data on 25 subjects. Following data collection, the student will work under the supervision of the faculty to statistically analyze data and prepare simple tools for use by product designers. Finally, the student will consult with the faculty's industry partners to identify what common assembly parts and parameters are suitable for future, larger scale study.