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Development of a digital manual for a manufacturing system – a case study

Richard Greenough (Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Devendra Fakun (University of Bath, Bath, UK)
John Kay (Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)

Integrated Manufacturing Systems

ISSN: 0957-6061

Article publication date: 1 November 2001



This paper describes the development and evaluation of an information system to identify spare parts associated with an automated assembly machine that is part of a Ford engine assembly line. The information system is a digital manual, similar to a class of document called an integrated electronic technical manual. The requirements of teams of users in the engine plant are described before explaining the use of multimedia tools to create a suitable information system. The result is a collection of digital documents connected by hyperlinks to form a digital manual. Usability trials indicated that maintenance technicians and line operators would actually use such a manual in the factory. Ford maintenance managers indicated that such a manual would benefit them and the benefits are presented in detail. A version of the manual was developed for data collection and it is suggested that, in future, such manuals might be the factory users’ interface to a computerised maintenance management system.



Greenough, R., Fakun, D. and Kay, J. (2001), "Development of a digital manual for a manufacturing system – a case study", Integrated Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 387-394.




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