Measuring Visual Performance in the Foundry for H&H Castings

By understanding eye movements of workers, H&H Castings found that they could reveal best practices and areas for improvements in their manufacturing process, as well as train newcomers quicker and more efficiently.

The background

Training and safety are imperative to any workplace- especially in the manufacturing and industrial sector. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,333 workers were killed on the job in 2019. Human error is responsible for 80 percent of all of these accidents. At the same time, having efficient processes on the production line is key to running a successful industrial operation, as inefficiencies have major performance repercussions. 

“The average training time is one full week, and we hope these study results and video will save us two days per employee. Ideally, this would save us about 400 hours of training time per year in that department.”

Jacob Hammill, Systems Management at H&H Castings

The method

To determine methods that result in fewer accidents and increased efficiency in the high-risk environment of industrial manufacturing, H&H Castings, a premier supplier of aluminum castings, partnered with Tobii Pro Insight to conduct a qualitative eye tracking study in a foundry in Pennsylvania, U.S.

Improved training materials

As part of the project delivery, H&H Castings received a training video based on the eye tracking data and findings resulting from the study. The material is very easy to follow and includes detailed instructions for each step in the process - such as information on where to look and where to be mindful of visual distractions. The video is integrated into the company's existing training protocol and shown to new hires on the line to allow them to see work processes from the perspective of an expert. Click on the video to watch the short version.

Watch the full version of this video

The conclusion

The study showed that foundry work requires an extreme amount of concentration and focus – any sudden break in that concentration could have a disastrous effect. The analysis identified what was happening immediately before an error on the line occurred that would negatively impact productivity, and it provided insight on how to improve the work environment and the processes in place. The findings will contribute to the quicker onboarding of new workers, new efficiencies in the foundry’s operations, new training guidelines, and the reduced risk of accidents.

Download the full report, “Visual Performance in the Foundry.”