Comfort Driven Redesign Methods: An Application to Mattresses Production Systems

M. Vallone, A. Naddeo*, N. Cappetti, R. Califano
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Salerno, via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, 84084, Fisciano (SA), Italy.

© 2015 Vallone et al

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Salerno, via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, 84084, Fisciano (SA), Italy.


The definitions of methods and tools used to evaluate how workers perceive the comfort during their activities remains an “open” problem at this time. Many researchers have dealt with that problem in the last twenty years, focusing their efforts primarily on the automotive sector and on VDT workstation comfort.

This paper analyzes how workers position themselves at workstations used in industrial processes that sew together the edges of mattresses. The aim of the analysis is to determine whether workers can position themselves in ways that allow them to carry out activities in simple and economical ways.

The Strain Index was used to identify the most critical and risky work phases in order to evaluate workers' risk of biomechanical overload. The OCRA checklist was used to evaluate the overall risk level associated with repeated completions of the total cycle of work and to develop a virtual-postural analysis to evaluate workers' perceived levels of discomfort.

For the virtual-postural analysis, DELMIA® software was used to virtually model a workstation, and records of activities and the postures associated with various repetitive actions were gathered in a non-invasive manner with cameras and video cameras. CaMAN® software developed by the researchers from the Department of Industrial Engineering in Salerno (Italy) was used to calculate comfort indexes.

An analysis of the comfort indexes was used to make as the basis for suggestions to correct workers' postures and for plans to redesign the workstations in order to improve ergonomics and allow workers to perceive them as more comfortable.

Keywords: Comfort evaluation criteria, digital human modeling, ergonomics, non-invasive postural analysis, redesign.