Essays on Human Factors in Consumer Products Essay

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 Unit Title Consumer Relations Unit Number 32520012/9Z3HND Credits 20 Level 5 Unit Leader & Contact Details Sofya Malik Mark Kelly Other Tutors & Contact Details Sofya Malik Mark Kelly Programme Title BSc (Hons)/HND Consumer Relations Academic Year 2013 Start Date 10-/01/2013 End Date 18/04/2013 Number of Weeks 12 Unit Specification Coursework Assignment1: HND Unit Title Consumer Relations Unit Number Coursework Number 2 % Weight 40% Learning Outcomes to be assessed through this work 1 and 3 Programme Title HND Consumer Relations Tutors Submission Deadline 15th April 2013 Submission Location Coursework Submission Box near Student Life Office Return Date to Students Confirmation of Moderation This assignment was scrutinised by the Assessment Moderation Panel and is considered as appropriate for the level of study and credit value of the unit. Date of Panel Meeting 2013 Name of Internal Moderator Objectives/Rationale The rationale of this assessment is to prepare a way to understand and examine the performance of consumer goods.

Secondly, this assessment aims at permitting application of ergonomic principles in the evaluation of a consumer product. Finally, the objective of this assessment is to promote recommendations of design changes on the basis of the product evaluation as well as the ergonomic assessment. Task Arrangement The tasks of this assessment were carried out in a group of three students. The task involved the determination of the ingredients and the preparation of sponge cake.

We take into consideration of the definition of Ergonomics according to Bridger (2009) as the application of scientific knowledge about human beings to designing of systems, objects and environment fit for human use. Of course, ergonomics covers everything involving people such as working systems, health matters, sports and leisure. Methodology In the group of three, we first pour 1 litre of water into a glass jar. We then proceed to separate the water into 5 small equal containers with numbers from 1 to 5. We then add hot water into the small containers separately and simultaneously.

At this stage, we take measurements of the temperatures. We then take time to identify the ingredients that the preparation of the sponge cake requires, and the proportions which are fit for each ingredient’s element. We finally put all the ingredients together in one container and put them inside the microware for a total of fifteen minutes. Variables The types of variables in this assessment include the Equipment, Environment, Ingredients or the materials to be used, operators and other general requirements. Environment The environmental condition that supports the tests varies and can be controlled.

The environmental condition that surrounds and affects the processes in the preparation of the cakes is either in the aspect of temperature or humidity. Any environmental variation that cannot be controlled can only be monitored and recorded. This is an important issue to put into consideration in the determination of the storage site. Ingredients /Materials The ingredients can take various forms such as wheat flour and other food additives such as water, coking fat, sugar, honey, eggs, milk and baking powder. These are essential chemicals for the production of consumable food product.

The use of each ingredient depends on the reactions that they may cause on the consumers and the health conditions of the consumers. For example, diabetic consumers will require sugarless foods products. Ultimately, the proportions of the materials used in the food production determine the size of the food products and the nature of customers capable of using the product. The variety of ingredients further has a significant influence on the storage conditions. Equipment The equipment in this experiment includes the jar and the water glasses.

By extension, the fire supply system forms part of the equipment Operator Operator in this case refers to the expertise; that is, the person with skills in food preparations. The knowledge in ergonomics previously acquired is sufficient enough to assist in the preparation of consumable foods. There is no assistance from an automated system in the exercise. However, there are educative materials to aid as guiding principles for the experiment. Based on the second assessment above, we proceed to order food ingredients and the testing equipment for the practical program. We give a minimum of one week for the order.

Once the ingredients (materials) are ready, we begin the steps of preparation. Evaluation We plan for the evaluation of the apparatus and the equipment considering the safety of its usage, easy of usage, the design of the equipment and the safety of using it. The plan for the preparation begins by preparing the worksheet for our group. We carry out the process of evaluation of the equipment within the three practical sessions (Stanton, 1998). The plan will be in the form of structured list of steps instructing the operators to commence work.

The next step is the preparation of a complete documentation of the technical report following the review work of the assessment. The ergonomics study materials provide comprehensive guidance concerning the requirement of the items so as to carry out the food production while documenting a report and the right summary and the format of the report that will be provided. Application of ergonomics The process takes into consideration the ergonomic principles and applies them to an ergonomic assessment and evaluation of the new consumable food product.

This forms the dominant section of our report in the entire exercise. We therefore analyse the physiological and psychological features of human body that determines to us the ingredients to use and those to eliminate before the exercise commences (Alexander, 2000). We compare and contrast the comments of the appliance that were tested to identifying the benefits and the disadvantages. We also compare with these with the other versions of food production in the light of ergonomics. We identify the areas of consideration in the recommendation by Stanton and Young (1999) on design re-engineering of the consumable food product as chemical food production technology of solid food substances such as biscuits and burns. Results of the Food Preparation test The test successfully ended in the preparation of the sponge cake with the desired qualities and taste.

It took the exact duration of time we had allocated for the food production. Considering the quantity of the cake that we produced, we had overstated the measurements since it was bigger than we had estimated. We did not take into account the effect of the baking powder, in increasing the size of the cakes. Results of the ergonomics evaluation The preparation of the consumable sponge cake produced food that specifically satisfied a wide category of consumers including those under special diet instructions.

The ergonomics study on the sample population we approached and from whom we did our data analysis revealed that 30 per cent of the population were on anti-diabetic diets. We therefore had to eliminate the use of refined sugar in the preparation of the cake to prevent complications. After the successful production of the sponge cakes, 10 per cent of the target population could not consume the cakes because we had used cooking fat in the preparation.

There was the third category forming 20 per cent of the population that could not feed on wheat flour due to amoebic related infections. We therefore concluded that ergonomic study is important in food production to articulate the special health needs of the consumers. Suggestion of design changes We suggest that before production of any food substance, there should be an ergonomic study conducted to take care of the health requirements of the entire target group.

Our initial study realized that majority of food production disregards the ergonomic aspect (Moskowitz et al. , 2006). To that effect, our group suggest redesign of food production procedure to integrate the ergonomic study. Figure 1: Food preparation without Ergonomic Study Figure 2: Food preparation with Ergonomic Study In the first figure, the food production process does not take into consideration the ergonomic studies of the target group and the desired results. The end result is that the food does not fit the needs of the target group.

The second figure illustrates food production that considers ergonomic study. The food production results and the target group needs accurately join together in a perfect fit. References Alexander, D., 2000. Applied Ergonomic. New York: Taylor and Francis. Bridger, R., 2009. Introduction to Ergonomics. New York: Taylor & Francis. Moskowitz, M., Beckley, J., & Resurreccion, A., 2006. Sensory and Consumer Research in Food Product Design and Development. New York: Blackwell Publishing. Stanton, N., & Young, M., 1999. A Guide to Methodology in Ergonomics. New York: Taylor and Francis. Stanton, N., 1998. Human Factors in Consumer Products. New York: Taylor and Francis.

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