MTM – Work design productive and safe

Gerresheimer Medical Systems plans to use own ergonomics data card

The Production Coordination Unit (PCU) at Gerresheimer Regensburg GmbH is responsible for factory planning and designing work systems with ergonomics in mind at Gerresheimer Medical Systems (MDS) sites around the world. This is based on objective data obtained with the help of MTM and a forward-looking procedure as regards avoidable, physical workloads in the work systems. The PCU launched an initial pilot scheme to introduce the relevant method standards with the ergonomics experts from Deutsche MTM-Gesellschaft mbH in 2015. The preparation of a specific Gerresheimer ergonomics data card to support the establishment of a transparent and long-term ergonomics process was the major focus of the project partners at the beginning of this year. The aim was to assess the work stations with simple and efficient methods and tools, which have been established at the corporation, in order to draw up the ergonomic data card. The project partners chose to combine the specific MTM-1 data already available at the corporation and the EAWS (Ergonomic Assessment Worksheet), the international standard for assessing the ergonomic risks of any activity.

Using the TiCon3 Base software module and the MTMergonomics® software tool (based on EAWS) not only accelerates the process of preparing time and ergonomic analyses. The crucial advantage is the direct connection between the MTM process building blocks and ergonomically relevant influencing factors. Complementing or coupling the corporation’s own MTM data cards with the specific ergonomic influencing factors makes it possible to prepare actual and planning analyses related to ergonomics and time simultaneously. The enterprise is already working with TiCon based on a specific corporate data card prepared with MTM-1.

The goal of the first project phase involved assigning the physical workloads that occur during activities – like unfavorable body postures or forces – to the basic movements.  This resulted in a matrix of different kinds of workloads with different levels of intensity; the information from the matrix was used to form the selective and default groups needed for the description in the software. The structuring, itemization and realization of the integration of the ergonomic data card was the focal point during phase 2. The milestones here were:

  • Reviewing the established structure and making possible adjustments
  • Ongoing coordination with the influencing factors needing to be recorded (expression, weighting, consolidation)
  • Introducing the ergonomic data card
  • Creating the groups and assigning the individual values and
  • Preparing test analyses and fine-tuning.

Selected work stations at the business location in Pfreimd formed the basis for preparing and validating the ergonomic data card. Typical examples were formed with regard to the activities/work procedures, the main activities were defined and coded and the MTM-1 process building blocks were individualized accordingly. Once the ergonomic influencing factors had been specified, the makeup of the ergonomic data card followed in Excel and the data was transferred to the MTM software TiCon. The risk analyses prepared there were finally checked once again and the ergonomic data card was optimized accordingly. 

This ergonomic data card not only enables the rapid preparation of planning analyses for time effort and ergonomic workloads – the crucial benefits of MTMergonomics® can be used without any great additional expenditure too. They include:

  • Calculating the workloads involved in job rotation
  • Quickly checking workloads for different body sizes and  
  • Taking into account the physical workloads when balancing the lines of the work systems.

The Production Coordination Unit not only has a specific Gerresheimer ergonomic data card for efficiently planning and organizing all the manual activities now. “The standardization of the ergonomic influencing factors (e.g. correct sitting to prevent any excess stress on a person’s neck or using the resources that are available) has a positive effect on the sustainability of the ergonomic process that has been initiated and therefore on the monetary effectiveness of the measures,” says Peter Felber, Global Senior Director PCU, Gerresheimer Regensburg GmbH, emphasizing the benefits. MTM will continue to support the company in expanding and further developing these standards along the value chain. 

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