REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0402.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Virtual Reality; Digital Human Modeling; Physical Ergonomics Analysis; Product Development; Automotive Industry
Online: 22 November 2021 (14:13:48 CET)
The efficacy of the product development process is measured by the ability to launch a project with product and production process specifications that could guarantee that the manufacturing can produce it with the least impact. If a problem is detected late, they bring consequences beyond the high cost of the solution, if related to physical ergonomics, which will influence the well-being of operators, productivity, and quality. Virtual Reality (VR) and Digital Human Modeling (DHM) are ones of the enabling technologies of Industry 4.0 and has already been applied on a large scale in industries such as automotive, construction, and aeronautics. However, even though the huge applications, these technologies are not yet applied by these industries for the analysis of physical ergonomics during product development phases. This study aims to characterize the state of the art and technology about the application of Virtual Reality and Digital Human Modeling for the physical ergonomics analysis in the during product development phases in the industry through a systematic review of the literature and patents. In patent documents recovery, we used Derwent Innovation database. The research is based on searching the selected terms in the title, summary, and claims of the documents through a search strategy containing IPC code and keywords. In articles recovery, we searched ScienceDirect, Springer, and IEEExplore databases for scientific publications. The search resulted in 311 patents documents and 16 articles in the scientific database. This study analyzed the patents to map out the technological progress in this area, where we found in the charts and data an increasing number of publications per year and a spread application with a considerable number of new technologies presented in these recent patents. The literature review indicated that Virtual Reality technology complements the Digital Human Modeling during physical ergonomics analysis for manufacturing process already designed. The majority of research on the use of VR and DHM technologies for physical ergonomics analysis focus on the automotive industry and the ergonomic assessment of workstations and current processes. Further research is needed to investigate how Virtual Reality and Digital Human Modeling might assist in the understanding of physical ergonomics in certain tasks throughout the product development process, such as the simulation of worker posture or effort when assembling parts.