User Interface Design for Quality Control : Development of a user interface for quality control of industrial manufactured parts

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle

Abstract: The expected quality on manufactured components in the automotive industry is high, often with an accuracy of tenths of a millimeter. The conventional methods used to ensure the manufactured components are very accurate, but they are both time consuming and insufficient and only a small part of the produced series are analyzed today. The measurement is performed manually in so-called measurement fixtures. Where each component is fixed and predetermined points of investigation are controlled with a dial indicator. These fixtures are very expensive to manufacture and they are only compatible with one specific kind of component. Nowadays, great volumes of material are scrapped from these procedures in the automotive industry. Hence, there is a great need to increase the amount of controlled components without affecting the production rate negatively. This project was carried out for the relatively new company Viospatia, which is a spin-off company based on research from Luleå University of Technology. They have developed a system that automatically measures each component directly at the production line with the use of photogrammetry technology. This makes it possible to discover erroneous components almost immediately and the manufacturer gets a more distinct view of their production and its capability. The aim of this thesis has been to investigate how a user interface should be developed to be as user-friendly as possible without limiting the system’s functions. The objective has been to design a proposal of a user interface adapted for the intended user, creating value and is easy to use. The progression has been structured around a human-centered approach expedient for interaction design, where the developing phase, containing analyze, design and validate, is performed through iterations with continuous feedback from users and the project’s employer. The context, where the intended solution is supposed to be used, was investigated through interviews and observations at the involved companies. In the project there were three factories involved, Gestamp Hardtech and Scania Ferruform in Luleå and Volvo Cars in Olofström. These factories are using similar production methods, sheet metal stamping, so their prerequisites and needs are similar for this type of quality control system. Creative methods have been applied throughout the project to generate as much ideas as possible while trying to satisfy all the important aspects. Initially analog prototypes were created but they were soon developed to digital interactive prototypes. A larger usability-test was conducted with seven participants by using a weblink to the digital prototype. With support from the feedback these tests generated some adjustments were made and the final user interface was designed, separated in two levels - Supervisor and Operator. Through extensive literature study and user-testing it became clear that the operator needs to get an unmistakable message from the user interface. There should not be any doubts whatsoever and the operator should react immediately. This message is delivered with the use of colors that have an established meaning. By identifying what needs the different actors have, the system’s functions can be separated and made accessible only for the intended user. The functions can then be more specifically developed for the intended user instead of modifying them trying to make a compromise that fits everybody. This separation of functions is not anything the user has to actively do but it is performed automatically by the user interface when the user is signing in.

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