In 2013 a U.S. manufacturing company asked Virtalis to review a multitude of tasks that its workers will perform using gloveboxes in a new facility.

Because of operators’ repetitive movements, the gloveboxes must be designed for ergonomic safety. In response, Virtalis helped develop an immersive system to review the more than 1000 individual tasks while adhering to a tight and shrinking schedule.

Unlike the glovebox in your automobile dashboard, these gloveboxes are a sealed, environmentally controlled compartment that allows workers to safely handle or protect the materials inside by accessing them through port holes with rubber gloves.

Gloveboxes are used in a variety of industries—from medical and laboratory sciences to special materials processing. The difficulty is that they are rather large bulky frames with fairly small confined spaces to perform work.

Historically, the customer would have observed similar tasks or fabricated mock-up processes and reviewed an operator’s motions. While such methods work for existing evaluations, they are not effective for designing new processes that may go through several design iterations.

Since the customer had previous experience with an ergonomic analysis tool called Delmia, Virtalis introduced Haption’s real-time target identification package. This add-on, along with the AR Tracking system, allows the customer to immerse an operator in a virtual world to evaluate rapidly changing designs while performing live ergonomic reviews on the operator’s posture.

The Virtalis option helped increase accuracy and reduce schedule, which for the customer were paramount.