The Conductix-Wampfler Group is a global company that designs and manufactures efficient energy and data transmission systems for all types of mobile equipment and machinery. The Ergonomic Handling Systems (EHS) department in Weil am Rhein, Germany is responsible for designing, producing and improving material and equipment handling systems for German industries. One of Conductix-Wampfler’s mobile workstation products, known as the Tool Carrier Trolley (TCT), functions as a mobile electrical and compressed air distribution system. These systems are sold to companies in various industries to provide assembly line workers with an ergonomic method of accessing tools and parts. Recently, it was brought to light that current TCT models provide poor ergonomics when user height and task type varies. TCTs are sold to industries that commonly have multiple employees using a single TCT on different shifts or for different tasks. Therefore, in order for the TCT to provide optimal ergonomics for employees of different heights, who perform a range of tasks, the height of the TCT should be adjustable.
Elise Fairholm, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate a new generation of tool trolley systems which are tailored to provide better ergonomics for factory workers.
The main expected learning outcome is for students to practice design synthesis. It is intended that the case study be open-ended, where students will need to move through the engineering design process, and conceptualize adequate solutions based on their identified requirements. This case study is intended to have students learn about the need analysis phase of the engineering design process.