Experiences with an Assistive System for Manual Assembly

Publication, 2018


J. D. Hallewell Haslwanter, B. Blazevski - Experiences with an Assistive System for Manual Assembly - Proceedings of the 11th PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments Conference, Corfu, Greece, 2018, pp. 46-49


Small lot sizes in modern manufacturing present new challenges for people doing complex manual assembly tasks, as every item produced may be different. Assistance systems can support people assembling different variants and reduce stress, while also reducing the number of errors. This paper reports on a qualitative study which used interviews and thematic analysis to study the experiences of one company with an innovative system designed to support workers assembling small lot sizes. The system provides photographs and instructions to people doing manual assembly of engines. The study was done after an extended pilot, and before the next release that will be rolled out to the main assembly lines. The goal of the study was to understand the needs and problems in practice in order to support people developing the next generation of these types of systems. The results highlight the importance of integrating these systems with existing systems, but also the way in which the way the information is delivered depends on the primary goal, e.g. supporting different variants, new workers or quality.