A workstation design for a Philippine semiconductor firm

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering

Subject Categories

Industrial Engineering


Gokongwei College of Engineering


Industrial Engineering

Thesis Adviser

Dr. Rosemary R. Seva

Defense Panel Chair

Dennis Beng Hui

Defense Panel Member

Debbie Ann P. Nacu
Rumel V. Atienza


Designing a man's work environment to fit his needs is a basic ergonomic principle. The quality of his performance is not solely determined by his skill but by the environment where he works. It is therefore, necessary to design a workstation that improves his safety, well-being and performance. This study designs a workstation for printed circuit board (pcb) assembly that eliminates the pain experienced by the workers that eventually improves their productivity and satisfy their needs. In order to assess the present workstation used by the pcb assembly workers, a workstation audit was conducted. The workstation audit aimed to determine the pains experienced by the workers in the conduct of their work, the time for pain to set in, their requirements for a good workstation and the productivity index used by the company. The problem tackled in this study is the occurrence of pain in different body parts of the workers while using their work station. This problem was validated by choosing a host company where in-depth study was done. The host company for this study is Electronics Assemblies, Inc., a contract manufacturer of printed circuit boards. The workstation being used in EAI was evaluated using postural stress analysis and the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA). Biomechanical modelling was also utilized to determine the forces and moments acting on the body of the operator while working. Furthermore, anthropometric data of the workers were gathered to determine whether they are fitted to the workstation they are using.

The aforementioned methods of analysis revealed that the posture of the workers while working are inappropriate and should be improved. Statistical analysis of anthropometric data and the dimension of the current workstation also suggested that anthropometry was not considered in the design of the present workstation. After assessing the current workstation, alternative designs of the chair and table were generated to come up with the most suitable workstation for the users. After careful evaluation using Kepner-Tregoe Decision Analysis, the railing of the table was decided to be tilted at 25 degree angle to minimize neck and trunk flexion and the chair to be cushioned with a pillow to improve working posture. The prototype designed improved the posture of the workers. The trunk flexion was totally eliminated and the neck flexion was reduced from 48 to 50 degrees to only 25 degrees. The Rapid Upper Limb Assessment was used again to evaluate the prototype and the grand score has improved by one point which suggests an improvement in the design. Similarly, biomechanical modelling was also used and the moments and forces acting on the operator's body was significantly decreased due to the improvement in the new workstation. Finally, the productivity of the worker was analyzed by conducting a time study. Time study results yielded an increase in productivity by 17 percent which can be attributed to the new workstation design. The study concluded that the pains experienced by the workers in the semiconductor industry is brought about by the poor posture they assume while working. The poor posture is brought about by the inappropriate design of their workstations. The difficulties encountered by the workers can be eliminated or improved by designing workstations that suit their anthropometry and considers the posture they assume while working.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

133 leaves


Semiconductors industry; Human engineering; Man-machine systems; Human comfort; Work design; Engineering design; Ergonomics

This document is currently not available here.