Human factors engineering has been applied to the design of an overheadbridge crane control console for use by a seated operator in a clean-room environment. The crane console provides the operator with the ability to lift and move loads up to 27.5 tons (24.9 tonnes) in three vertical speed ranges and three horizontal speed ranges with a horizontal and vertical positioning accuracy of 0.010 in. (0.25 mm) and 0.005 in. (0.13 mm), respectively. The design, to be used with radio communication, provides the operator with information on position, velocity, and crane functioning, allowing the operator to move the load precisely while having no visibility of the crane hook (a unique Kennedy Space Center requirement that necessitated a wavier from a Federal safety regulation). The console dimensions and seating provide adjustability to accommodate 90 percent of the population and minimize the risk factors associated with fatigue and cumulative trauma disorders. The controls and displays were selected to optimize human performance. They were arranged according to functional groups, sequence, and frequency of expected use and positioned to optimize reach, visibility, and legibility. The systematic application of human factors engineering principles throughout the design process will reduce the probability of human error during operations and maintenance, thereby increasing overall safety in crane operations.

This work was done by Faith T. Chandler and William D. Valentino of The Boeing Company for Kennedy Space Center.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to

the Technology Commercialization Office
Kennedy Space Center
(321) 867-8130.

Refer to KSC-12279.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2002 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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