Level of automation analysis in manufacturing systems
Paper i proceeding, 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.
levels of automation. Manufacturing systems