Specifying task allocation in automotive wire harness assembly stations for Human-Robot Collaboration
Journal article, 2023

Wire harness assembly is normally a manual assembly process that poses ergonomic challenges. As a consequence of the rapidly expanding electrification of vehicles and transportation systems, the demand for wire harnesses can be expected to grow radically, further increasing assembly operator challenges. Thus, automating this assembly process is highly prioritised by production engineers. The rapid development of industrial robot technology has enabled more human-robot collaboration possibilities, simplifying the automation of wire harness process tasks. However, successful automation applications involving humans require efficient and safe allocation of tasks between humans and technology. Unfortunately, present assembly system design methods may be obsolete and insufficient in light of the capabilities of emerging automation technologies such as collaborative robots. This paper presents a design and specification methodology for human-centred manufacturing systems and focuses on collaborative assembly operations in complex production systems. A case study on human-robot collaboration provides an application example from a wire-harness collaborative assembly process. The proposed design methodology combines hierarchical task analysis with assessments of cognitive and physical Levels of Automation (LoAc and LoAp). The assessments are then followed by evaluations of the Levels of human-robot Collaboration (LoC) and the Levels of operator Skill requirements (LoSr) respectively. A task allocation matrix supports the identification of possible combinations of automation and collaboration solutions for a human-centred and collaborative wire harness assembly process. System designers and integrators may utilise the design and specification methodology to identify the potential and extent of human-robot collaboration in collaborative manufacturing assembly operations.



Wire Harness

Levels of automation (LoA)

Human-robot collaboration (HRC)


Omkar Salunkhe

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Johan Stahre

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

David Romero

Tecnológico de Monterrey

Dan Li

Volvo Car Corporation

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Björn Johansson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Computers and Industrial Engineering

0360-8352 (ISSN)

Vol. 184 109572

DIH World – Accelerating deployment and matureness of DIHs for the benefit of Digitisation of European SMEs

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/952176), 2020-07-01 -- 2023-06-30.

A Pan‐European Network of Robotics DIHs for Agile Production (DIH2)

European Commission (EC) (GA824964), 2019-01-01 -- 2022-12-31.

EWASS Empowering Human Workers for Assembly of Wire Harnesses

VINNOVA (2022-01279), 2022-07-01 -- 2025-05-31.

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.

Subject Categories

Mechanical Engineering

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


Areas of Advance




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