Humans: the missing link in manufacturing simulation?

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-526
Number of pages12
JournalSimulation modelling practice and theory
Issue number7-8
Early online date27 Aug 2003
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Baines, T., Mason, S., Siebers, P-O., & Ladbrook, J. (2004). Humans: the missing link in manufacturing simulation?. Simulation modelling practice and theory, Vol. 12, No. 7-8 (2004) DOI


  • manufacturing simulation
  • human performance
  • micro-models


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