Managing Interruptions in Manufacturing Towards a Theoretical Framework for Interruptions in Manufacturing Assembly

University dissertation from Skövde : Högskolan i Skövde

Abstract: The effect of interruptions from ICT systems on assembly workers in manufacturing is examined in this thesis, as is how the risks of errors, increases in assembly time, increased cognitive load and resultant stress can be mitigated, as well as ensuring that important new information is acted upon. To these ends, a literature study was conducted, followed by two studies using an experimental approach in an environment that simulated a manufacturing assembly situation, and used tasks designed to be representative of manufacturing assembly tasks. The results of the literature study and the two studies are presented in four appended papers. The body of the thesis itself introduces similar material, and takes a step towards the creation of a theoretical framework that supports analysing the tasks and environments in question from a embodied and situated (DEEDS or 4E) viewpoint on cognition. This theoretical framework uses graphical representations similar to storyboards to support the analyst in maintaining an embodied and situated viewpoint during analyses of active tasks that require an examination of the interplay between brain, body, and environment. Supporting an embodied viewpoint during analysis has the purpose of facilitating the design of interruption coordination systems that take into account the embodied and situated nature of the tasks faced in manual tasks such as assembly in manufacturing.