Supporting Operators with their Daily Tasks in Complex Production Environments - a Perspective on ICT Tools
Licentiate thesis, 2018

To achieve a sustainable competitive business all resources needs to be utilized. Within a manufacturing company the shop-floor operators are one of those resources. The shop-floor operators has been called “A key to future competitiveness and effectiveness”. To facilitate high operator performance the equipment required to support their tasks ought to be provided. Information and communication technology (ICT) could provide cognitive support and through technological advancements the possibilities of communication and information sharing seems endless. Authors suggests that ICT tools supporting the operators are needed.

The aim of this thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of what challenges faced by operators can be aided by ICT tools and how to evaluate this support.

Operators frequently faces various challenges during a work day. This thesis identifies and discusses ten challenges relating to information and communication. These challenges can be approached and supported in several ways. In the thesis it is discussed how mobile and digital ICT tools can support operators with identified challenges. Evaluating the outcome of any change is important and so is evaluating changes and impact from ICT tools. In this thesis examples of performance measures are presented and a few aspects to consider when selecting them are discussed.

A framework “Operator-support tool” was suggested to aid in the endeavours of identifying challenges faced by operators and selecting performance measures (in addition to use in the design phase). This framework was beneficial in maintaining a wide perspective and ensuring consideration of the three aspects of operators, their tasks and support tools.

complex production environment

cognitive support

ICT tools


Virtual Development Laboratory, Hörsalsvägen 7A, Göteborg
Opponent: Senior Lecturer, Peter Thorvald, University of Skövde, Sweden


Malin Tarrar

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Could the use of ICT tools be the way to increase competitiveness in Swedish industry?

proceedings of the 12th IFAC/IFIP/IFORS/IEA Symposium on Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of Human-Machine Systems,; Vol. 12(2013)p. 179-186

Paper in proceeding

Managing production complexity by empowering workers: six cases

Procedia CIRP,; Vol. 17(2014)p. 212-217

Paper in proceeding

Introducing Customized ICT for Operators in Manufacturing

Procedia CIRP,; Vol. 41(2016)p. 490-495

Paper in proceeding

Perceived production complexity – understanding more than parts of a system

International Journal of Production Research,; Vol. 54(2016)p. 6008-6016

Journal article

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Human Aspects of ICT

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance




Virtual Development Laboratory, Hörsalsvägen 7A, Göteborg

Opponent: Senior Lecturer, Peter Thorvald, University of Skövde, Sweden

More information

Latest update

3/5/2018 1