Methods for Optimal Work Instruction Delivery: Pictograms v Images

C. McAlinden, J. Butterfield, J. Cole, R. Burke

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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This paper focuses on quantifying the benefits of pictogram based instructions relative to static images for work instruction delivery. The assembly of a stiffened aircraft panel has been used as an exemplar for the work which seeks to address the challenge of identifying an instructional mode that can be location or language neutral while at the same time optimising assembly build times and maintaining build quality. Key performance parameters measured using a series of panel build experiments conducted by two separate groups were: overall build time, the number of subject references to instructional media, the number of build errors and the time taken to correct any mistakes. Overall build time for five builds for a group using pictogram instructions was about 20% lower than for the group using image based instructions. Also, the pictogram group made fewer errors. Although previous work identified that animated instructions result in optimal build times, the language neutrality of pictograms as well as the fact that they can be used without visualisation hardware mean that, on balance, they have broader applicability in terms of transferring assembly knowledge to the manufacturing environment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015
Event32nd International Manufacturing Conference (IMC 32) - Northern Ireland, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 02 Sep 201504 Sep 2015


Conference32nd International Manufacturing Conference (IMC 32)
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • work instructions
  • pictograms
  • learning


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