Digitalization as Facilitator of Effective Information Sharing in Production Systems
Doctoral thesis, 2021

This thesis aims to formulate strategic approaches to digital transformation, which manufacturing companies can apply to make themselves more effective in disseminating and presenting production-related information to shop-floor operators. Therefore, two approaches are proposed. One focuses on disseminating information in production systems; the other focuses on presenting information to shop-floor operators.

First, assessing digital maturity can facilitate the effective dissemination of information in production systems and contribute towards a digital transformation to Industry 4.0. Maturity assessments provide an understanding of current capabilities. This enables the formulation of goals for digital transformations and, subsequently, facilitates the creation of development plans to make disseminating information more effective.

Second, applying digital technologies can facilitate new capabilities for presenting information to operators and contribute towards a digital transformation to Operator 4.0. Operators work under varying circumstances, which requires varying types of information as cognitive support. Understanding these situational requirements facilitates the selection and subsequent implementation of suitable digital technologies for presenting information to operators more effectively.

Together, these two approaches demonstrate how digitalization can facilitate effective information sharing in production systems and for shop-floor operators.

Operator 4.0


digital maturity


digital transformation



Industry 4.0



Virtual Development Laboratory, Chalmers tvärgata 4c, Gothenburg
Opponent: Kerstin Johansen, Jönköping University


Dan Li

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Human-Centred Dissemination of Data, Information and Knowledge in Industry 4.0

Procedia CIRP,; Vol. 84(2019)p. 380-386

Paper in proceeding

Current and future Industry 4.0 capabilities for information and knowledge sharing

International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology,; Vol. 105(2019)p. 3951-3963

Journal article

Forming a cognitive automation strategy for Operator 4.0 in complex assembly

Computers and Industrial Engineering,; Vol. 139(2020)

Journal article

Li, D.; Tarrar, M.; Åkerman, M.; Fast-Berglund, Å.; and Paulin, D.: "Industry 4.0 Maturity and its Implications for Information Sharing on Shop Floors"

Exploration of digitalized presentation of information for Operator 4.0: Five industrial cases

Computers & Industrial Engineering,; Vol. 168(2022)

Journal article

The manufacturing industry is undergoing a paradigm shift, called the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. This is driving manufacturing companies to exploit recent technological developments and new organisational opportunities to meet the many new demands from customers and society at large.

These new demands on manufacturing companies and their production systems mean more production-related information to be managed. Effective sharing of this information ensures it gets to the right people at the right time and can be facilitated by recent strides in digitalization technologies. Important stakeholders in sharing such information include shop-floor operators from this new production environment, or Operator 4.0.

Still, many manufacturing companies find it hard to undergo a digital transformation and develop Industry 4.0 capabilities. There are technological and organizational challenges, plus the matter of how humans will operate and interact.

Thus, this thesis formulates two strategic approaches to guide manufacturing companies on their digital transformation journey.

First, by assessing their digital maturity, manufacturing companies can understand their current capabilities. This helps in working out goals and development plans for a digital transformation to Industry 4.0.

Second, applying digital technologies can enable new ways of presenting information to operators. Understanding situational requirements and selecting suitable cognitive support systems aids the digital transformation to Operator 4.0.

These two approaches show how digitalization can facilitate effective information-sharing in production systems and for shop-floor operators.

TACO (insTruction innovAtion for Cognitive Optimisation)

VINNOVA (2019-03119), 2019-11-01 -- 2021-10-31.


VINNOVA, 2016-12-01 -- 2018-11-30.

VINNOVA, 2016-12-01 -- 2018-05-31.

Demonstrating and testing smart digitalisation for sustainable human-centred automation in production

VINNOVA (2017-02244), 2017-05-15 -- 2020-03-09.

Global Assembly Instruction Strategies (GAIS) 2

VINNOVA (2016-03360), 2016-10-03 -- 2018-10-01.

Stena Industry Innovation Lab at Chalmers - SII-Lab

Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture - Stena Foundation (SII-Lab), 2018-01-01 -- 2020-12-30.

Framtidens rymdfabrik II

The Swedish National Space Board, 2019-05-01 -- 2021-04-30.

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance




Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 5030



Virtual Development Laboratory, Chalmers tvärgata 4c, Gothenburg


Opponent: Kerstin Johansen, Jönköping University

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