– The paper aims to discuss the importance of considering both the physical and cognitive automation when aiming for a flexible or reconfigurable assembly system. This is done in order to handle the increased demand for mass customized production and to maintain or improve the social sustainability within the company.


– The methodologies used in this paper are a theoretical review about task allocation and levels of automation and a methodology called DYNAMO++ for the industrial case studies.


– The paper provides both theoretical and empirical insights about the importance of considering both the cognitive and physical automation when aiming for a reconfigurable assembly system. Research limitations/implications – The paper will only discuss the cognitive strategy from a social sustainability perspective and not from an economical or environmental angle.

Practical implications

– The paper presents data from three industrial case studies, mostly in the automotive industry. The result points towards a need for a more structured and quantitative method when choosing automation solutions, furthermore an increased use of cognitive automation solution.

Social implications

– The results from the case studies show that when the complexity and variety of products increases, a cognitive support for the operators is needed. This strengthens the theory of a need for a cognitive automation strategy within companies.


– The paper demonstrates an advance in the state of the art in task allocation. The concept model and the DYNAMO++ method can be seen as a step closer towards quantitative measures of task allocation (i.e. changes in both physical and cognitive LoA) and dynamic changes over time.]]>