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Material handling during the production process phases can expose workers to physical risk factors.
Some examples of factors to consider are: dimensions of the isolator or glove box (not oversized nor undersized), avoid operator fatigue or injury during the process (awkward postures, forcefull exertions, static postures or pressure points…); repetitive motions (lifting, carrying, reaching…); adequate visibility (with right positioning of flange gloves; lighting), proper acces to every component of the process; door opening and rapid transfer ports systems; increase the user confort (evaluating type of gloves / sensibility, avoiding sharp edges).
To underestimate or neglect these factors can lead to operator health problem along time i.e. musculoskeletal disorders, reduce the confort, cleanability, time to perform the working procedures.
Isolators or glove boxes are usually custom made project and have therefore to take in consideration specific needs. Each project is a challenge.
The mock-up study helps the end-user and the manufacturer to define the best solutions, considering the repeated and continual operator handling tasks for the kind of process, therefore drastically reducing margin for irrecoverable errors.
Isolators are a phisical barrier between the operator and the process/product. The isolator designer must be sure that the final operator will feel confortable working with the isolator and that will be able to perform all the required operations.
Designing an isolator with the wrong size (too small or too big), with wrong doors and/or with gloves positioned in the wrong location can affect the efficiency of the project.
The Mock Up study grants excellent value for a small amount of money and time invested.
End-users and Isolator manufacturer, working together, can drastically increase the possibilities to win the challenge!