Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

A wireless sensor network approach for estimating individual task time

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  • Most existing methods for generating individual task time estimates in production systems where jobs move through various manually operated workstations remain tedious and time consuming. For existing systems, average task times may vary considerably from prior estimates causing system inefficiencies, poor scheduling and poor planning decisions. Accurate and up-to-date estimates are also extremely valuable when planning and designing future assembly lines. In this study, a wireless sensor network (WSN) based indoor positioning system (IPS) is proposed as a potential alternative for estimating individual task times. Several network design factors were varied in the experiments conducted to assess the ability of the WSN-based IPS to determine an operator’s position within the workstation so that the total production time can be allocated to the appropriate tasks. The main response variable utilized to determine the location of the operator within the workstation was the link quality indicator (LQI). Accurately measuring LQI levels is not a straightforward process since radio frequency (RF) signals can change over time depending on many conditions, including physical obstructions and electromagnetic interference (EMI). The results show that a WSN-based IPS is a viable approach to estimating individual task times. Additionally, the analysis of the experimental data showed that certain WSN design factors need to be set carefully to ensure good quality in the estimation of individual task times.
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