Towards Human Supervisory Control in Advanced Manufacturing Systems
This thesis is on the topic of Human Supervisory Control in Advanced Manufacturing Systems (AMS). Presently, these systems suffer from inferior reliability and low productivity, unless "nursed" by skilled operators. Operators controlling the AMS are approaching a work situation similar to that of operators in continuous process manufacturing. Consequently, models describing the operators, the process, and their interaction may be similar. This observation forms the basis for a study of human-process interaction in AMS.
The classical paradigm of human supervisory control has been adopted and adapted for use in AMS. The resulting Operator-Process Interaction Model expands the original control model mainly to account for the extensive direct manual interaction between human operators and the manufacturing processes.
To develop and validate the new description of human-process interaction in advanced manufacturing, four pilot case studies have been performed in Swedish industry. The manufacturing cells studied were different in the kind of manufacturing performed, i.e. high-volume Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), high-variety Flexible Manufacturing (FMS), and high-variety Flexible Assembly (FAA).
A functional Task Evaluation and Analysis Method (TEAM) for data acquisition and evaluation was developed during the case studies. This method can be used as an operational tool and its use will result in preliminary specifications for enhancing operator capability in a specific manufacturing cell, through vocational training, decision support, and education.
It is concluded that the expanded model for human supervisory control may be used to describe operators interacting with the manufacturing process(es) in advanced discrete parts manufacturing.