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Ergonomics assessment and design intervention in jaggery making units

Occupational ergonomics have now been accepted as major factor influencing system’s productivity. Traditional jaggery making in India is characterized by large employment it generates while processing about 20% of total sugarcane being cultivated in the country. Traditional design along with its low productivity also influences the physical health of the workers involved. Ergonomics studies have been mainly conducted for modern manufacturing and industrial processes. Jaggery making unlike industrial activities is different in numerous aspects. Hence, literature on learnings from ergonomic studies of two agricultural sector and two food processing industries have been reviewed more specifically. Present study was conducted at two traditional jaggery making units in Kolhapur region of Maharashtra state, with an attempt to understand various aspects of productivity and ergonomic problems involved in traditional Jaggery making. Individual activities in traditional jaggery making were identified, of which manual jaggery molding was considered for detailed study. After identifying individual equipment involved in molding operation, relative rankings were computed for each of them. Cooling pan was then selected for first design intervention. Characteristics of traditional design were studied and potential improvement areas were identified by brainstorming. Conceptual designs were made for addressing problems inherent in traditional design. Proposed design have been evaluated as improved version by pairwise comparison. Modifications have been suggested for Geometry of cooling pan and an improved method of filling jaggery molds have also been proposed while reducing the number of redundant motions involved. Three dimensional CAD models have been developed for both traditional and proposed cooling pan design, of which Computer-human simulations have to be performed with suggested modifications

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