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A Manual for the Performance of Protective Equipment Fit-Mapping

Authors:
  • U.S. Army DEVCOM Soldier Center

Abstract and Figures

This fit mapping manual is intended to offer detailed up-to-date guidance for preparing, performing and analyzing fit evaluations for most types of clothing and protective equipment. The term "Fit Mapping" is used to differentiate it from the traditional fit testing that has been conducted primarily for determining an accommodation rate and verification of requirements. This manual addresses: 1) definition of the "Fit Criteria (Concept of fit)" for a test item, 2) performing a fit evaluation, 3) analysis of the results, and finally, how to apply these results to the manufacturing process. Therefore, this fit mapping manual offers the basic knowledge needed to evaluate various types of equipment by presenting a step by step procedure.
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... Broadly, fit is an optimized status between the human and their immediate environment (Choi et al., 2009) where immediate environment begins with clothing or worn devices and extends to the workplace. Proper fit entails "equipment ease," a term denoting balance between the size of wearable equipment and the size of the wearer. ...
... Traditional anthropometric databases (Gordon et al., , 2014Harrison & Robinette, 2002) have been used to quantify anthropometric characteristics recorded in standardized postures, develop sizing systems, evaluate population accommodation rates, and generate digital human models for various target populations. Encumbered anthropometry studies include equipped size, weight, shape, and bulk in various ensemble configurations Garlie & Choi, 2014;Hsiao, 2013;Jones et al., 2013), as well as 3D surface coverage of a body within the geometry of equipment or a device (Choi et al., 2009;Hsiao et al., 2009;Jones et al., 2014Jones et al., , 2015Li et al., 1999). ...
... In practice, evaluation of the static alignment between a user and equipment considers subjective comfort (e.g., too tight, too long, too loose) and quantitative measures (e.g., ease at chest, sleeve length from ulnar stylion) at relevant body locations while trying on different sizes (Choi et al., 2011;Hsiao et al., 2007). Quantitative measures can be assessed through traditional methods or by 3D scans (Choi et al., 2009;Hsiao et al., 2015;Jones et al., 2015;Li et al., 1999;Loker et al., 2005), and evaluated in terms of 3D body shape models (i.e., parametric body shape modeling [Hsiao et al., 2009;Jones et al., 2018;Park & Reed, 2015;Park et al., 2017]). Figure 1 shows an example quantifying ease at a specific location using a cross-section extracted from a 3D scan, which may be expressed as the difference between two surface lengths or as the space between the body and equipment in the azimuth direction from the center of the body (termed radial ease [Wang et al., 2006]). ...
Article
Objective To define static, dynamic, and cognitive fit and their interactions as they pertain to exosystems and to document open research needs in using these fit characteristics to inform exosystem design. Background Initial exosystem sizing and fit evaluations are currently based on scalar anthropometric dimensions and subjective assessments. As fit depends on ongoing interactions related to task setting and user, attempts to tailor equipment have limitations when optimizing for this limited fit definition. Method A targeted literature review was conducted to inform a conceptual framework defining three characteristics of exosystem fit: static, dynamic, and cognitive. Details are provided on the importance of differentiating fit characteristics for developing exosystems. Results Static fit considers alignment between human and equipment and requires understanding anthropometric characteristics of target users and geometric equipment features. Dynamic fit assesses how the human and equipment move and interact with each other, with a focus on the relative alignment between the two systems. Cognitive fit considers the stages of human-information processing, including somatosensation, executive function, and motor selection. Human cognitive capabilities should remain available to process task- and stimulus-related information in the presence of an exosystem. Dynamic and cognitive fit are operationalized in a task-specific manner, while static fit can be considered for predefined postures. Conclusion A deeper understanding of how an exosystem fits an individual is needed to ensure good human–system performance. Development of methods for evaluating different fit characteristics is necessary. Application Methods are presented to inform exosystem evaluation across physical and cognitive characteristics.
... In the context of military-issue protective equipment, fit refers to the way protective equipment interfaces with a soldier's body; form refers to the physical shape of the protective equipment, including its mass and size; and function refers to the way in which the protective equipment fulfils its intended purpose and provides functionality for the wearer when performing tasks (Choi et al., 2009;North Atlantic Treaty Organisation NATO, 2018). Despite the importance of correctly-fitted protective equipment, there is some evidence suggesting that female soldiers are dissatisfied with the fit of their current body armour systems (Coltman et al., 2020;Toma et al., 2016;Epstein et al., 2013). ...
Article
Despite female soldiers representing a growing user population, military body armour systems are currently better suited to the anthropometric dimensions of male soldiers. The aim of this study was to explore issues that female soldiers experience with current Australian Defence Force (ADF)-issue body armour. Following a sequential exploratory design, an initial questionnaire was completed by 97 Australian female soldiers. Subsequently, 33 Australian female soldiers participated in one of three focus groups. Descriptive statistics of questionnaire data considered alongside thematic analysis of focus group transcripts revealed problems with the design (fit, form and function) of current ADF-issue body armour, as well as problems with the issuance and education surrounding use of the system. It is recommended that anthropometric data of female soldiers be better incorporated into future body armour designs, that these data inform processes surrounding both acquisition and issuance of body armour and that training protocols for body armour use be reviewed.
... Working spaces and tools need to be suited to the end user's anthropometric dimensions in order to obtain healthy and productive working places (Marras and Kim, 1993;Pheasant and Haslegrave, 2006;Pheasant and Steenbekkers, 2005), but additionally adapting the design to the end user's anthropometry enhances sustainability, mainly because this reduces raw material consumption, increases usage lifetime and incorporates ethical human resource considerations into design (Nadadur and Parkinson, 2013). Several applications of anthropometry are reflected in a variety of reports and applications such as school furniture (Castellucci et al., 2016;Castellucci et al., 2014, Castellucci et al., 2015aMokdad and Al-Ansari, 2009), agricultural tools (Dewangan et al., 2010;Syuaib, 2015bSyuaib, , 2015a, car assembly (Castellone et al., 2017), personal protective equipment (Choi et al., 2009;Coblentz et al., 1991;Hsiao, 2013;Laing et al., 1999;K. M. Robinette and Branch, 2008;Stirling, 2005;Vergara et al., 2019), public transport seats (Molenbroek et al., 2017;Porta et al., 2019), domestic settings (Dawal et al., 2015) and even space shuttles and suits (NASA, 1978). ...
Article
Anthropometry has been used extensively for designing safe and sustainable products and workplaces. However, it is common that designers need straightforward guidelines and dimensions, which they often lack, for specific design situations. Anthropometric data are usually presented in tables that summarize percentile values, separated by gender, of a specific population, which makes it difficult for designers to generate applications for mixed populations, such as industrial settings. Using a recently collected anthropometric database of Chilean workers (male and female), international standards of dimensions for working height, depth, and ideal manual handling height are tested with univariate and bivariate methods. Alternative dimensions are presented for both adjustable and non-adjustable designs. Additionally, procedures to combine samples, and for knowing how many users match with a particular design are explained using the sample data. As expected, adjustable designs proved to match with higher numbers of users, while non-adjustable dimensions recommended by ISO presented low levels of matching. Furthermore, the non-adjustable design achieved 83% of matching, which increased to the desired levels (90%) with the inclusion of a 50 mm increase platform. Finally, the Z-Score equation proved to be a useful tool to know the percentages of the population that are matched with a particular design dimension. Relevance for the industry Dimensions for working height, depth, and ideal manual handling heights, which are currently not available, are provided for Chilean workers. A method to determine the matching percentage in a population is explained, in order to assess matching probabilities when having only summarized anthropometric tables and the dimensions for the design itself.
... Fit mapping is a method that measures the relationship between the body and product so that ease of use and adaptations are scientifically based (Robinette & Veitch, 2016;Wright-Patterson et al., 2009). Fit mapping can be performed to ensure a product design is properly designed in terms of comfort, efficiency, and safety to make decisions including form and sizing of the system. ...
... There are several publications that describe fit mapping [2,12,13]. The Navy did an effective fit mapping study of their women's uniform [14]. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Many apparel companies do extensive market research to understand their customer base. This results in good information about the gender, ethnicity, age, income and other characteristics of the target market. In this paper we will show how this can be taken one step further with large anthropometric databases and small fit studies to better target the market, improve sales and reduce waste, through improved fit, faster product development and tighter inventory control. The improvement in population accommodation with good selection of the sizes will be quantified and illustrated using data from the WEAR Association database. An example of the creation of the “fit map” for an apparel item will be provided and compared against a priori assumptions about the range of fit. Then a comparison of raw data versus data weighted to the target market will be illustrated.
... Options for sizing design and assessment are based on an analysis of univariate statistics or more rarely user trials that feature fitmapping to see who fits in what [1]. Univariate statistics are easy to use, but do not represent the complexities of shape or the way in which different anthropometric measures combine, there is no such thing as the 5th percentile person [2]. ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Currently soldier systems engineers often use a typical tailor’s dummy to design and evaluate torso borne Soldier Combat Ensemble (SCE) items like harnesses and chest rigs. It is not known how the dummy’s size and shape was established, but it is likely not based on current Australian Army anthropometric data. This report contains details of the use of the Principal Components Analysis method to select a representative selection of body scans from the Australian Army Anthropometric survey and manufacture them into physical manikins. The aim is to provide design tools based on real Australian Defence Force member’s size and shape that can be used and evaluated for their usefulness in the future.
... This can be accomplished by conducting a fit mapping process to quantify optimal garment size and design and identify optimal size schemes and tarrifs. Fit mapping is "the iterative process of applying fit testing to improve the fit quality of a garment and classify who fits and does not fit in test sizes" [16]. The determination of a size scheme is based on empirical factors such as: 1) an objective definition of the concept of fit in terms of lines and ease, 2) consideration of all aspects of body size and shape, 3) performing occupationally relevant static and dynamic evaluations of fit, 4) analysis of the results and 5) classification of body types to sizes and review of the garment design to allow improvement to fit. ...
... Fit-mapping is a method that measures the relationship between body and product so that ease and adaptations are scientifically based (Choi, Zehner, & Hudson, 2010;Robinette, 2012). This allows for removal of (1) duplicate sizes, (2) wasted adjustments, and (3) addition of missing sizes or alternate shape ranges. ...
Article
Objective: To provide a review of sustainable sizing practices that reduce waste, increase sales, and simultaneously produce safer, better fitting, accommodating products. Background: Sustainable sizing involves a set of methods good for both the environment (sustainable environment) and business (sustainable business). Sustainable sizing methods reduce (1) materials used, (2) the number of sizes or adjustments, and (3) the amount of product unsold or marked down for sale. This reduces waste and cost. The methods can also increase sales by fitting more people in the target market and produce happier, loyal customers with better fitting products. This is a mini-review of methods that result in more sustainable sizing practices. It also reviews and contrasts current statistical and modeling practices that lead to poor fit and sizing. Fit-mapping and the use of cases are two excellent methods suited for creating sustainable sizing, when real people (vs. virtual people) are used. These methods are described and reviewed. Evidence presented supports the view that virtual fitting with simulated people and products is not yet effective. Conclusions: Fit-mapping and cases with real people and actual products result in good design and products that are fit for person, fit for purpose, with good accommodation and comfortable, optimized sizing. While virtual models have been shown to be ineffective for predicting or representing fit, there is an opportunity to improve them by adding fit-mapping data to the models. This will require saving fit data, product data, anthropometry, and demographics in a standardized manner. For this success to extend to the wider design community, the development of a standardized method of data collection for fit-mapping with a globally shared fit-map database is needed. It will enable the world community to build knowledge of fit and accommodation and generate effective virtual fitting for the future. Application: A standardized method of data collection that tests products' fit methodically and quantitatively will increase our predictive power to determine fit and accommodation, thereby facilitating improved, effective design. These methods apply to all products people wear, use, or occupy.
... Clearly a jacket that can accommodate a 5 inch range of chest circumference can fit the same number of people in fewer sizes than a jacket with a 3 inch range of chest circumference. Testing a single size on many different sized people is known as fit-mapping [8] and is especially helpful in minimizing the number of sizes needed to accommodate a specific population range. ...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropometry is often considered in product design, but less often in prototype testing. This paper focuses on how to design, conduct and analyse a test that will consider user anthropometry and ensure that the intended user population can be accommodated by the new product. Identifying the target user is the first step in a successful test. It is critical that the sample of individuals used in the fit test should be representative of the intended market for the product, or results will be invalid. Second, the size of the test sample needs to be determined. Sample size for fit tests has to do with the adjustability or sizing of the product (if any) as well as strictly anthropometric concerns. The test design itself depends on the stage of product development. Early testing produces information that can be used to improve the product before it is released. Later, a test might be designed to help create a size selection chart for a sized product. The choice of anthropometric dimensions to be included will depend specifically on the product being tested, but also on the dimensions that have been measured on the target market population. All elements of the test protocol should be validated with a laboratory trial before actual data collection begins. Finally, the edited data should be analysed using statistical techniques appropriate to the questions being asked. In some cases, visual data displays are helpful. The analysis can predict what proportion of the target population will be accommodated.
Chapter
New types of wearable products with electronics and intelligent components are rapidly entering the global consumer marketplace. These new wearable technologies have greater need for fit precision to function properly with broad demographics. However, traditional anthropometric averages and human 3D models alone are proving to be insufficient for achieving the fit required. Effective product development requires iterative use of human subjects starting early in the design process. The fit testing must be continued throughout the process with close communication with industrial design and various engineering teams. This process is particularly important for products that are the first of their kind and thus have no precedents to follow.
Article
Full-text available
This report documents the development of a minimal set of flight suit sizes specifically for females. The project goal is to improve flight suit accommodation for females across all services. Researchers used fit test results of existing prototypes to establish the relationship between anthropometry and fit for women, and expressed the proper proportioning as the degree of change from the prototypes. The prototypes were the exiting flight suit sizes proportioned for men. Analysis included fit test data of the Modified Enhanced Air Force Flight Suit (MEAFFS) collected independently by the Air Force and Navy. The results indicate that female sizes should have narrower shoulders, smaller necks and waists, shorter upper torsos, and shorter legs. Researchers examined neighboring size data from the Air Force fit test and differences between male and female anthropometry to determine how much change was needed to generate a base female size. Four more female sizes are recommended: two larger than the base size and two smaller than the base size. These five sizes should be available in two lengths for a total of ten female proportioned sizes. The estimated grade for existing sizes can be applied to the female base size to generate these sizes.
Article
This research tested the effectiveness of using 3D scans of clothed participants in the fit analysis process. A panel of three expert judges viewed scans of 155 Misses size participants in the best fitting size of a test pant style. They rated 13 fit locations as Acceptable, Marginal or Unacceptable and then gave overall ratings for both front and back views. The ratings for all judges were added together to develop Acceptable, Marginal, and Unacceptable categories for each area and then compared using frequencies, means, and percentages to identify problem fit areas. Ease, line, balance, and set elements of fit were clearly seen on the visualizations of the scans and grain could be evaluated by its effect on silhouette. We concluded that substituting 3D scans for the live fit analysis process in research and industry has potential for 1) recording one single instance of fit that can be rotated and enlarged to view specific areas of analysis, 2) creating databases of scans of a variety of body shapes and sizes wearing a single size (in essence, testing multiple fit models), 3) scanning garments on fit models in multiple poses to evaluate garment/body relationships during natural movements, and 4) holding virtual expert panels where panelists can access the fit session at any location.
Article
This paper describes how size-specific analyses of body scan data of an apparel company's target market can provide information that can be used to adjust ready-to -wear sizing to improve apparel fit. We describe a variety of size-based statistical and visual analysis methods that can be applied to target market body scan data. These analyses begin to describe and address the variety of body shapes and measurements that exist within a sizing system and identify potential design adjustments that could be made in order to increase the percent of acceptable fit within each size category for a target market.
Article
When the three-dimensional garment style was transformed into the two-dimensional garment pattern, the information of ease distribution was crucial because the ease of the garment was one of the important elements in constructing garment style. To model the ease distribution of X-line style jackets, the ease distribution was qualitatively presented by the shapes of cross section at different altitude. The newly defined segmental girth ease allowance provided a quantitative understanding of the ease distribution. A mathematical model of ease distribution was established in the X-line style jacket by using the surface fitting approach, which may predict the ease distribution of jackets in different dimensions. The ease distribution models of bustline, waistline, and hipline in X-line style of jackets were satisfactory because of lower root-mean-square error, especially compared with the actually measured data.
Article
The purpose of this study was to compare reliability and validity of trained paraprofessional judges' responses and expert judges' responses in a garmentfit test. The study addressed the relationships amongparticipants' body and garment measurements, participants'perceptions of garmentfit, and fit assessments of the trained and expert judges. Paraprofessional judges participated in fit training sessions. Judges assessedfitfrom videotapes ofparticipants in testjackets, and made second assessments one to two weeks later. T-testsfor paired samples were runfor reliability between judges'first and second evaluations. The trained paraprofessionals' judgments were equally reliable as the expert assessments. Validity was measured by comparing the differences ofparticipants' body measurements and test jacket measurements, and the judges' and participants'fit assessments of the test jacket. None of the measures (judges' responses, subjects' responses, measurements) showed a very high level of agreement infit assessment.
Article
The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) anthropometric Cases 1 through 8 were not intended to represent a statistical description for the variation important in the design of personal clothing and equipment for the JSF pilot. Instead, the anthropometric measures associated with the JSF Cases define the minimum level of physical accommodation for men and women in the Joint Strike Fighter cockpit. The statistical process of constructing representative cases used in the design of clothing and gear require an entirely different multivariate approach. CAESAR, a 3-D whole body database, was sampled to produce 1374 subjects (651 men and 723 women) that represent a modern equivalent to the WATS population, but using projected demographics of JSF flyers in the Joint Services in the year 2010. After analysis, and overlay of the JSF Cases, 646 men and 695 women were identified as falling within weight allowances and the reconstructed ellipses of accommodation defined by the original JSF Cases. The forty traditional measures and the associated 3-D scans of these individuals represent the statistical base from which JSF flight clothing and equipment can be designed and/or sized.
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Detailed procedures for the conduct of anthropometric fit tests are outlined in this document which is designed primarily for the use of engineering anthropologists and other technical personnel called upon to carry out fit tests and evaluations of personal-protective clothing and equipment. Suggestions are provided for the design of questionnaires, the selection of a representative test sample and the choice of dimensions to be measured. The authors outline step-by-step procedures for conducting the fit test itself and discuss various features of the test item which will require evaluation. These include protective capacity, fit, function, comfort and integration with other parts of an assemblage. Recommendations for reporting significant results and suggested guidelines for approval or rejection of the test item are given in the concluding chapter. An appendix includes sample forms and supporting materials which are recommended for use by the investigator. (Author)
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The development of new computer technologies designed to custom-fit apparel has created a need for quantification of apparel fit characteristics. Fit perception and preference data are needed to improve sizing for ready-to-wear and custom-fitted apparel. Tactile responses of subjects to the fit of pants were investigated using an adaptation of an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sensory perception test. The test was designed to establish thresholds in apparel fit: that is, the smallest difference in garment dimensions that can be consistently perceived and identified. The test samples for the study were a set of 15 pants, which varied in size, made for each participant from precise computer-generated patterns. Four female experts in apparel fit, who comprised the subject panel, each recorded their responses to these pants compared to a control. Control pants were custom-fitted to each panel member; the remaining pants in each set varied from the control by 0.5 to 1.5 cm at a single location (waist, hips, or crotch length). When the pants were presented in a blind test, the panel perceived differences as small as 0.5 cm in pants waist size from the control. Differences of 1.5 cm were perceptible at the hip and crotch. The subject's level of acceptance of the fit variations in the pants was then judged using a preference test. This test revealed differences among individual subjects in the acceptability of fit variations in waist and crotch dimensions; judgements of the acceptability of hip variations were more consistent among the subjects. Judging from the results of this testing, it is concluded that threshold levels at which fit differences can be perceived can be established for different areas of the body, and that perceptible fit variations can be quite small. This testing also showed that individuals vary in their tolerance for fit variations at different locations on the body.