Management of Man and Machine...

Management of Man and Machine Human intervention of the production processes has undergone a big change after automatic and computerized controls have been introduced for the production processes. A large number of activities previously done by human beings have been taken over by the automation. But this has not eliminated the need for operator for the running of the equipment/process though his role has changed a lot with the automation of the process. Today mass production would not exist without the usage of automated and flexible manufacturing processes. These automated processes need machines and equipments which require human intervention for controlling them. Close and harmonious interaction by operators with their machines is a necessity for the productive output. An integrated and coordinated communication between machines and the men operating them is needed for the productive output. The complexity of industrial processes has greatly increased during the last few decades. This tendency has originated due to a number of reasons, such as (i) the enlargement of the scale of the modern plants, (ii) the required specifications dealing with the product quality, (iii) the need for the energy conservation, (iv) the requirements for the environmental pollution control, (v) the necessity of safety in the plant, and (vi) the progress in process control and informatics creating totally new possibilities. This essential change in the process operation has led to the definition of new human operator tasks. In the last thirty years, human manual control has become much less important and human supervisory control has been developed as the main concept for man and machine interactions. The tasks of the human supervisor are now predominantly cognitive ones, and contain at least the following six subtasks namely (i) the monitoring of all data presented to the human supervisor, (ii)...