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Ergonomic Design of Graphical Control Elements on Production Machines (2015)

Riediger, D.; Hinrichsen, S.; Schlee, A.: Ergonomic Design of Graphical Control Elements on Production Machines. In: Villmer, F.-J.; Padoano, E. (Hrsg.): Production Engineering and Management. Proceedings 5th International Conference. 1.- 2.10.2015 in Triest, Italy, Schriftenreihe Logistik, Band 11/2015, S. 123 - 130.

The trend of increasing technological complexity of machines mainly correlates with the integration of additional functions in machines. Increasing functionality of the machines leads to an increased number of control elements, which limits the clarity of the machine operation and leads to higher cognitive demands in the machine operation.

Due to the growing functional range of production machines the demand of usability for the operating systems continues to grow. The selection and design of icons for the identification of controls contributes significantly to usability, especially for intuitive operation of production machines.

The aim of this study is to investigate the intuitive usability of production machines, to consider its use of graphical elements (icons) and to derive recommendations for a demand-oriented selection and design of icons. To achieve this goal, laboratory studies at five modern production machines (laser sintering machine, CNC universal lathe, plastic injection molding machine, laser processing machine, woodworking machine) - each with different operating concept - were performed.

The results of the study show that the used symbols in the examined machines are only limited self-explanatory and intuitive, and thus have significant deficits for easy and intuitive operation. Especially the combination of screens and electronic keys or switches was often criticized and leads to uncertainty in the operation. As a result, recommendations for the design of icons on production machines are given.

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