Ergonomics as basis for a decision support system in the printing industry


The newspapers must be printed each night in a very short time, in order to deliver them next morning. A printing plant must perfectly design the production, in which some manual operations as the supplement insertion are critical. The main concerns about this manufacturing step are to determine ergonomically the maximum capacity to setup and feed the line by the workers and improve the knowledge on the input conditions of each supplement. A decision support system to determine the number of hired workers needed for the manual insertion (setup and feeding) was developed for a printing plant. It takes into account the supplement characteristics, ergonomic issues and the production rates. A linear program has been defined and some variants have been studied. The new system led to a 13% increase in productivity, a reduction in cost overruns and an important reduction in labor costs. The system may be used for a short-term staff planning.

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Correspondence to Manuel Mateo.

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Mateo, M., Tarral, M., Rodríguez, P.M. et al. Ergonomics as basis for a decision support system in the printing industry. Cent Eur J Oper Res 28, 685–706 (2020).

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  • Ergonomics
  • Manufacturing
  • Decision support system
  • Staff planning