Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Somchart Thepvongs
Title:Use of Integrated Process Control Displays in Work System Design
Degree:Master of Science
Department:Industrial and Systems Engineering
Committee Chair: Dr. Brian M. Kleiner
Committee Members:Dr. Robert H. Sturges
Dr. Robert C. Williges
Keywords:Macroergonomics, three-dimensional displays, control charts, mental workload, signal detection theory
Date of defense:June 4, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


Given the continuing deployment of total quality control and total quality management initiatives by organizations, employees have seen changes in their work environment.  Furthermore, the impact of downsizing has resulted in operators becoming responsible for the quality of their own processes.  This study tested the impact of various display alternatives of control chart data on decision performance and mental workload.  The control charts were shown as multiple two dimensional displays, a composite two dimensional display, and a composite three dimensional perspective display.

Multiple two dimensional displays were found to have significantly higher decision accuracy and decision confidence ratings than either composite displays.  No significant difference in decision accuracy and decision confidence ratings was found among the composite displays.  The type of display did not have a significant effect on decision time.  Mental workload was also found to be significantly affected by the type of display used.  Multiple two dimensional displays imposed significantly lower levels of mental workload than either composite display.  No significant difference in mental workload was found among the composite displays.  These results indicated that multiple two dimensional displays should be used when control chart data from multiple processes must be displayed.

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