Assembly failures and action cost in relation to complexity level and assembly ergonomics in manual assembly (part 2)
Journal article, 2014
Earlier studies have demonstrated strong relationships between manual assembly at high physical load
levels and increased amounts of quality defects compared to assembly at low physical load levels. A
recent Swedish interview study of engineers in design and manufacturing engineering indicated that
assembly complexity factors are of additional importance for the assembly quality. The objective of this
study was therefore to examine the significance of high and low complexity criteria and the relationships
between assembly ergonomics and assembly complexity and quality failures by analyzing manual assembly
tasks in car manufacturing. In total, 47 000 cars were analyzed and the results showed several
significant correlations between assembly ergonomics and assembly complexity, assembly time, failures
and action costs. The action costs for high complexity tasks were 22.4 times increased per task per car
compared to low complexity tasks.
Relevance to industry: Assembly ergonomics and assembly complexity factors interact. Both should be
proactively considered in order to keep assembly-related failures and action costs as low as possible.