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The impact of information presentation on work environment and product quality: a case study
University of Skövde, Sweden, Loughborough University, UK & Volvo Powertrain, Sweden .
University of Skövde, Sweden & Loughborough University, UK.
University of Skövde, Sweden. (Materials and Design Centre)
University of Skövde, Sweden.
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2008 (English)In: Proceedings of the 40th annual Nordic Ergonomic Society Conference, Reykjavik: NES , 2008Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In manufacturing, it is vital that production personnel have the right information at the right time and place. The main purpose of information delivered to a workplace is to support the worker in a way that contributes to the quality of the product as well as productivity. However, when information processing becomes a large part of the workload, the time for core workplace activities is reduced. A study was conducted at a heavy diesel engine assembly line with the aim of finding how the assembly personnel interact with the information presented to them in their work context and how this affected quality and productivity. The study focused on four assembly stations and involved 70 assembly workers over a period of ten days and nights during which 2600 standard and customised variant engines were assembled. The main feature of the study was a change in the information system that reduced the amount of data and information provided, changed the location of the information, and modified the timing of information presentation. Results from the study show that the information presented at an assembly workstation influences the quality as well as the assembly process itself. The number of internal rejects decreased by 40% on two of the stations and on the other two stations no errors occurred during the study. This influence on the assembly process is of great importance from a quality perspective; by changing the information system and thereby the workers’ behaviour, the errors were reduced significantly. Whilst errors are few and detected internally, redressing these errors is a waste. Furthermore, an adequate information system boosts operator confidence and reduces cognitive stress levels. The information system used in this study was relatively simple (simpler than the regular system) and based on colour coded cards. Nevertheless, the impact was major and this indicates that when designing an information system for mass-customised assembly, a wide range of solutions needs to be considered. A study in final assembly of heavy trucks is planned for the future where the ultimate goal is to arrive at worker and task tailored presentation of information in customised assembly.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reykjavik: NES , 2008.
Keywords [en]
Production, Information usability, Cognitive ergonomics, Workplace design, Assembly quality
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Research subject
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-30153OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-30153DiVA, id: diva2:666552
Conference
NES, 40th annual Nordic Ergonomic Society Conference, Reykjavik Iceland, 11-13 aug 2008.
Available from: 2013-11-22 Created: 2013-11-22 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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http://www.arbetsliv.eu/nes2008/

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De Vin, Leo

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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