Key human factors and their effects on human centered assembly performance

Maji Ibrahim Abubakar, Qian Wang

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Today in the increasingly competitive market, consumers prefer to have a great variety of products to choose from; this preference is often coupled with demands for a relatively smaller lot size, shorter lead time, higher quality and lower cost. Consequently, manufacturing companies are being forced to consistently increase flexibility and responsiveness of their production systems in order to accommodate changes of the fluctuating market. Among various forms of production systems, human-centred manufacturing systems can offer such a capability in dealing with product variations and production volumes as human workers can always adapt themselves to perform multiple tasks after a learning process. However, human performance can also be unpredictable and it may alter due to varying psychological and physiological states, which are often overlooked by researchers when designing, implementing or evaluating a manufacturing system. This paper presents a study aiming to address these issues by exploring human factors and their interactions that may affect human performance on human-centred assembly systems. The study was carried out based on a literature review and an industrial survey. Critical system performance indicators, which are affected by human factors, were evaluated and the most significant human factors were identified using the fuzzy extent analysis method. The research findings show that experience is the most significant human factor that affects individual human performance, compared to age and general cognitive abilities in human-centred assembly. By contrast, both human reaction time and job satisfaction have the least effect on human performance. The significance of ageing on human performance was also studied and it was concluded that average assembly time of human workers rises by average 1% per year after the age of 38 years old.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Early online date5 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • manufacturing systems
  • human factors
  • assembly
  • fuzzy extent analysis
  • ageing


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