Coordination and collaboration environments for production lines: a user acceptance issue
The Airbus Visual Line (AVL) project, now deployed on the A380 assembly line, was propelled by the desire to foster collaboration and coordination among aeronautical Final Assembly Line teams while going beyond the simplistic – repressive concept of “andon boards” (Monden, 1993). We introduced an environment composed of large public displays and semi-public interfaces to support this collaborative process, so as to enhance team awareness and facilitate coordination among the multi-disciplinary actors. Acceptance of such a coordination system on the shop-floor is a difficult issue. The difficulty is mainly due to the increasing complexity of sub-systems to assemble, the increasing amount of teams involved, the ever-shortening time to market and the circumspection of all actors regarding a ‘monitoring’ system. This article proposes solutions to facilitate team acceptance in the design of highly distributed coordination environments. The acceptance challenge is developed along three major factors, information targeting, information clarity and privacy concerns. From the points it develops, this article aims at facilitating Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) environments development in complex coordination system such as industrial production lines, building and construction sites, large naval or aeronautical maintenance contexts.