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Information Requirements in a Proactive Assembly Work Setting
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Engineering and Management.
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Due to the increasingly competitive climate, the on-the-job behaviour of an operator becomes more and more essential for the success of a manufacturing company.  In working contexts, which are dominated by changes and uncertainty, knowledge-based behaviour and work role aspects that cannot be formalized, proactive behaviour of the operator can contribute to competitive advantages.

Without waiting to be asked or instructed, the proactive operator uses his/her own initiative to change the present situation in the light of anticipated future demands and needs. In order to obtain and support proactive behaviour among operators on the shop floor, access to correct and essential information at the right time and in the right way is one important requirement. Hence, the objective of this thesis is to analyse information requirements in order to provide a basis for information interface design that supports a proactive behaviour of assembly operators.

A system approach was adopted and the foundation for this thesis is an extensive literature review. Further, an empirical case study was performed at a Swedish manufacturing company. The case study was analysed using work domain analysis and the purpose of this case study was to investigate the information used in an assembly work setting to accomplish various activities related to proactive behaviour. The result of this thesis is a synthesis of the information requirements found in the literature study and the empirical findings.

The thesis argues that the ability of the assembly operator to anticipate and plan for changes is highly dependent on what information to provide and when to present this information to the assembly operator. Both operational information and information related to the development of the assembly work setting are required to enable proactive behaviour of the assembly operator. When analysing the empirical findings in relation to the information requirements stated in literature, it was found that proactive behaviour of operators is, above all, related to access to why and what information. How-related information, however, can also be relevant for the proactive assembly operator if it relates to knowledge-based behaviour. Additionally, the expertise of the assembly operator refers to the control behaviour performed by the operator and determines the amount of information needed by the assembly operator. Finally, for information to be experienced as useful by the operator, it has to fulfil various criteria determining information quality. The thesis concludes that by analysing the type and amount of information to be presented to the assembly operator, and how to orchestrate information in a systematic way, it is possible to change the assembly operator from a passive monitor to an active problem solver.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009.
Keyword [en]
Proactive Behaviour, Information, Assembly, Uncertainty, Change
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-8607OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-8607DiVA: diva2:213735
Presentation
E1405 Tekniska Högskolan i Jönköping (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-05-04 Created: 2009-04-28 Last updated: 2010-02-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Towards a Methodology for the Assessment of Information Requirements in a Proactive Assembly Work Setting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards a Methodology for the Assessment of Information Requirements in a Proactive Assembly Work Setting
2008 (English)In: Swedish Production Symposium, November 18-20, 2008, 2008, 311-318 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Assembly work settings enabling proactive behaviour of the assembly operators are considered to be an important factor enabling customization of assembly work. As a consequence, access to necessary and essential information is a critical means to support proactive behaviour of assembly operators. In this paper we propose a methodology for assessing information requirements supporting operators’ proactive activities and decisions. The methodology is based on work domain analysis and it was used for assessing the information flow in a real assembly setting. By analysing the structure of information exchange and the hierarchical means-ends relationships a number of conclusions could be drawn. The first is that in order to consider information needed for all possible work activities, work domain analysis is a suitable approach. Additionally, proactive behaviour is related to the access to information answering why and what-questions. Furthermore, development towards more proactivity among assembly operators may necessitate decentralised decision-making. It is also concluded that in order to identify intentional constraints of an assembly system with increased proactivity, it is necessary to examine the levels of automation. Furthermore, to reach productivity gains the levels of competence must be developed so that most proactive decisions will remain on the skill- or rule-based levels.

Keyword
Work Domain Analysis, Proactive Behaviour, Information Support
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-6872 (URN)
Available from: 2008-12-04 Created: 2008-12-04 Last updated: 2008-12-19Bibliographically approved
2. Considering design demands of a proactive assembly system: A position paper
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Considering design demands of a proactive assembly system: A position paper
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the 1st Swedish Production Symposium, 2007Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The paper reviews the idea of proactivity in an assembly system with respect to information and decision making. It begins with an explanation about the term proactivity and moves on to a discussion of necessary changes of the assembly system to become proactive. Further, this paper will consider the role of information in a proactive assembly system and its impact on the proactive behavior of an operator. The method applied in this paper is a literature study.

Keyword
Proactivity, Assembly, Agility, Information, Human
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-3344 (URN)
Available from: 2007-09-19 Created: 2007-09-19 Last updated: 2015-12-30
3. Assembly Work Settings Enabling Proactivity - Information Requirements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assembly Work Settings Enabling Proactivity - Information Requirements
2008 (English)In: Manufacturing Systems and Technologies for the New Frontier: The 41st CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems, 2008, 556- p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Information is a critical factor to support a proactive behaviour of operators in complex work settings characterized by flexible levels of automation and need for knowledge-based decision making. In this conceptual paper the authors define proactive behaviour as the ability of operators to control a situation by taking action in advance. Information requirements that enable proactivity and different control behaviour are identified. Moreover, several demands on the information support system are outlined. Further, the paper presents some implications for management as a result of the new work role of the operator regarding decision making, planning, and control.

Keyword
Uncertainty; Proactive behaviour; Information support
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-5637 (URN)978-1-84800-266-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2008-08-27 Created: 2008-08-27Bibliographically approved

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