Analysis of Assembly Errors using Systems Thinking Approach: Application of the HFACS Framework

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Yaniel TorresSylvie NadeauKurt Landau

Abstract: Using a systemic and human-centered approach to analyze quality deficiencies in complex manual assemblies can help to shift the focus towards the role of systems failures instead of focusing on the operators' actions. This paper features the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) framework, to identify several contributing factors to quality deficiencies in a manufacturing environment. Overall, 34 factors were identified. Some 56% were associated with the human operator and operating environment, while 44% were related to organizational influences and supervisory factors. The latter included inadequate design/update of working instructions, variability in production demands, high complexity of product design, and lack of guidelines on shift scheduling and overtime allocation best practices. Although HFACS was able to provide a "big picture" of the situation analyzed, it requires that the user possess a good understanding of the operational aspects of the system and have ample access to data and information. Particularly for latent conditions, which are not so easy to detect.

Keywords: manual assembly, human error, systems approach

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001568

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