Digital information presentation in a complex production environment: An investigation into reducing operators cognitive workload

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Examensarbete för masterexamen
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2020
Författare
Helldén, Jakob
Karlsson, Viktor
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A production environment defined by low volumes and high product variance in an industry that is characterized by immense quality requirements confronts assembly operators with high complexity in their daily work tasks. Therefore, operators must be supported by information presentation of high quality to effectively handle the complexity. In this thesis the perceived cognitive workload of operators in the complex production environment evident in the space manufacturing industry was evaluated. Based on this assessment two solution concepts for presenting work instructions were developed that contain several improvements reducing an operator’s cognitive workload in the assembly present at the case company. These concepts feature different implementation horizons, where one of the concepts lies within the reach of short-term implementation, while the other one presents an outlook on how information could be presented in the future. These concepts were evaluated by a focus group consisting of both researchers on the area of information handling and industry practitioners. It could be concluded that a fundamental challenge an operator faces within this environment is the handling and processing of large amounts of information, which acts as a source for several information presentation issues affecting cognitive workload. Furthermore, it was found that the application of an approach considering the active cognitive processes of an information receiver may improve the effectiveness of the information presentation within this environment. The evaluation of the developed information presentation concluded that the developed concepts show potential to reduce the cognitive workload of the user. Furthermore, it was concluded that operator involvement will be necessary to ensure true usability of the instructions, therefore operator validation is recommended for further research.
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Cognitive workload, Information presentation, Work instruction, Information quality, New space, Space industry, Final assembly
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