Basic complexity criteria and their impact on manual assembly quality in actual production
Journal article, 2017

Increasing design and assembly complexity are challenges facing the automotive industry today because increasing number of car variants and build options can result in immense difficulties and lead to costly assembly errors and quality losses. In order to remain on the market these conditions must nevertheless be managed by companies in hard competition with other manufacturers. The objective of this study was to analyze the impact of newly developed basic complexity criteria (CXB) on assembly quality and associated costs for corrective measures in manual assembly of cars. Data on error rate and action costs of assembly tasks of different complexity level was collected and analyzed. The inter-relationship between different complexity criteria was analyzed to see whether any criteria had a greater impact than others. The results showed that the action costs/car increased with increasing complexity level and that several complexity criteria together resulted in increased action costs. Some criteria tended to have a greater impact than others but need more research. The results further suggest that if high complexity issues are identified and replaced by low complexity solutions the assembly related action costs in manual assembly are likely to decrease. Relevance to Industry: By reduction of basic assembly complexity already in early planning stages in product development significant reduction of costly assembly related action costs in manual assembly can probably be made.

Basic assembly complexity (CXB)

Complexity criteria

Action costs


Manual assembly


Ann-Christine Falck

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Product Development

Mikael Rosenqvist

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Product Development

Roland Örtengren

Chalmers, Product and Production Development

Rikard Söderberg

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Product Development

International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics

0169-8141 (ISSN)

Vol. 58 117-128

Proactive assembly ergonomical and geometrical quality assurance for sustainable production (PEGASUS)

VINNOVA, 2013-10-01 -- 2016-02-28.

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance




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