Team 12 Service Project Proposal Amanda Barrett, Diyorbek Madaliev, Jeffrey Jiang, Maryam

Team 12 Service Project Proposal

Amanda Barrett, Diyorbek Madaliev, Jeffrey Jiang, Maryam Hasan, Connor Cabrera

Dr. Patricia Anzalone, Ph.D.

Andres Zambrano



The goal of this project is to show how Human-Machine systems are used in real life and what their applications are. A human-machine system is essentially a system that integrates both machines and humans for its system to work (Freivalds&Niebel, 2013). This means that a human/person is required to operate a machine and a machine needs a person for it to operate. The function of the system is to carry out whatever it is intended to do, requiring both a machine and a person. In this project, we decided to observe the Human-Machine systems in Publix Deli.

One of the main reasons for selecting Publix Deli is that it is one of the biggest grocery stores in Florida that our team could thoroughly explore. This means our team could explore Publix’s Human-Machine systems and how they work in practice. Publix has plenty of meat slicers and grinders, and band saws and many highly experienced professionals who can interact with these machines to create products that customers love (Publix, 2021). The team would have the opportunity to observe the work process and make an analysis applying the charting and diagramming techniques that were learned in class. The team chose Publix Deli as the subject for the service project not to provide an analysis based on hypotheses but to provide an analysis based on real facts and practices.

Since 1930, Publix has expanded from one shop in Florida to the nation’s largest employee-owned supermarket group. Our team chose Publix Deli because the company vividly demonstrates how the introduction of technology has transformed service delivery. The company has shown tremendous growth since the introduction of human-machine systems. Currently, the business serves more than ten states in the United States. Due to the nature of their services, machinery is occasionally used to ease work and improve the quality of services provided. The employees use slicers and weighing scales to ensure the customers receive the best products. Therefore, human-machine systems are essential for products to be more successful, safe, practical, and efficient. The other reason for selecting Publix for this study is the intensive training given to their team members on operating the machinery in the company. The knowledge and skills acquired will be helpful in our future career endeavors.

Studying the use of human-machine systems in Publix will expand our knowledge of the application of the technology and improve our understanding of how machines integrate with humans to make work easier. The study’s main objective is to explore how human-machine systems have impacted Publix production and sales. According to Card, Moran, and Newell (2018), the main benefit of Human-machine systems is making employees happier and more productive because they are not frustrated while using well-designed, easy-to-use technologies (Card, Moran, and Newell, 2018). Human-machine systems are essential for creating safety-critical designs, increasing employee’s productivity, and ensuring that safety is a top priority for Publix.


The human-machine system that the team will be focusing on is the employee-slicer relationship. Each deli has a meat slicing and weighing system in order to provide for the customers. The equipment across most Publix storefronts is identical, or similar. The layout of each store is different, hence the optimization of the #0511 deli will be different than another location. However, any equipment improvements can be implemented universally.

The system or study includes the slicers, scale, meat cooler, and employee. These items are the main instruments to successfully complete a simple order. Figure 1 shows a flow process chart of the current system. This includes the general operations and movement requirements from the perspective of an employee. The process includes ____ operations and around ___ feet in movement. However, this chart describes the worst-case scenario of the process. Figure 2 shows a flowchart of how the process flows, suggesting two different paths. The general principle of the system is to somehow acquire deli meat, whether it be from the meat cooler or in the traditional case (seen in figure 3), slice the meat, weigh it, and package for a customer.

Most of the system can be seen in figure 3. The slicer, scale, and traditional case are depicted and labeled A, B, and C, respectively. The traditional case is where the meats are generally located if they have been opened recently. The case only holds one of each type of deli meat. After slicing the entirety of one product, an associate must obtain a new one from the meat cooler in the back. The meat cooler is about 60 feet away from the slicers and can be reached by walking in the back down a narrow hallway. After retrieving the meat, the package is opened with scissors and placed on the slicer.

The operation of the slicer is as follows with graphical diagrams in figures 4, 5, and 6. The meat is placed on the slicer platform (A) and the red handle (B) is brought down for security. A sheet of plastic (C) is placed on the base of the slicer (D) to hold the sliced meat. The slicer is then turned on by the operator (E) and the machine is manually tuned to the customers’ desired thickness of product using the knob (F). An operator uses the green handle (G) to move the plate across the slicer blade. Simultaneously, the operator reaches under the blade to grab the freshly sliced meat and stack it neatly on the plastic. Product is cut until the operator believes they have reached the desired amount. The slicer knob is rotated to closed and the slicer is turned off for safety. The stack of meat is then brought to the scale (H) to weigh the product. If the quantity is too low, the operator must bring it back to the base of the slicer and repeat the process. If the amount cut is too high, the extra product must be disposed of. After reaching the correct amount, a label is printed, and the product is bagged. The scale is pictured in figure 7. The scale is a standard balance that weighs the product placed on the metal plate. The machine also prints out a label through a touch screen selection process.


Freivalds, A., & Niebel, B. (2013). Niebel’s methods, standards, and work design. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Card, S. K., Moran, T. P., & Newell, A. (2018). The psychology of human-computer interaction. Crc Press.