A Systemic Overview of Factors Affecting the Cognitive Performance of Industrial Manual Assembly Workers
Paper in proceeding, 2021

In paced assembly lines, cognitive processing is required from assembly workers to perform correct and timely assembly of complex products with varying specifications. This interview study involving 75 industrial assemblers, design- and manufacturing engineers explores how assemblers’ cognitive performance is influenced by multiple factors within the contexts of product design, production setup and assembly. Our results indicate that both positive and negative effects on assemblers’ cognitive performance can stem from task design, timing, physical loading demands, extrinsic motivation factors, teamwork and the assembly “interface” design. Among design- and manufacturing engineers, two mindsets emerged: (i) a product-centred mindset relying on assemblers having sufficient experience, knowledge, and assembly instructions, (ii) an assembler-focused mindset characterised by an iterative and collaborative development process to ensure easy-to-assemble solutions, and avoid errors, delays and costly re-work. Despite organizational differences and conditions between the companies that took part in the study, the results are largely consistent.

Mental workload

Manual assembly

Work environment

Cognitive performance

Cognitive ergonomics

Author

Cecilia Berlin

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Matilda Wollter Bergman

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Maral Babapour Chafi

Region Västra Götaland

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Ann-Christine Falck

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Roland Örtengren

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems

23673370 (ISSN) 23673389 (eISSN)

Vol. 221 LNNS 371-381

21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2021
Virtual, Online, ,

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Mechanical Engineering

Design

Areas of Advance

Production

DOI

10.1007/978-3-030-74608-7_47

More information

Latest update

8/6/2021 1