I had the pleasure of attending the Applied Ergonomics Conference last week in San Antonio, Texas, where I saw many of you. Each week we at Ergoweb communicate with many thousands of you through our website, newsletter and subscription services. This online environment is an effective way to deliver things like our news and information, training, job assessment software, and collaboration services, but nothing replaces the oportunity to meet with our clients and colleagues face-to-face. And rather than me blathering on about my experience at the conference, I asked a few of you who stopped by our booth in the exhibit area to share your thoughts. Here they are, in no particular order. If I missed you, feel free to add your own comment at the end of the article.
I’m here to see applied ergonomics — and applied is the key word — for both the conference and exhibition — it’s real life ergonomics.
Martha Parker, ergonomist with M-erg, a consulting firm based in Houston, TX
I’m here at the applied ergonomic conference to learn from other ergonomists what they are doing to apply ergonomic and human factors principles to the "real world". I’m also here as a speaker. I’m introducing a new tool that is designed to eliminate caregiver error in the selection of safe patient handling equipment.
Jill Kelby, president of Ergo-PATH System, LLC
Applied Ergo is the best place for us to connect with our customers and get a sense of their upcoming needs. With so many manufacturers competing for the Ergo Cup, nearly every major company in our key verticals (automotive, aerospace, heavy machinery…) is represented, and they come with their creative minds engaged. It is also inspirational to see line workers attending with their teams so passionate about the solutions they have developed. We exhibit here every year, and this year we are debuting our Universal Mounting Solutions, which allow our zeroG arms to be integrated into nearly every manufacturing environment. While the crowd is not huge, it includes many of the top minds in industrial ergonomics.
Eric Golden, President & CEO, Equipois Inc.
We came to the Applied Ergonomics Conference as a competitor in the Ergo Cup. We expected to be competing against some stiff competition, but we never expected the quantity of amazing ideas and best practices that were presented by our competitors. Overall, the quality of the presentations, exhibits and keynote speakers was excellent. We are taking home more than we came with. As a medical device company, it was exciting to hear about Ergonomic work in the Healthcare field.
Jason Wise, GE Healthcare Surgery, Salt Lake City Utah.
The Applied Ergonomics Conference is an ideal venue for our company to connect with existing customers and attract new clients. We also use this event to launch new products to the market; this year we have launched new software and a new gauge for our ErgoPak device. There is not a more applicable event than this to launch new technologies and capture ideas for the future. After 5 consecutive years attending the event I am very pleased so far with this years venue and the quality of the attendees.
Ryan Dean Hoggan, Director, HOGGAN Ergo
The Applied Ergonomics Conference is a useful time for me to network with others as well as see what new technology has been developed. I work in a government environment and don’t always have access to all that the ergo world has to show. I also use this time to renew my accreditation so that I can continue to help my employees.
Barbara Scheib, AOES, ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc.
Here at the conference, we have seen many great applied and process ergonomic solutions by great teams. Thanks to everyone that helped with the organization of the conference, a lot of great folks attended. See you next year.
Rico Fiacco & Pam Dwyer, Ford Motor Company
This is the best place to network with other ergonomics practitioners. There are always great ideas from the Ergo Cup finalist that I can share with other companies, plus it’s a chance to catch up with what is happening at Ergoweb.
Gary Orr, PE, CPE Chair of the Applied Ergonomics Conference
The AEC is a good conference that provides an opportunity for those on the factory floor to network among peers, advance their knowledge in applications and show their achievements. There is also a need to further advance the knowledge for those practicing in the field for years. The HFES is often too academically focused and the gap between AEC and HFES appears to be growing wider. There is an opportunity for AEC to begin to fill this void and appeal to those practicing longer term in the field. This may also increase the attendance at the conference providing more diverse sessions.
There is an increasing level of office-specific information, which is particularly relevant as "offices" move away from the traditional desktop configuration to mobile and/or handheld devices.
I hope to see you next year!