New DIN/TS for the measurement of actuating forces

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In May 2021, DIN published technical specification DIN/TS 35444, which defines a method for measuring the manual actuating forces required for technical reasons on manually operated control elements. By comparison of the measured values with the known maximum forces that defined target populations are able to exert, it can be determined whether a specified user population is actually capable of performing a certain task. DIN/TS 35444 is not suitable for use in risk assessment, since it fails to address factors such as the frequency and duration of force application, body posture, or the ergonomics of the actuation operation.

Many standards contain information on average and maximum forces for the operation of control actuators. These values are generally determined empirically. Before now however, manufacturers of the products concerned did not have access to a standardized method for measuring these actuating forces; neither national nor European/international standards existed for the measurement of body forces on control actuators or machine parts such as flaps or steps. Based upon these findings from its study, Operating forces on agricultural machinery, KAN launched development of the DIN/TS in the DIN Anthropometry and biomechanics standards committee in 2017.

The committee is to discuss shortly whether the subject-matter should also be submitted to standardization activity at European level.