Thermal Comfort Assessment and Optimization of Environmental Factors by Using Taguchi Method
Problem statement: The objective of this study was to determine the dominance effects of environmental factors such as Illuminance (lux), relative humidity (%) and WBGT (°C) on the operators’ productivity at Malaysian automotive industry. Approach: One automotive parts assembly factory had been chosen as a subject for the study. The subjects were workers at the assembly section of the factory. The environment examined was the Illuminance (lux), relative humidity (%) and WBGT (°C) of the surrounding workstation area. Two sets of representative data including the Illuminance, relative humidity (%) and WBGT (°C) level and production rate were collected during the study. All the data was measured using Babuc apparatus which is capable to measure simultaneously those mentioned environmental factors. The time series data of fluctuating level of environmental were plotted to identify the significant changes of factors. Then Taguchi Method was being utilized to find the sequence of dominance factors that contributed to the productivity of operator at the specified production workstation. From there, optimum level for the three factors will be determine for optimum productivity. Further multiple linear regressions were employed to obtain the equation model in order to represent the relationship of these environmental factors towards productivity. Results: the thermal comfort assessments of this station which was the scale PMV was 2 and PPD is 79% ware likely to be satisfied by the worker. Conclusion: The study revealed that the dominant factor contribute to the productivity at the body assembly production line is WBGT and Illuminance whereas the empirical finding was closely related to the perception study by survey questionnaire distribution.
Copyright: © 2009 A. R. Ismail, M. R.A. Rani, Z. K.M. Makhbul, K. Sopian and B. M. Deros. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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