Towards a Structured Decision-Making Framework for Automating Cognitively Demanding Manufacturing Tasks

Robbert Jan Torn*, Peter Chemweno, Tom Vaneker, Soheil Arastehfar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Due to commercial pressure and changing consumer needs, organizations continuously strive to automate their manufacturing processes. Robotisation options, such as collaborative robots, are attractive to maximize the benefits of higher throughput for highly cognitive tasks. Nevertheless, automation and robotization efforts continue to be limited by highly cognitive processes that are either complex to automate or do not make sense from a business perspective. This challenge is further compounded by an absence of clear guidelines and structured frameworks for guiding automation decisions. This paper aims to bridge this gap by reviewing automation decision-making, including task design and psycho-social influences such as cognitive decisions. This includes consideration of cognitive decisions made by operators, further influenced by the task design, workplace design, and task safety. The proposed approach is demonstrated for real-world use cases, of which feasible automation solutions are proposed following structured decision-making steps.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTowards Sustainable Customization
Subtitle of host publicationBridging Smart Products and Manufacturing Systems - Proceedings of the 8th Changeable, Agile, Reconfigurable and Virtual Production Conference CARV 2021 and 10th World Mass Customization and Personalization Conference MCPC 2021
EditorsAnn-Louise Andersen, Rasmus Andersen, Thomas Ditlev Brunoe, Maria Stoettrup Schioenning Larsen, Kjeld Nielsen, Alessia Napoleone, Stefan Kjeldgaard
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783030906993
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event8th Changeable, Agile, Reconfigurable and Virtual Production Conference, CARV 2021 - Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 1 Nov 20212 Nov 2021
Conference number: 8

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering
ISSN (Print)2195-4356
ISSN (Electronic)2195-4364


Conference8th Changeable, Agile, Reconfigurable and Virtual Production Conference, CARV 2021
Abbreviated titleCARV 2021


  • Automation
  • Cognitive tasks
  • Decision support
  • Manufacturing process
  • Taxonomy
  • NLA

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