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Premium AEROTEC: Efficient ergonomic assessment with EAWS rapid analysis

The aviation supplier, Premium AEROTEC, is counting on the experience of Deutsche MTM Gesellschaft mbH to further improve the ergonomics at its work stations. The relevant analysis work and assessment of the workplaces and the improvement possibilities emerging from this was the focus of a joint project conducted at the corporation’s business site in Varel. Premium AEROTEC is an MTM member corporation and it manufactures individual parts and assembles components like door frames with approx. 1,500 employees at its business location in Varel. The parts manufacturing department produces highly complex machined, turned and milled parts made of aluminum, steel and titanium for all the designs in the Airbus family, the A400M military transporter and the Eurofighter. With the tried and tested EAWS rapid analysis feature, the project team used a particularly efficient methodology that was comprehensible to all those involved. 

Result:  a valide data base and many design solutions
The 80/20 rule was used in addition to the ergonomic assessment standard EAWS (Ergonomic Assessment Worksheet). The former indicates that it is necessary to quickly identify on a scientific basis the 20 percent of work stations where 80 percent of the work loads are found. Interviews with the employees formed the basis for the rapid screening of the workplaces in the rotation parts department. The data was gathered in paper form and was understandable to all. Only those work stations, which had a high ergonomic risk, i.e. “red” workplaces, were then observed more closely using the EAWSdigital software. This is a procedure that saves time and money – and enables operators to concentrate on what is essential. The project not only provides a valid database. The analyses also gave birth to a large number of design solutions, which can be directly put into practice.

Implement concrete changes on the shop floor
Involving the employees from the outset is particularly important for Vjatscheslav Ponkraschkin, Head of Industrial Engineering at PAG in Varel. “The important thing about the analyses is the actions and the fields of activity that we can derive from them for our employees at the site. The work and expenditure have only paid off if the working environment for our employees is tangibly improved from an ergonomic point of view following the analysis – i.e. if we achieve specific changes on the shop floor.” Employees from the production department, managers, representatives from the works council and the IE experts at Premium AEROTEC and MTM therefore came together at the start of the project. All those involved, for example, were able to get to know the key participants and understand the project goals. This guarantees close cooperation with the responsible master craftsmen and work planners.

Consideration of the entire load situation significantly

The project also included inspecting the work stations in the rotation parts department and analyzing the existing data structure (production program). The determining factors for time and ergonomics were also specified.  This involved focusing on the load duration and the load intensity, related to unfavorable postures, usage of force and manually handling loads – as well as any possible stresses on the upper extremities. That is to say: How often are parts with a particular weight moved or how long does the worker have to operate with an unfavorable posture – for example, bent over forwards? The results of any ergonomic assessment crucially depend on observing the complete load situation, particularly the load points for the whole body.

Transparency creates acceptance
The assessment of the work stations took place on the basis of a jointly developed one-page document, a standard template or check list for the interviews with the employees on the shop floor. Involving the employees directly makes the procedure transparent and the results verifiable. This, in turn, creates acceptance for measures used to design the work stations and as regards improved behavioral ergonomics. Further details were added to the one-page document during the interviews and supplemented, if necessary – e.g. with extra points for a particular workload. One important milestone involved conducting parallel interviews at similar work stations in order to check the standard and enable the one-page document to be used for ergonomic assessment purposes at other, similar production areas at Premium AEROTEC.

Effort: each work 30 minutes
The project team needed about 30 minutes to complete the rapid analysis on the shop floor in the rotation parts production department and another 15 minutes to input the data at a PC. This approach ensured efficient procedures for the ergonomic assessments. The first stage therefore gave rise to a valid database for Premium AEROTEC, the so-called ergonomic map. An MTM project always provides design solutions too, which can be introduced with low costs at short notice or more major investments over the medium or long term and they clearly pay dividends. The ergonomic project has already enabled those involved to make great strides in reaching their common goal of further improving the ergonomics at the work stations.

Contact for more information:

Ralf Jaehnke, Deutsche MTM-Gesellschaft mbH,


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