Effects of Non-Geometric Features and Incentive Schemes on Manual Assembly of System Variants: An Experimental Study


Although numerous firms have been shifting toward automated assembly, most still rely on manual assembly when complex assembly operation is required for large-scaled systems. Furthermore, because firms design variants of a system to satisfy diverse customer needs, they may manufacture these system variants in the same assembly line. This type of operation, called mixed model assembly, may improve the utilization of existing manufacturing facilities; however, it may also increase assembly errors due to interchanging geometrically similar parts between system variants. Design for Assembly (DFA) is a design guideline that assists engineers in designing systems that are easier to assemble. However, because DFA guidelines group geometrically similar parts in the same part category, it may be impossible to distinguish geometrically similar but functionally different parts (modules) used in different systems. This paper proposes experimenting how cognitive effects of non-geometric part features influence the productivity and quality in mixed model assembly operations. Furthermore, because the productivity and quality of manual assembly may be influenced by the motivation of operators, this paper examines how productivity and quality may be influenced by different incentive schemes.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Cognition; Design for Assembly; Mixed Model Assembly; Motivation; Productivity; Quality

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2007 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2007

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