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Ergonomics in manufacturing

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOIT20210412003
Publicado:
23/04/2021
Caducidad:
24/04/2022
Resumen:
An Italian SME has developed a new service focused to identify and consolidate the needs of the current workforce working in manufacturing settings. This includes understanding users´ activities, identify strengths/weaknesses of the human-machine and human-human collaboration, analysis of human-machine interfaces and production lines. The SME is looking for collaboration, private initiatives, and commercial agreements with technical assistance, mainly in Europe and extra-EU

Details

Tittle:
Ergonomics in manufacturing
Summary:
An Italian SME has developed a new service focused to identify and consolidate the needs of the current workforce working in manufacturing settings. This includes understanding users´ activities, identify strengths/weaknesses of the human-machine and human-human collaboration, analysis of human-machine interfaces and production lines. The SME is looking for collaboration, private initiatives, and commercial agreements with technical assistance, mainly in Europe and extra-EU
Description:
Data collection in a manufacturing setting is an opportunity to provide clients with user needs and actively contribute to the design of the next generation of interfaces/equipment.
The main goal of this service is to assess the user experience of different types of users (e.g. operators, technicians, supervisors,...) when working with innovative manufacturing interfaces and production lines, identifying issues and benefits of automation support, including main usability and cognitive/physical ergonomics.
The data collection activities aim at investigating a series of aspects:
- Working environment: The workspace, the general equipment and furniture, and the physical environment
- Organisation and staffing: Organisational management, people management, and personal factors
- Training: The systematic development of competencies required by individuals to adequately perform their work
- Procedures, roles, and responsibilities: Actual/prescribed working methods, positions/functions in the organization, and expected tasks
- Teams and communication: How people work and communicate with each other on shared goals and tasks
- Human in the system: The actions, reactions, and interactions between humans and other system components.

The service is currently implemented in a format that allows for data collection also from remote.
In order to adapt the service to remote conduction, it is currently developed on a data collection platform, featuring methods and techniques to ensure equally rich data collections as those resulting from field visits. The service platform allows interactivity (via a dedicated and secured platform) during remote synchronous interactions (for example interviews) to make the experience a bit more user-friendly. Moreover, it allows experiments with nonintrusive tools (e.g. wearing an activity tracker), i.e. by the use of remote sensors in the working environment to collect the relevant data from the user´s movements. Data collected can be analyzed providing a model of the typical activities and movements, thus helping the user experience along with the different production floors.
Outcomes of this type of service are requirements, guidelines, and recommendations for innovative re-design, including quick wins, for mitigating the impact of issues and replicating/adapting the success cases on the basis of an in-depth analysis of contributing factors:
-prioritization of the areas of intervention
-definition of strategy and plans for transferring recommendations into practical mitigating actions for specific target users.
-preparation of dedicated time schedule (including in-depth recommendations as well as quick wins)
Finally, a strategy and the tools for monitoring the impact of each action is the relevant result.
The company is looking for a commercial agreement with technical assistance to assess new potential markets in Europe and extra-Europe
Advantages and Innovations:
The introduction of innovative technologies and automation in manufacturing requires understanding the needs of the workforce, together with the strengths and weaknesses of the designed solutions (HMIs and physical lines). Stemming from a user-centric design approach, this service focuses on how technologies shape the human-machine interaction in the factory, and how to re-design the HMIs and production lines to improve efficiency whilst reducing costs. This is done by defining the highest requirements for a user to interact with an ecosystem of intelligent devices, intelligent systems, and intelligent automation within the physical environment and working facilities. This type of service requires a high knowledge of the working environment and the workforce duties. In the last months, to compensate for the impossibility to travel, remote study protocols have been developed for conducting user research and studying the user experience, remote visual interviews, virtual simulations for conducting usability assessments. In addition, the developed tools are suited for automatic data collection that is not intrusive (no shadowing/no external observers on the production floor with less or no security, and safety issues to mitigate). A further advantage is more objective and less impacted by the judgment of the observer sensibility.
Stage of Development:
Available for demonstration
IPs:
Secret know-how

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The partners sought for are:
- companies (public and/or private). The partner should provide the company with all information about its product/service, production lines in order for the company to set up customized field test measurements.
- Research centers and universities for partnering in research projects

Client

Type and Size of Client:
Industry SME 11-49
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Si
Languages Spoken:
English
Italian

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
01003003 Artificial Intelligence (AI)
01001001 Automation, Robotics Control Systems
01003006 Computer Software
02003001 Process automation
01001002 Sistemas digitales, representación digital