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Humans: The missing link in manufacturing simulation?

Baines, Tim; Mason, Stephen; Siebers, Peer-Olaf; Ladbrook, John


Tim Baines

Stephen Mason

John Ladbrook


Computer based discrete event simulation (DES) is one of the most commonly used aids for the design of automotive manufacturing systems. However, DES tools represent machines in extensive detail, while only representing workers as simple resources. This presents a problem when modelling systems with a highly manual work content, such as an assembly line. This paper describes research at Cranfield University, in collaboration with the Ford Motor Company, founded on the assumption that human variation is the cause of a large percentage of the disparity between simulation predictions and real world performance. The research aims to improve the accuracy and reliability of simulation prediction by including models of human factors.


Baines, T., Mason, S., Siebers, P., & Ladbrook, J. (2004). Humans: The missing link in manufacturing simulation?. Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory, 12(7-8), 515-526.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 16, 2003
Online Publication Date Aug 27, 2003
Publication Date 2004-11
Deposit Date Jan 5, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 8, 2019
Journal Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory
Print ISSN 1569-190X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 7-8
Pages 515-526
Public URL
Publisher URL


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