Usage Frequency and User-Friendliness of Mobile Devices in Assembly

Susanne Vernim, Gunther Reinhart

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The rising number of variants and more individualized products increase the physical and mental load for assembly workers. Assistance systems ease the stress in these situations especially when they offer assembly instructions for products. There are different requirements such systems must fulfill in order to be used efficiently. They must be adaptable to the special needs of the using employee, they need to be location-independent as well as capable to react in real-time to process changes. Assistance systems must offer significant flexibility to cope with shortening product life-cycles as the need for individualized products increases. Paper-based work instructions cannot meet these requirements. Instead new technologies like mobile devices (e.g. smart watch, tablet) are established on the market. They satisfy the market induced requirements due to their inherent characteristics like mobility, user-friendliness and adaptability. Nevertheless it must be ensured that these devices are accepted and properly used by the employees in order to tap their full potential for increasing the productivity in assembly lines. For this reason possible barriers in usage and acceptance must be examined. This paper presents results of a first study which compares two mobile devices, used as assistance systems, concerning usage frequency and user-friendliness. The aim is to identify the preferred device as well as potential for optimization. In the study the test persons get an unknown assembly task, a simple paper-based work instruction and two kinds of assistance systems - a smart watch and a tablet. Observations about the preferably used device are conducted while they are performing the assembly task. A subsequent interview illustrates specific potential for optimization, which supports a productive interaction between user and device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-515
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
StatePublished - 2016
Event49th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems, CIRP-CMS 2016 - Stuttgart, Germany
Duration: 25 May 201627 May 2016


  • acceptance
  • assembly systems
  • mobile devices
  • user-friendliness


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