Level of automation analysis in manufacturing systems
Book chapter, 2010

Manufacturing tends to be polarizing in terms of automation. Final assembly and other mass-customization operations in the production flow show an increase in allocation of functions to the operators. In contrast, early manufacturing phases, where high repeatability is possible and needed, show an increase in automation with high autonomy, adaptability, and robustness towards disturbances, with operators in a more supervision role. Manufacturing automation may benefit from a differentiated view; manufacturing automation has a strong physical component, i.e. the traditional physical ergonomic and task allocation view of operator work. On the other hand, increasing presence of information technology, manufacturing execution systems, and various operator support information have resulted in a radical change for the operator situation in terms of cognitive ergonomics. This paper presents a methodology for analysis of semi-automated manufacturing systems, in terms of physical and cognitive levels of automation (LoA). The aim is to determine appropriate task allocation by generating a span of possible solutions for physical and cognitive automation levels. Results are based on ten industrial case studies from assembly operations in Swedish companies.


Task allocation

Levels of automation. manufacturing systems


Åsa Fasth Berglund

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Production Systems

Johan Stahre

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Production Systems

Kerstin Dencker

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Production Systems

Advances in Human Factors, Ergonomics, and Safety in Manufacturing and Service Industries


Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Mechanical Engineering

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified



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