Keywords: automation, human errors, automatic control systems, human intervention, optimisation, system performance, performance evaluation, risk assessment, modified FMEA, failure mode and effects analysis, human input
Automation vs. human intervention: What is the best mix for optimum system performance? A case study
Today's industrial systems are becoming increasingly complex and automated. The goal: to improve efficiency, increase production, improve reliability, achieve consistent specifications and reduce incidents. However, to determine optimum system performance, one must evaluate the system over time, include the human operator as a component and evaluate performance using risk-based approaches to understand overall system performance affect. Many variables must be considered, deep-seated biases overcome and perceptions of risk and error accounted for. This paper details a risk-based analysis, using a modified FMEA approach, of an automation project to determine the appropriate level of human input to the control system.