A transformation of human operation approach to inform system design for automation

2020-03-30T09:21:53Z (GMT) by Simon Micheler Yee Goh Niels Lohse
Design of automation system relies on experts’ knowledge and experience accumulated from past solutions. In designing novel solutions, however, it is difficult to apply past knowledge and achieve design right-first-time, therefore wasting valuable resources and time. SADT/IDEF0 models are commonly used by automation experts to model manufacturing systems based on the manual process. However, function generalisation without benchmarking is difficult for experts particularly for complex and highly skilled-based tasks. This paper proposes a functional task abstraction approach to support automation design specification based on human factor attributes. A semi-automated clustering approach is developed to identify key functions from an observed manual process. The proposed approach is tested on five different automation case studies. The results indicate the proposed method reduces inconsistency in task abstraction when compared to the current approach that relies on the experts, which are further validated against the solutions generated by automation experts.