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Title: The impact of information presentation on work environment and product quality: a case study
Authors: Backstrand, Gunnar
Thorvald, Peter
De Vin, Leo J.
Hogberg, Dan
Case, Keith
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Nordic Ergonomics Society
Citation: BÄCKSTRAND, G. ... et al., 2008. The impact of information presentation on work environment and product quality: a case study. IN: Proceedings of 2008 40th Annual Nordic Ergonomics Society Conference (NES 2008): ergonomics is a lifestyle, Reykjavik, Iceland, 11-13 August 2008.
Abstract: 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.
Version: Published
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/26633
Publisher Link: http://emediator.no/index.html
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers and Presentations (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)

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