[HOW-TO] Easily measure hip points on car seats

May 14, 2014

Working for FARO® (specifically in the Detroit area), I noticed that several companies are interested in creating and running a program to successfully check H-points (or Hip Points) on seats. The location of the H-Point allows automotive designers to improve seating comfort predicting where the average occupant sits relative to the top of the car or getting in/out of the car. Most seats are checked with a standardized adjustable dummy (Oscar) designed to represent the most common occupants.

Most companies are checking several seats a day. Creating an H-Point program will ensure that you are checking all seats in the same manner, eliminating some human errors, and standardizing work.  Keep in mind good measurement practices, come up with a measurement plan, and maintain it.

Here are 10 easy steps to standardize an H-Point program.

Steps to creating H-Point Program

  1. Fire up your software of choice (FARO® CAM2® Measure 10.3)
  2. Ensure that your device is measuring accurately (compensate the unit).
  3. Define the locations of your tooling balls, during this step I would recommend renaming your features to the actual location in the car. For example: front driver side, rear driver side or front passenger side, to separate the different locations of the tooling balls.
    • Locate at least three point reducible features and establish names.
    • Input the x,y,z location of each reference point.
    • Input the diameter of each reference point.

Note: You should have created at least 3 point reducible nominal features.

  1. Add readings to each nominal feature you created. During this step, it is important to measure the correct tooling balls (this is why naming the nominal features is important).
  2. Use alignment options to match your coordinate systems (in CAM2 Measure 10, it is an iterative alignment option).

Note: You are now aligned with the car.

  1. Now we can find the H-Point. Setting up Oscar, measure the plane and circle on the outboard and inboard side (right and left side) of his body.
  2. Create a midpoint between the outboard and inboard circles, establishing Oscar’s H-Point in the seat you are currently testing.
  3. Entering the properties or the information of the H-point, you can adjust the tolerance zone and enter the nominal information (x,y,z location).
  4. Report your findings.
  5. Standardize by creating a program.


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